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Exposed: The shocking $6.2m bill to rebrand fire services

Graphic

The $6,254,064 cost of rebranding New Zealand’s fire services is a shocking indictment on the merger of rural and urban services, which was meant to save taxpayer money.

Rebrand breakdown

The spending figures were tabled to select committee this month and can be found on page seven of this document. The expense covers signage and uniforms – not the restructure process itself. The rebrand is ongoing, so figures will increase.

“We have consistently opposed government rebrands, which always suck resources away from core services. But the price of this rebrand has left us stunned – we’ve never seen anything like it. This money could have paid a year’s salary for 145 trainee firefighters.

And the culture of waste within FENZ isn’t limited to rebranding. Delving deeper into the Select Committee report reveals further incredible expenses.

  1. In the previous two years, FENZ spent $31 million and $32 million on external contractors. (p45)
  2. In the previous two years, FENZ spent $1.7 million and $2.1 million on public relations/communications personnel. (p36)
  3. FENZ has spent $122,731 sponsoring an episode of TV Three’s “The Block”. (p35)

This absurd level of spending reinforces the findings of our latest research report Cash to Ashes, which found that FENZ expenditure is skyrocketing, as it can spend its insurance levies without Budgetary scrutiny. The funding model for FENZ is simply not fit for purpose. We’re calling on Minister Tracey Martin to scrap the fire levy entirely, and set a reined-in budget for FENZ through the standard Budget process.

Revealed: Chris Hipkins forces school to open with a roll of zero

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that Tuturumuri School in the Wairarapa is currently open and employing four staff – despite having zero students. The Union tells this story in video form below.

This revelation is the result of a tip-off from a concerned taxpayer. The school is costing taxpayers $1,300 a day, and the school confirms two full time staff (a teacher and an aide) are required to be on site each day. Two part-timers (a caretaker and cleaner) are also still on the payroll.

After the school’s roll dwindled from seven at the beginning of last year down to two, the board voted to close the school. However, the Minister of Education has stepped in at the last minute to insist on yet another round of consultation (despite the school having gone through a similar process in 2018).

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke, who visited the school last week, says: “The situation at Tuturumuri is bizarre. Two staff members are forced to show up each day at a ghost school, twiddling their thumbs while they wait for the Minister to make a decision. This is a case of provincial politics overriding common-sense. Clearly, the school has an important place in the region’s history, but now it’s time to turn off the taxpayer-funded life support.”

After contacting the Minister’s office, the Union received the following response:

“After consideration, I agreed to close it two years ago but was lobbied heavily to reconsider, including by National Party MPs, and I am doing that. There is a statutory process that must be followed when consideration is being given to closing a school. While this process is underway, the school remains legally open and the staff remain employed. I received a report on a potential closure from the Ministry of Education at the end of last week. It does not need to go to Cabinet.

The Union has requested further information about costs and the Ministry’s consultation process. We await a response.

Report: Reformed fire service fails to deliver promised savings

The 2017 amalgamation of urban and rural fire services has delivered huge cost increases for taxpayers, finds a new report from the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Cash to Ashes: The inefficiency of fire service reforms can be read here.

Graph

Key findings:

  1. The merger and centralisation of urban and rural fire services was meant to produce $47.7 million in efficiency savings by 2021/22. In practice, there have been no efficiency savings, and Fire and Emergency NZ (FENZ) has cost taxpayers $338 million more in its first three years than was forecast to Cabinet in 2016.
  2. $163 million of the $205 million increase in forecast expenditure between 2017/18 and 2018/19 was dedicated to ‘Support Services’ – i.e. back office bureaucracy.
  3. FENZ has increased spending by $43 million on ‘communications and computers’ over three years.
  4. FENZ is spending $27.4 million on external consultants over three years.
  5. FENZ is ‘gold plating’ its infrastructure. New stations in Lake Okareka and Wanaka cost $1.9 million and $4 million respectively, far more than comparable volunteer stations in Australia. FENZ has even opened a double-bay station, complete with training space, laundry, and kitchenette, in Tinui, a town of 20 people.
  6. FENZ spent $17 million responding to the Pigeon Valley Forest fire – more than 17 times more than the response to the remarkably similar Hira Forest fire in 1981.
  7. FENZ does not have to justify wasteful spending to Cabinet, as it collects revenue through the fire insurance levy, bypassing the Budget bid process.

Cash to Ashes recommends that FENZ be required to go through the scrutiny of the Budget bid process to secure its funding. The report also proposes abolishing the fire insurance levy entirely, and collecting revenue for FENZ from general taxation.

