Wellington Scoop

Ten per cent pay cut for Wellington mayor, councillors and executive staff

News from WCC
Wellington City Council’s Mayor, Councillors, Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) will be taking a voluntary 10% pay reduction for the rest of 2020, and will redirect that money to those most in need.

The changes to the remuneration of the Council’s elected members and executive staff come as the Council looks to fill a potential $70m shortfall caused by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The package also includes a pay freeze for ELT for the first six months of 2021, bringing the total contribution from elected members and executive team members to around $340,000.

Mayor Andy Foster has also written to the Remuneration Authority requesting that there be no increase in Wellington City Council’s elected member remuneration when it is next considered.

Mayor Foster says the decision to take this course of action was driven by a strong desire to help out as the City faces a huge challenge to get back on its feet.

“We are all very aware that many in our community are feeling a lot of pain at this time. Businesses are really hurting, many people are losing jobs or are on reduced hours. We as the Council’s leadership team decided unanimously that we should personally recognise the pain of our community.

“We are also aware that many community welfare organisations have increased demand placed on them at this time, and that many of our wonderful community groups will lose direct revenue and sponsorship, so our collective support will benefit a range of organisations that are doing fantastic work in our city.”

Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow explains: “We are all extremely passionate about Wellington and see this as a way we can collectively lend a hand to those who will be most affected by the pandemic. At the same time we will be working very hard to support our city in every way we can to recover from this crisis, and as Chief Executive I will be conducting a thorough review of all Council costs.”


  1. Ian Apperley, 8. April 2020, 19:00

    Really good. It shows unity can be real at the Council as well. Bloody well done. More of this kind of thing please.

  2. John M, 8. April 2020, 21:00

    Ten percent takes Barbara McKerrow down to about $380,000 per annum which is around $7,000 per week. Now that’s doing it tough!
    The Mayor down from $170,000 to around $150,000 per annum or close to $3,000 per week …and the councillors down around $100K per annum. That’s really doing it tough.
    I’m afraid this has to be regarded as nothing more than a token gesture, and let’s not forget it’s ratepayer money!

  3. Spongebob, 8. April 2020, 21:53

    Yes, more of this please. Let’s go for another ten percent so that Wellingtonians are spared a rates increase when a financial crisis is looming.

  4. Wellington Commuter, 9. April 2020, 0:16

    Why call it a pay-cut? It’s not a pay cut unless you give it back to the council. While I’m sure donating 10% of your own pay will help the community, it doesn’t reduce the ratepayer’s bill 1 cent even though many of us are also “doing it hard.” Less spin and more hard choices. [via twitter]

  5. Justin Lester, 9. April 2020, 9:41

    This is a great commitment. Thank you to those councillors who have pushed for it. [via twitter]

  6. michael, 9. April 2020, 12:25

    When are the council going to recognise that a vast majority of domestic and commercial ratepayers are hurting very badly and cannot sustain vanity projects and ‘nice’ gestures? We desperately need the council to tighten its belt and reduce costs wherever possible, as it will not be ‘business as usual’ for a very long time now as we try to recover.

  7. Chris Horne, 9. April 2020, 18:16

    Well said Michael. Top of the list for projects to be abandoned forthwith includes:
    * Airport runway extension; * Convention Centre; * Changes to Frank Kitts Park; * Office building on Site 9 on our waterfront; * Second Mt Victoria Tunnel; * Infrastructure for the proposed development at Shelly Bay.
    The Covid-19 epidemic will devastate Wellington’s and the nation’s economy. Thus all the above projects are frivolities to be abandoned.