A leading pay consultant says he sympathises with council chief executives whose pay rises are coming under scrutiny.
Christchurch City Council chief executive, Tony Marryatt has been in the spotlight after getting a 14.4% pay rise last year.
His counterpart at Kapiti Coast District Council, Patrick Dougherty had a rise of 18.2%.
Strategic Pay managing director John McGill says these rises are usually calculated against the market rate.
He says public sector chief executives often work to the same criteria as those in the private sector such as being as efficient and capable as possible.
But, he says, some caution is needed, because private sector pay is structured quite differently from that of the public sector.