TODAY |

'This isn't right' – Lower Hutt politician demands end to ratepayer-funded lunches for councillors


A Hutt City councillor is calling for his colleagues to bring their own lunch to work so ratepayers don't have to pay for "lavish catering".

Campbell Barry says elected representatives should pack their own lunch, not tuck into meals paid for by ratepayers. Source: 1 NEWS

Wainuiomata ward councillor Campbell Barry said it didn't seem fair to be eating meals like roast chicken, curry and cake after recently voting to only pay employees a living wage on a "case-by-case basis" and if it's deemed "cost effective".

"This isn't right, we're voting and saying no to people who are on low wages and people probably struggle to put food on the table themselves and we're going in there and having a feed on the ratepayer," Mr Barry says.

Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace confirmed the council spends around $14,000 on catering each year.

"If it's a long meeting we look at having a reasonable meal, if it's a short meeting we might only have tea and biscuits so we take a very pragmatic, sensible approach," Mr Wallace says.

Wellington and Christchurch city councils told 1 NEWS they spend a few thousand dollars each year on catering, while Auckland Council spent more than $70,000 catering council meetings.

Mr Barry will present his notice of motion to end free lunches at the next council meeting.