Coun­cil CEO’s salary jumps

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News - Lau­rilee McMichael

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.

Gareth Green

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