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Revealed: The Public Sector CEO Rich List

Taxpayers can now browse the specific pay rates, ranked, for public sector chief executives.

This year taxpayers will pay $62 million in salaries for the 140 public sector CEOs. The average is paid $443,000, and 53 earn more than the Prime Minister.

Many of these individuals make major decisions about services that impact millions of taxpayers' lives. Publicising their salaries serves to promote accountability and transparency at the highest level.

Other Rich-Listers lead obscure QUANGOs (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations) that generate little value for taxpayers. We hope the Public Sector CEO Rich List provokes debate over the necessity of these positions.

Rich list header

Rank Organisation Name (2019) Salary (2019) Notes  Name (2018) Salary (2018) Notes
1 Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Mr Matt Whineray $1,065,000.00 Estimate provided by board  Mr Matt Whineray $960,000.00 Not available in SSC report. Source
2 Accident Compensation Corporation Mr Scott Pickering $841,000.00   Mr Scott Pickering $833,000.00  
3 Housing New Zealand Corporation  Mr Andrew McKenzie  $791,000.00   Mr Andrew McKenzie  $703,000.00  
4 University of Auckland Prof. Stuart McCutcheon $760,000.00   Prof. Stuart McCutcheon $760,000.00  
5 Commissioner of Police Mr Mike Bush $709,000.00   Mr Mike Bush $708,000.00  
6 The Treasury Mr Gabriel Makhlouf $687,000.00 Annualised based on 362 days  Mr Gabriel Makhlouf $645,000.00  
7 New Zealand Transport Agency ACTING (Mr Mark Ratcliffe)  $682,000.00 Annualised based on 168 days  Mr Fergus Gammie $619,000.00  
8 Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short $670,000.00   Lt Gen. Tim Keating $675,000.00  
9 Controller and Auditor-General Mr John Ryan  $670,000.00 Annualised based on 364 days  ACTING (Mr Gregory Schollum) $657,000.00  
10 Auckland DHB Ms Ailsa Claire $667,000.00   Ms Ailsa Claire $635,000.00  
11 Waitemata DHB Dr Dale Bramley $666,000.00   Dr Dale Bramley $653,000.00  
12 Solicitor-General Ms Una Jagose $666,000.00   Ms Una Jagose $665,000.00  
13 Inland Revenue Department Ms Naomi Ferguson $657,000.00   Ms Naomi Ferguson $674,000.00  
14 New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Mr Peter Chrisp  $651,000.00   Mr Peter Chrisp  $638,000.00  
15 University of Otago Prof. Harlene Hayne $644,000.00   Prof. Harlene Hayne $644,000.00  
16 State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services Mr Peter Hughes $630,000.00   Mr Peter Hughes $630,000.00  
17 Oranga Tamariki—Ministry for Children Mrs Gráinne Moss $628,000.00   Mrs Gráinne Moss $647,000.00  
18 Financial Markets Authority Mr Rob Everett $628,000.00   Mr Rob Everett $615,000.00  
19 Canterbury DHB Mr David Meates $613,000.00 Also responsible for West Coast DHB  Mr David Meates $607,000.00 Also responsible for West Coast DHB 
20 HLC Ltd (previously named Hobsonville Land Company)  Mr Chris Aiken  $612,000.00   Mr Chris Aiken  $471,000.00  
21 Ministry of Justice Mr Andrew Kibblewhite  $603,000.00 Annualised based on 150 days  Mr Andrew Bridgman $606,000.00  
22 Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Mr Brook Barrington  $603,000.00 Annualised based on 215 days  Mr Andrew Kibblewhite $611,000.00  
23 University of Canterbury Prof. Cheryl de la Rey  $594,000.00 Annualised based on 150 days (Estimate) Dr Rod Carr $662,000.00  
24 Victoria University of Wellington Prof. Grant Guilford $587,000.00   Prof. Grant Guilford $587,000.00  