Former National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield, ONZM, consulted on the report. Reflecting on its findings, he says:

“The annual rural fire costs in 2015/16, to local government rate payers, was $29 million. In addition the 2017 PWC report concluded that the 2015/16 expenditure of $389 million was appropriate for the NZ Fire Service functions and output responsibilities. Following the merger of urban and rural fire services on 1st July 2017, the latest FENZ forecast of expenditure is showing a hefty spend of $617 million in 2020/21. The FENZ Board, in just year four of this merger, are planning an additional $228 million more than the 2015/16 budget. The merger was intended to produce savings and deliver cost effective benefits to all New Zealanders. However these savings and benefits are now disappearing in a puff of smoke unless the Minister gets involved. On behalf of all New Zealanders the Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, must take urgent steps to ensure FENZ delivers the savings identified by Government in 2016.”

Mr Dudfield also joined Duncan Garner on The AM Show to discuss the report.

In a foreword to the report, Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton asks, “Why should those who insure be the ones that fund FENZ? Everyone benefits from FENZ services, not just those who take responsibility to insure themselves.”

Wuhan Virus: New Zealanders left high and dry as Embassy staff holiday – Kiwis told to call WHO

Kiwi taxpayers in China have no one to turn to with New Zealand Embassy Officials having remained on holiday despite the Wuhan Virus turning New Zealanders’ lives in the province upside down.  The Embassy in Beijing remains closed for Chinese New Year.

This afternoon the Taxpayers’ Union received a tip-off that Kiwis in China cannot get a hold of any of the hundreds of New Zealand officials who work in the country.  “We called the Embassy and couldn’t believe that at 1pm Beijing time, despite the developing situation, the Embassy is closed,” says Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union.

“While Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs works with the Chinese Government to evacuate Australian citizens from Wuhan, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs officials are quite literally still on holiday. It’s an incredible situation given events over recent days.”

“What is the point of a diplomatic post, if it’s not open when New Zealanders actually need it?”

“In Australia the Foreign Affairs Minister is front and centre in efforts to extricate Australians.  Here, not a word from MFAT or our Minister.”

“If you call our Embassy in Beijing, you are told it is closed for Chinese New Year, and to contact the MFAT’s emergency line based in Wellington.  We called the line asking who on the ground Kiwis stuck in Wuhan could contact.  MFAT advised us that New Zealanders should contact the World Health Organisation, or the New Zealand Ministry of Health.”

“According to MFAT, $50 million of taxpayers’ money was used for ‘elegant and sustainable new building to be the heart of its official presence in China’ on ‘a quiet leafy street in Beijing’. But at the very time New Zealanders most need help, the doors are locked.”

“And it’s not just people stuck in Chinese provinces.  We are hearing of widescale cancellations of orders from China for New Zealand goods and last minute cancelations of tour group bookings following the Chinese Government’s travel restrictions. These are the very officials Kiwi businesses rely on for advice.”

“If the sample of businesses we have spoken to is reflective of the potential economic impact, MBIE and MFAT should be hands on deck, not on holiday.”

“Minister Winston Peters, and the Ambassador Clare Fearnley, need to end their holiday and get back to work.  Chinese New Year or not.”

Sources:

Australian response: https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-australian-government-extricate-nationals-trapped-in-wuhan-health-news/b236a1dc-e019-46a0-a063-348bf236cb25

Cost of Embassy $50 million source https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12179737

Quote from MFAT website: “Our place in Beijing” https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/north-asia/china/new-zealand-embassy/our-place-in-beijing

Embassy contact details: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/countries-and-regions/north-asia/china/new-zealand-embassy/contactfull

ENDS

Taxpayers’ Union submits design proposal for Beehive artwork

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has formally submitted its design proposal for a 3.5-metre artwork in the Beehive entrance, pictured below.

Artwork
The Union will refuse the $15,000 commission fee should its submission be chosen.

Perfectly placed to greet MPs and Ministers arriving for work, Don’t Waste It serves as a warning to would-be money-wasters in the heart of government.
 
For those New Zealanders not lucky enough to earn a politician’s salary, a five dollar note represents a meal, or the bus fare for a job interview. That small sheet of polypropylene can be the difference between hunger and happiness, poverty and opportunity.
 
Taxpayers understand the value of money, because they work for it. But too often, politicians take money from us only to fritter it away on pet projects, political fads, and minor extravagances. The taxpaying public can never be too firm in its opposition to government waste. It is in this spirit that we submit our proposal.

