Council CEO’s salary jumps
Taupo¯ District Council chief executive Gareth Green has had a salary jump of 2.3 per cent, or $7125 per annum.
The rise brings his total salary package, which includes all cash earnings, any annual leave pay-outs and a vehicle, to $317,834 for this financial year to June 30, 2019.
His salary package for the year ended July 30, 2018, was $310,709 made up of a base salary and a vehicle. In September councillors approved a $7125 salary rise for Mr Green backdated to the start of the financial year on July 1.
Mr Green’s salary is slightly above what his predecessor Rob Williams was paid in financial year 2014/2015 during his last full year as chief executive of the Taupo¯ District Council, although 2016 proved expensive, with a reported chief executive’s salary of $397,105 for 10 months’ work, for reasons the council still refuses to disclose, citing privacy.
The council says the latest salary increase was based on market movement as advised by independent remuneration consultants Strategic Pay.
Even with the latest rise taken into account, Mr Green’s salary is below that of other chief executives of district councils of similar size around New Zealand.
In his first year as chief executive Mr Green was paid $280,511 for 11 months service as he did not take up the post until August 1, 2016. If he had been paid at the same rate for the extra month, his annual salary would have been $306,012.
In the year, from July 1 2017 to June 30, 2018 his annual salary was $310,709.
Mr Green’s salary is on a par with chief executives of other provincial councils (see box), although 2018 salary figures for councils such as Timaru (43,929 people) and Whanganui (42,153 people), which were both expected to be lower than Mr Green’s, were not available at the time of going to print.
Up the road, the Rotorua District Council’s chief executive Geoff Williams is paid a salary of $346,775. The Rotorua district has a population of 65,280.
The number of people earning more than $100,000 at the council is 49. Of the council’s 371 employees, 206 earn less than $60,000 per annum but some of these staff members are in part-time or casual on-call positions. At June 30, the council employed 261 full-time employees.
There were more staff in the council’s second-highest salary band last year. From 2016/17 to 2017/18 it has moved from six to 10 employees. The council’s senior leadership team comprises seven staff.
The number of full-time equivalent employees at the council also rose last year, from 292.4 positions to 315.3 in the last financial year, an increase of 23 full-time employees.
The Taxpayers’ Union has suggested some council chief executives’ salaries are unjustifiably high. Spokesman Louis Houlbrooke singled out Westland District Council, one of the smallest in population with the 10th highest-paid chief executive, earning $361,630.