25 Ministry for Primary Industries Mr Ray Smith  $572,000.00 Annualised based on 242 days Mr Martyn Dunne $592,000.00  
26 Ministry of Education Ms Iona Holsted $568,000.00   Ms Iona Holsted $597,000.00  
27 Ministry of Social Development Ms Debbie Power $566,000.00 Annualised based on 147 days  Mr Brendan Boyle $677,000.00  
28 Counties-Manukau DHB Fepuleai Margie Apa  $565,000.00 Annualised based on 301 days  ACTING (Dr Gloria Johnson) $499,000.00  
29 Tertiary Education Commission  Mr Tim Fowler  $561,000.00   Mr Tim Fowler  $557,000.00  
30 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Ms Carolyn Tremain  $555,000.00   ACTING (Ms Carolyn Tremain) $560,000.00  
31 New Zealand Tourism Board (Tourism New Zealand)  Mr Stephen England-Hall  $550,000.00   Mr Stephen England-Hall  $536,000.00  
32 Public Trust  Ms Glenys Talivai  $549,000.00 Annualised based on 105 days Mr Robert Smith  $537,000.00  
33 Deputy State Services Commissioner (and Ms Power was also Chief Executive) ACTING (Mr John Ombler)  $546,000.00 Annualised based on 147 days  Ms Debbie Power $533,000.00  
34 Auckland University of Technology  Mr Derek McCormack  $545,000.00   Mr Derek McCormack  $545,000.00  
35 Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Chris Seed  $545,000.00 Annualised based on 150 days (Estimate) Mr Brook Barrington $630,000.00  
36 Capital and Coast DHB ACTING (Ms Julie Patterson)  $535,000.00   ACTING (Ms Julie Patterson) $365,000.00 Annualised based on 20 days
37 Callaghan Innovation Ms Victoria Crone $533,000.00 Estimate Ms Victoria Crone $529,000.00  
38 Southern DHB Mr Chris Fleming $531,000.00 Estimate Mr Chris Fleming $520,000.00  
39 Department of Internal Affairs Mr Paul James  $528,000.00 Annualised based on 273 days  Mr Colin MacDonald $666,000.00  
40 Ministry of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield  $528,000.00   Dr Ashley Bloomfield $256,000.00 Annualised based on 20 days
41 Department of Corrections ACTING (Ms Christine Stevenson)  $524,000.00 Annualised based on 147 days  Mr Ray Smith $563,000.00  
42 MidCentral DHB Mrs Kathryn Cook $523,000.00   Mrs Kathryn Cook $516,000.00  
43 Northland DHB Dr Nick Chamberlain $523,000.00   Dr Nick Chamberlain $523,000.00  
44 Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Mr Andrew Crisp  $523,000.00 Annualised based on 196 days      Established 1st August 2018
45 Fire and Emergency New Zealand Mr Rhys Jones $519,000.00   Mr Rhys Jones $503,000.00  
46 University of Waikato Prof. Neil Quigley $517,000.00   Prof. Neil Quigley $515,000.00  
47 Ministry for the Environment Ms Vicky Robertson $513,000.00   Ms Vicky Robertson $496,000.00  
48 Massey University  Prof. Jan Thomas  $506,000.00   Prof. Jan Thomas  $506,000.00  
49 Hawke’s Bay DHB Dr Kevin Snee $504,000.00   Dr Kevin Snee $504,000.00  
50 Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Board  Mr Geraint Martin  $500,000.00   Mr Geraint Martin  $500,000.00  
51 Bay of Plenty DHB Ms Helen Mason $486,000.00   Ms Helen Mason $477,000.00  
52 Ministry of Defence Ms Helene Quilter $484,000.00   Ms Helene Quilter $483,000.00  
53 Waikato DHB ACTING (Mr Neville Hablous)  $477,000.00 Annualised based on 65 days  INTERIM (Mr Derek Wright) $473,000.00 Annualised based on 258 days
54 New Zealand Qualifications Authority  Dr Karen Poutasi $466,000.00 Estimate Dr Karen Poutasi $461,000.00  
55 Department of Conservation Mr Lou Sanson $464,000.00   Mr Lou Sanson $461,000.00  
56 New Zealand Lotteries Commission  Mr Chris Lyman  $459,000.00   Mr Chris Lyman  $450,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days
