Public expects restraint on chief executive pay

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins says changes to legislation may be required to curb the high pay levels of some State sector chief executives.


The Senior Pay Report, released today by the State Services Commissioner, discloses the total remuneration paid to State sector chief executives in the 2016/17 financial year, from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017.


The average remuneration increase for Public Service chief executives in the 2016/17 year was 2.0%. The average increase for Tertiary Education Institution and District Health Board chief executives was 2.7%. The average increase for Crown Entity chief executives was 4.1%. Over the same period the average salary increase for Public Service staff was 2.2%.


For the first time the Commissioner has identified Crown entity Boards that chose not to follow the Commission’s advice and gave remuneration increases above recommended levels: Guardians of NZ Superannuation, ACC and Telarc.


“Crown entities need to be more accountable and transparent when awarding their chief executives pay rises that go against the advice of the Minister and the State Services Commissioner.


“I support the Commissioner’s approach to this issue, we do need to tighten the reins,” Mr Hipkins says.


“State sector chief executives have big important jobs that carry a lot of responsibility and they deserve to be fairly paid but they are still public servants with an accountability to taxpayers.


“It’s appropriate to have a look at what can be done to put the brakes on escalating salaries.


“I have asked the Commissioner for advice and regulatory options, particularly on how we could change the Crown Entities Act.”