Trustee fees excessive: what price community service?

Annual fees for the chair of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust have increased 300% over a 5 year period to 2007/08. The current chair enjoys fees of $91,000 up from $30,000 in 2003.  Fees for other Trustees range from $63,000 to $139,000 for a Trustee who is also on the Vector board.  Details of fees for 2008/09 will be available in the Trust’s annual report due out later this month.  Recently in the Herald the Chair has claimed that there is unlikely to be any variation to the fees  but fails to acknowledge that current fees are excessive nor does he raise the possibility that fees should be rolled back.

 The Trust needs to attract people with the skills and experience to make decisions in the interests of over 300,000 beneficiaries.  A payment to the trustees is reasonable for their time and commitment however it is a part time role on a community trust.  The trustees must be willing to serve on the Trust and in recognition of this service accept a level of fees which will not be considered by the community to be excessive or greedy.