Queenstown mayor in line for six-figure salary

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The salary of Queenstown mayor Vanessa van Uden is on track to hit six figures.

Queenstown Lakes District councillors voted on Tuesday increase in her pay packet from $96,700 to $100,500 – as set by the national Remuneration Authority.

Despite the 3.9 per cent increase, other councillors’ salaries remained the same at $29,165.

At the same meeting, Van Uden objected to extra payments for Queenstown Airport Corporation directors.

Council was asked to approve payment of $14,000 for three airport directors appointed to its Audit and Risk Management Committee. 

The additional payment would be split with $6000 given to the chairman of the committee and $4000 each to the other two members. Existing directors’ fees for QAC are $24,000 per annum.

The committee meets four times a year, for two hours each time.

Van Uden says she believes the meetings should be covered by the existing payments, but councillors voted to approve the additional money.

The Remuneration Authority allows the council to pay its elected members – excluding the mayor – from a total pool of $368,790. That was due for review but has been delayed.

Council sets out how the pool will be allocated – its proposal and the mayoral salary increase will be submitted to the authority for consideration.

Council chief executive Debra Lawson, at the meeting, says: “There’s very little change, mostly the status quo, but there is an increase in the mayor’s allowance so the beers are on Vanessa afterwards.”