57 New Zealand Security Intelligence Service Ms Rebecca Kitteridge $452,000.00   Ms Rebecca Kitteridge $463,000.00 Annualised based on 276 days
58 Earthquake Commission Mr Sid Miller $452,000.00   Mr Sid Miller $443,000.00  
59 Government Communications Security Bureau Mr Andrew Hampton $443,000.00   Mr Andrew Hampton $444,000.00 Annualised based on 276 days
60 Te Puni Kōkiri - Ministry of Māori Development Ms Michelle Hippolite $442,000.00   Ms Michelle Hippolite $444,000.00  
61 Ministry of Transport Mr Peter Mersi $434,000.00   Mr Peter Mersi $437,000.00  
62 Nelson Marlborough DHB Dr Peter Bramley $433,000.00   Dr Peter Bramley $433,000.00  
63 Statistics New Zealand Ms Liz MacPherson $428,000.00   Ms Liz MacPherson $404,000.00  
64 Pharmaceutical Management Agency Ms Sarah Fitt $427,000.00   Ms Sarah Fitt $427,000.00 Annualised based on 176 days
65 Health Quality and Safety Commission  Dr Janice Wilson  $423,000.00   Dr Janice Wilson  $415,000.00  
66 Clerk of the House of Representatives Mr David Wilson $423,000.00   Mr David Wilson $410,000.00  
67 Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa—Pike River Recovery Agency Mr David Gawn $418,000.00   Mr David Gawn $418,000.00 Annualised based on 151 days
68 Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Hon Te Ururoa Flavell  $416,000.00 Annualised based on 307 days (Estimate) Dr Jim Mather $412,000.00  
69 Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand Mr Graeme Harris $416,000.00   Mr Graeme Harris $414,000.00  
70 Worksafe New Zealand  Ms Nicole Rosie  $416,000.00   Ms Nicole Rosie  $407,000.00  
71 Education New Zealand Mr Grant McPherson $415,000.00   Mr Grant McPherson $403,000.00  
72 Environmental Protection Authority Dr Allan Freeth $413,000.00   Dr Allan Freeth $409,000.00  
73 Manukau Institute of Technology  Mr Gerald Gilmore  $406,000.00   Mr Gerald Gilmore  $406,000.00  
74 Commerce Commission Ms Adrienne Meikle  $404,000.00   Ms Adrienne Meikle  $405,000.00 Annualised based on 55 days (E)
75 Education Review Office Mr Nicholas Pole $402,000.00   Mr Nicholas Pole $405,000.00  
76 Lincoln University  ACTING (Prof. Bruce McKenzie)  $401,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days  ACTING (Prof. James McWha)  $433,000.00 Annualised based on 96 days
77 Ara Institute of Canterbury  Mr Tony Gray  $400,000.00   Mr Tony Gray  $400,000.00 Annualised based on 300 days
78 Sport New Zealand  Mr Peter Miskimmin  $400,000.00 Estimate Mr Peter Miskimmin  $396,000.00  
79 Chief Ombudsman Mr Peter Boshier $400,000.00   Mr Peter Boshier $400,000.00  
80 Eastern Institute of Technology  Mr Christopher Collins  $399,000.00 Estimate Mr Christopher Collins  $399,000.00  
81 Taranaki DHB Ms Rosemary Clements $399,000.00   Ms Rosemary Clements $399,000.00  
82 Chief Parliamentary Counsel Ms Fiona Leonard $397,000.00   Ms Fiona Leonard $393,000.00  
83 High Performance Sport New Zealand Ltd Mr Michael Scott $391,000.00   Mr Michael Scott $392,000.00 Annualised based on 160 days
84 Whanganui DHB Mr Russell Simpson $389,000.00   Mr Russell Simpson $388,000.00 Annualised based on 156 days
85 Wellington Institute of Technology / Whitireia Community Polytechnic Mr Chris Gosling $388,000.00   Mr Chris Gosling $388,000.00  
86 Lakes DHB Dr Nick Saville-Wood  $385,000.00 Annualised based on 56 days  Mr Ron Dunham $416,000.00  
87 New Zealand Blood Service  Ms Samantha Cliffe  $378,000.00 Estimate Ms Samantha Cliffe  $360,000.00  
88 Otago Polytechnic  Mr Phil Ker $371,000.00   Mr Phil Ker $369,000.00  
