Forty-five percent of working New Zealanders earn less than $30,000 a year - for a whole lot of New Zealanders the economic 'good times' have never arrived.

But Christchurch City councillors are sitting pretty - the Renumeration Authority has just given them a big seven percent wage increase, well ahead of the rate of inflation. A councillor will now get a whacking $83,500.

As the Christchurch Press noted in a strongly worded editorial: 'Residents struggling with rising interest levels, food prices and fuel costs, not to mention the council's own rate increases, will be mortified at the authority's ruling.'

But what do councillors do for all this money? Who knows - councillors are a law unto themselves.

Take Councillor Susan Wells for instance. She says she has been concentrating on 'library issues' - whatever this means.

And Ms Wells doesn't feel the need to hold regular clinics in her Spreydon ward. She says that people can talk to her when she's shopping in her local supermarket! Or you might be lucky to catch her when she's gardening!

I also understand from a council source that her attendance at community board meetings has been less than regular.

It all sounds like Councillor Wells is riding the gravy train - just like her fellow Spreydon councillor Barry 'Is murder wrong?' Corbett. He has been spending a lot of time at his holiday bach on Banks Peninsula...


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