A severance payment of $405,000 for an Auckland Council executive has led to the mayor asking the public sector auditor to investigate.
The council's latest annual report shows it paid 28 severance payments in the last financial year, worth nearly $1 million.
One single payment was $405,000 - the reason for the payment and the person who received it are not detailed in the report.
The next highest severance payment was $68,202.
Auckland Council chief executive Stephen Town said the severance payment was a significant sum, but he was confident correct processes were followed.
Mr Town said that at the time Audit New Zealand was satisfied the council had good reasons for making the payment and it was properly authorised.
He and the mayor Phil Goff have asked Audit New Zealand to investigate further.
"Any severance payment made by Auckland Council is done with great care. While we aim to resolve any issues within the terms of employment agreements, there are occasions where a severance payment is the most pragmatic option," Mr Town said.
The latest annual report also showed six staff members earned between $300,000 and $340,000 and six staff earned between $340,000 and $700,000.