24 Jul 2014

Big pay bonus for Orion boss

8:30 am on 24 July 2014

A significant pay increase for the chief executive of lines company Orion is being defended as a one-off bonus payment for his work in post-quake Christchurch.

Rob Jamieson was paid almost $730,000 in the year to March 2014. In the previous year, he received $540,000.

In a statement on Wednesday, Orion's acting chairperson Jeremy Smith said when Mr Jamieson was appointed in 2011 his remuneration package included a one-off at-risk deferred component.

Mr Smith said it was equivalent to about 15 percent of Mr Jamieson's base salary over three years and was only payable if he achieved a satisfactory performance in the three years to August 2014.

Mr Smith said Mr Jamieson has more than met those performance targets.

Energy analyst Molly Melhuish said Mr Jamieson's bonus was on top of an already-too-high salary. She said large bonuses were leading to increased power prices, forcing people to reduce their electricity use.