Mayors set to earn twice median of residents

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by Greta Yeoman

South Canterbury mayors are set to earn almost twice the median salary of residents after new pay rates come into effect following local government elections in October.

The salary for the Mackenzie district’s mayor will be just under twice the median (mid-range) salary of Mackenzie residents, Stats NZ data shows.

Mackenzie’s mayor is set to earn about $83,500 per year, while the median salary for Mackenzie residents is about $43,000.

The district’s councillors will earn a minimum of $18,600.

Timaru’s mayor is set to earn $132,500, which is almost three times the annual median salary of $48,000 earned by Timaru residents.

Timaru’s deputy mayor will be paid about $52,000 a year.

Waimate’s mayor will earn $86,500 (up from just under $76,500), compared with a median salary of $48,000 for most of the town’s residents.

The Waimate District Council does not make a pay distinction for its deputy mayor, meaning they are likely to be paid the minimum of $19,000 that other councillors receive.

Across the border, Waitaki’s mayor will earn $114,500 (up from about $106,000), while other councillors are set to have an annual salary of just over $24,000.

The two South Canterbury Environment Canterbury councillors will each earn at least $63,570.

This is a decrease from $67,000 at the last remuneration decision.

Salaries for Waimate’s, Mackenzie’s and Timaru’s mayors will all increase by more than $10,000.

The smallest increase will be in the Waitaki district, where the salary will increase about $8000.