Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale will take a 10 per cent cut in her salary for the full 2020/21 financial year.
The reduction in her pay equates to a 20 per cent cut over a six-month period.
Mrs Baxendale says she discussed her decision with Mayor Lianne Dalziel, who has also signalled that she wants to take a pay cut. The Mayor is expecting the Remuneration Authority will give elected members authorisation to do that, at the same time as it gives authority to the Prime Minister and Cabinet to take a pay cut.
“The Council’s finances, as well those of our Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown. Many of our ratepayers are also suffering financial hardship. This is the right thing for me to do on a personal level,” Mrs Baxendale says.
“I have the full support of my family, recognising these are difficult times for everyone.”
Mrs Baxendale says the Council is now considering the impact that the Covid-19 lockdown will have on the Council’s Annual Plan 2020/21. Savings are being looked for from every part of the organisation.
“So much has changed in such a short time and we are now having to deal with an unprecedented financial crisis, which directly impacts on the finances of both the Council and that of our CCOs.
“It is important that we address the situation in a considered way and in making decisions understand the impact of that decision in the short, medium and long term and what it means for our levels of service.
“To put it simply we have a very complex financial conundrum and we need to find savings right across the organisation.
“We have to look at everything – there are no ‘no-go’ areas. We are working in a constantly changing environment but we have been doing detailed work for the past few weeks so that we provide advice to elected members that will help them to make decisions on the Annual Plan and how they shape next year’s Long Term Plan.’’