Hawke's Bay regional, Napier and Hastings councils have turned down an informal request to provide more ratepayer money towards the salary of the yet-to-be appointed CEO of Business Hawke's Bay and the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule confirmed he had been approached by the chamber's president, Katja Williams, for further funding for the CEO, who would have the dual role of being responsible for Business Hawke's Bay and the chamber.
The extra cash was for the CEO's work for Business Hawke's Bay only, which is connected to the council's efforts to improve economic development. It would not be used for the CEO's work for the chamber.
Ms Williams had also approached Napier City Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
"The council leaders agreed that no extra money would be provided and any further request would have to come via an annual plan process," Mr Yule said.
"Salaries would be looked at as part of the total budgeted costs."
He said councils were unlikely to fund individual salaries "for another entity".
Ms Williams said it was the chamber's job to find funding for Business Hawke's Bay and it would continue looking for the extra money it needed for the CEO's salary package.
"We are guided by the feedback from recruitment agencies and the market demands for the type and calibre of person we want when it comes to determining the salary package for the CEO."
Business Hawke's Bay is a regional economic development agency set up in 2011 in partnership with businesses and the region's councils.
Ms Williams said not many economic development agencies were completely council funded anymore and there was a need for private enterprise funding in-kind.
"But chamber membership money should be for the chamber and not linked to this other entity which has to carry itself."
She said she believed the chamber board would have been aware of the move to approach the councils for more funding.
"It was more of an informal chat. I was looking for an increase in the money from the councils and it's not a case of the councils giving new money to Business Hawke's Bay."
Ms Williams made a presentation to the councils to show what Business Hawke's Bay could achieve and the "massive amount" of hours by staff on a limited resource.
"I identified what we could do with some more money and who it would benefit from that. I felt the council was where the benefit would be and so that's where the money should come."
The chamber hoped to have a new CEO appointed by April.