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Opposition to Fee hike

13 Jun 2016

Wellington City Council has become the second major council to reject a cash strapped insurance company's bid to hike its directors' fees.

Civic Assurance, which because of payouts related to the Christchurch Earthquakes has only a provisional licence from the Reserve Bank, has asked the 68 councils which own it to approve a 15 per cent pay rise for its board.

If approved, the increase would see ordinary directors receive a pay increase of around $3000 a year, while chairman Tony Marryatt, the former chief executive of the Christchurch City Council, would see his fees increase by more than $6000 to $47,438. 

But after details of the request were publicised, several councils have indicated they will vote against the payments.

On June 9, Christchurch City opted to vote against the increase, with Mayor Lianne Dalziel indicating the council would contact other councils to notify them of Christchurch's position. 

On Monday, Wellington City Council also opted to vote against the increase.

Wellington City's deputy mayor, Justin Lester, who chairs the council's appointments committee said he did not believe the added payment was justified.

"It's too much money. [Civic's report] doesn't explain if there's been any increase in the work involved, and it's just silly," Lester said.

Max Shierlaw, a councillor on Hutt CIty Council, said that council had also opted to vote against the pay rise.

Staff at Nelson City Council staff also recommended the organisation vote against Civic's pay increase. 

It is not the first time Civic has been involved in a controversy over pay.

In 2013 the organisation sought a 50 per cent increase in fees, however this was voted down by shareholders.

 - Stuff

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