89 Unitec Institute of Technology ACTING (Ms Merran Davis)  $371,000.00   ACTING (Ms Merran Davis) $365,000.00 Annualised based on 17 days
90 Serious Fraud Office Ms Julie Read $371,000.00   Ms Julie Read $356,000.00  
91 Ministry for Culture and Heritage Ms Bernadette Cavanagh  $367,000.00 Annualised based on 150 days  Mr Paul James $391,000.00  
92 Electricity Authority Mr James Stevenson-Wallace  $366,000.00 Annualised based on 287 days Mr Carl Hansen $390,000.00  
93 Land Information New Zealand ACTING (Ms Lisa Barrett)  $365,000.00 Annualised based on 308 days  Mr Andrew Crisp $491,000.00  
94 Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Dr Leon de Wet Fourie $362,000.00   Dr Leon de Wet Fourie $362,000.00  
95 Wairarapa DHB ACTING (Mr Craig Climo)  $358,000.00 Annualised based on 104 days Ms Adri Isbister $331,000.00  
96 Broadcasting Commission (New Zealand On Air) Ms Jane Wrightson $358,000.00   Ms Jane Wrightson $358,000.00  
97 General Manager of the Parliamentary Service Mr Rafael Gonzalez-Montero  $358,000.00 Annualised based on 154 days  Mr David Stevenson $371,000.00  
98 New Zealand Customs Service ACTING (Mr Bill Perry)  $355,000.00 Annualised based on 147 days  ACTING (Ms Christine Stevenson) $411,000.00  
99 Te Arawhiti — Office for Māori Crown Relations  ACTING (Ms Lil Anderson)  $355,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days      Established 1st January 2019
100 Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārang Prof. Wiremu Doherty $350,000.00   Prof. Wiremu Doherty $350,000.00  
101 Health Research Council of New Zealand  Prof. Kathryn McPherson  $350,000.00   Prof. Kathryn McPherson  $350,000.00  
102 Southern Institute of Technology  Ms Penelope Simmonds  $348,000.00   Ms Penelope Simmonds  $344,000.00  
103 Social Investment Agency ACTING (Ms Dorothy Adams) $347,000.00   ACTING (Ms Dorothy Adams) $338,000.00  
104 Universal College of Learning Dr Amanda Lynn  $345,000.00 Annualised based on 287 days Ms Leeza Boyce $373,000.00  
105 Maritime New Zealand  Mr Keith Manch  $340,000.00 Estimate Mr Keith Manch  $334,000.00  
106 Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology  Mr Liam Sloan  $339,000.00   Mr Liam Sloan  $265,000.00 Annualised based on 266 days 
107 Open Polytechnic of New Zealand  ACTING (Dr Caroline Seelig)  $339,000.00 Estimate Dr Caroline Seelig  $339,000.00  
108 New Zealand Antarctic Institute (Antarctica New Zealand)  Ms Sarah Williamson  $339,000.00 Annualised based on 14 days Mr Peter Beggs  $335,000.00  
109 South Canterbury DHB Mr Nigel Trainor $338,000.00 Estimate Mr Nigel Trainor $330,000.00  
110 Tairawhiti DHB Mr Jim Green $338,000.00   Mr Jim Green $338,000.00  
111 Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Rt Hon Simon Upton $337,000.00   Rt Hon Simon Upton $335,000.00 Annualised based on 258 days
112 Waikato Institute of Technology ACTING (Mr David Christiansen)  $336,000.00 Annualised based on 322 days Mr Mark Flowers $429,000.00  
113 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority Mr Andrew Casely $336,000.00   Mr Andrew Casely $328,000.00  
114 New Zealand Film Commission Ms Annabelle Sheehan  $327,000.00   Ms Annabelle Sheehan $327,000.00 Annualised based on 174 days
115 Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Mr Stephen Wainright  $323,000.00   Mr Stephen Wainright $323,000.00  
116 Te Wānanga o Raukawa Ms Mereana Selby $312,000.00   Ms Mereana Selby $299,000.00  
117 Ministry for Pacific Peoples Laulu Mac Leauanae $302,000.00   Laulu Mac Leauanae $301,000.00 Annualised based on 363 days
