25 Jan 2012

Questions raised over CEO pay rises

9:54 pm on 25 January 2012

The Labour Party is questioning how local authority chief executive salaries are calculated in the wake of news of another big pay rise for a council chief executive.

Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Maryatt has been in the spotlight for 14.4% pay rise in 2011 and now it has emerged that Patrick Dougherty of the Kapiti Coast District Council has had a rise of 18.2%.

Kapiti council says the raise brings his pay into line with other council chief executives.

But Labour 's spokesperson on local government Annette King says senior management staff need to be reasonable about economic conditions and accept a drop in income.

She says chief executive jobs in the public sector can't be compared directly with the private sector as they have a big element of service in them.

"Of course they have to be paid to meet their responsibilities but it doesn't mean they have to be paid the same as a big company that might be making the big profits to prop it up."

Ms King says the Government should consider capping the salaries of chief executives of councils and government departments.

Local Government Minister Nick Smith could not be reached for comment.