Artwork 2

Christchurch City Council Hands Out $96,000 in Goody Bag Perks

The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union can reveal that the Christchurch City Council spent $96,459 on induction perks for new and returning councillors and community board members following the 2019 local election.

One of the items included in the goody bags was a brand-new $2,407 Dell tablet. Councillors could choose to swap their ratepayer-funded iPad Pro for the more expensive device — the thing is, these iPads were actually purchased as late as 2017. The Council is indulging in flashy new devices every electoral cycle.

Other technology perks included $257 keyboard cases and extra power adaptors. This is in addition to a hefty $990 annual 'allowance', most of which is intended to be spent on wifi and phone calls. It's not clear whether the Council actually checks in on how this money is used.

While residents languish under soaring rates, elected officials are enjoying unnecessary lavish perks that most ratepayers couldn't afford to purchase for themselves.

This information was obtained under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. While the Taxpayers' Union also collected induction perk data from Wellington City and Auckland Council, it's difficult to accurately compare the figures, as other councils may not have included technology provided in their responses. 

Revealed: Civil Aviation Authority's Sky-High Catering Costs


The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union can reveal that the Civil Aviation Authority spent over $232,000 on catering between July 2018 and June 2019.

An annual catering expense of $232,000 is around $1000 every single working day of that year.

Living costs in New Zealand are spiralling out of control and Kiwis are desperate for tax relief. Rather than making Government departments more efficient, we're seeing free lunches rolled out in public entities.

Hard-working taxpayers don't get free lunches. Are these bureaucrats really more deserving?

The Taxpayers' Union contacted a CAA employee to further enquire about the catering expenses. Regrettably, she was away from her desk for a — presumably catered — CAA function.

The Taxpayers' Union is waiting on further details.

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.

Rubbish tax is set to cost families – and the environment

Louis HoulbrookeThis op-ed is written by Louis Houlbrooke, Communications Officer at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

The wistful days of Jacinda Ardern’s “no new taxes” pledge are long gone.

Last week, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage proposed lifting landfill levies from the current $10 per tonne to $60 per tonne by 2023.

Like higher fuel taxes and road user charges, Sage’s proposed rubbish tax will eat directly into family budgets, through more expensive rubbish bags, higher rates, fees at the landfill, and costs passed on by businesses.

Her tax is expected to swell government and council revenues by $220 million a year, or more than $120 per household. And that’s on average – the tax will hit harder for larger families who produce more waste and tend to be poorer. By itself, the cost could be tolerable, but it comes on top of other new taxes, higher rates, and generally increasing living costs.

Intensifying poverty is the obvious downside to any tax, but a rubbish tax has further consequences – results that fly right in the face of Sage’s environmental focus.

Despite the bad rap landfills get, their use is often a best-case scenario. Take the five million-plus mattresses on which Kiwis currently sleep: these will not last forever, and they cannot be recycled. It is simply irresponsible to punish New Zealanders for sending these mattress to a landfill when the next-most-likely alternative is dumping it at your local park, river, or roadside.

Even in the case of rubbish that can be recycled, we cannot rely on wishful thinking about flawed, real-world human behaviour. The bane of illegal dumping faced by councils up and down the country suggests that even now, the ‘tidy Kiwi’ stereotype doesn’t hold up the way we like to imagine.

Have you ever called your council to get rubbish on your street cleared? Good luck with that. It’s not hard to guess what will happen when littering is made even more attractive.

Finally, there’s the question of what happens to the revenue that is collected. While half will be sucked directly into the budgets of local councils, the remaining funds go to the Government’s ‘Waste Minimisation Fund’.

This slush fund pays out large quantities of our money to companies embarking on eco-friendly projects. Recipients include large businesses like The Warehouse, Z Energy, and Fletcher, sometimes taking millions at a time for projects like tyre recovery and recycling old TVs.

There is no clear-cut way to judge which of these projects are mere PR stunts, and if they actually need funding or could have simply proceeded without taxpayer help.

So far, the fund is limited to $10 or $12 million a year, and has escaped serious political scrutiny. If Sage gets her way and the size of the fund balloons, it will need close monitoring as businesses up and down the country judge how to get their hands on this dosh.

In other words, we can expect the Government to have powerful allies as it pushes its tax through Parliament. Those families bearing the cost will need to push back hard – and the Taxpayers’ Union will be joining them. Submissions on the proposal are now open to the public.


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