118 Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Board  Mr Andrew Coleman  $300,000.00   Mr Andrew Coleman  $300,000.00  
119 Health Promotions Agency Mr Clive Nelson $299,000.00   Mr Clive Nelson $293,000.00  
120 Hutt Valley DHB ACTING (Ms Dale Oliff) $297,000.00   ACTING (Ms Dale Oliff) $296,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days
121 Accreditation Council (International Accreditation New Zealand) Dr Llewellyn Richards  $296,000.00   Dr Llewellyn Richards  $289,000.00  
122 Ministry for Women Ms Renee Graham $284,000.00 Annualised based on 242 days  Ms Renee Graham $285,000.00  
123 New Zealand Symphony Orchestra  Mr Christopher Blake  $277,000.00   Mr Christopher Blake  $277,000.00  
124 Northland Polytechnic  ACTING (Mr Wayne Jackson)  $276,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days  Dr Mark Ewen  $245,000.00  
125 Tai Poutini Polytechnic Mr Alex Cabrera $270,000.00 Estimate Mr Alex Cabrera $257,000.00  
126 Telarc Ltd  Mr Philip Cryer  $264,000.00   Mr Philip Cryer  $264,000.00  
127 Takeovers Panel Mr Andrew Hudson $263,000.00   Mr Andrew Hudson $263,000.00 Annualised based on 247 days
128 Western Institute of Technology Mr John Snook  $258,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days  Ms Barbara George $254,000.00  
129 External Reporting Board Mr Warren Allen $256,000.00   Mr Warren Allen $251,000.00  
130 Transport Accident Investigation Commission  Ms Lois Hutchinson  $255,000.00   Ms Lois Hutchinson  $255,000.00  
131 Real Estate Agents Authority  Mr Kevin Lampen-Smith  $248,000.00   Mr Kevin Lampen-Smith  $246,000.00  
132 New Zealand Artificial Limb Service  Mr Sean Gray  $245,000.00   Mr Sean Gray  $245,000.00  
133 Te Reo Whakapuaki Irirangi (Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency) Mr Larry Parr $230,000.00 Estimate Mr Larry Parr $221,000.00  
134 Human Rights Commission  ACTING (Muaausa Pele Walker)  $226,000.00 Annualised based on 181 days  Ms Cynthia Brophy  $257,000.00  
135 Drug Free Sport New Zealand Mr Nick Paterson $209,000.00   Mr Nick Paterson $209,000.00 Annualised based on 335 days
136 Social Workers Registration Board Ms Sarah Clark $209,000.00   Ms Sarah Clark $207,000.00  
137 Te Taura Whiri I Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) Mr Ngāhiwi Apanui $203,000.00   Mr Ngāhiwi Apanui $203,000.00  
138 Broadcasting Standards Authority Ms Belinda Moffat $198,000.00   Ms Belinda Moffat $190,000.00  
139 New Zealand Food Innovation Auckland Ltd Ms Alexandra Allan $183,000.00   Ms Alexandra Allan $175,000.00  
140 New Zealand Walking Access Commission Mr Ric Cullinane  $181,000.00 Annualised based on 300 days Mr Eric Pyle $157,000.00  
    Total $62,009,000.00   Total $60,570,000.00  
    Average $442,921.43   Average $438,913.04  

Taxpayers can also download the table as a spreadsheet to sort by type – such as Tertiary Education, DHBs, and so on.

The publication of this Rich List comes after the State Services Commission agreed to release this year's Senior Pay Report using specific pay rates rather than salary 'bands', in light of correspondence from the Taxpayers' Union and the Ombudsman.

Figures relate to the 2018/19 and 2017/18 financial years and were provided by the State Services Commission's Senior Pay Report. The Report uses estimates in cases where the final remuneration level is not yet determined.

CEOs that did not hold their position for the full year have had their salary figures annualised by the Union.

The list excludes local government (ratepayer-funded) chief executives.

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