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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.

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.

Wellington City Council’s “living wage” badge is a waste of money

Town Hall

The Taxpayers’ Union is questioning why the Wellington City Council pays $4,000 a year to the left wing “Living Wage” campaign.

According to an official information response, the price includes $2,500 in annual accreditation fees, plus $1,500 in administration fees.

The only thing the City Council gets for this spending is a pat on the back from unions on the Left. It’s ratepayer money down the drain and back-door funding of a political group.

Wellington City Council isn’t like a private businesses that needs PR stunts to compete for attention – it already has a captive customer base of ratepayers. If the Council wants to inflate its employees’ wages, it can simply do it. There’s no need to pay for a gold sticker.

The overall plan to implement the Living Wage is expected to cost ratepayers $3.4 million over 10 years.

Paying a group of activists to lobby other councils is wrong. New Mayor Andy Foster should cut this spend.

Here is the full official information response from Wellington City Council:

Dear Mr Houlbrooke,

Thank you for your email dated 27 August 2019 in which you requested information relating to the Accreditations held by the Council and the annual costs associated with those Accreditations.

Further to my decision email dated 24 September 2019, I can now provide you with the information we have collated. Please note: only two of the Council Controlled Organisations hold accreditations. These are provided below.

The Council holds the following Accreditations:

New Zealand Immigration (Accredited Employer).

The accreditation is valid for 2 years and each renewal costs $600 + GST

Living Wage (Living Wage Employer Annual Accreditation).

Annual accreditation fees are $2,173.91 + GST, and Administration fees of $1,500 (no GST payable)

Building Consent Authority Accreditation.

(Please Note: Accreditation is a mandatory requirement for the Council in order to receive and process building consents. Accreditation fees are paid every two years)

The fees for the period May 2019 to May 2021 are $30,647 + GST

Pool Safe

Annual fees are $750.00 including GST for each of the Council’s 7 pools.

Food Act Accreditation

8 Public Health Officers are accredited and renewal is required every three years at a cost of $621.04 + GST ($77.63 per officer)

Wellington Zoo holds the following Accreditations:

Be Accessible

No annual fees

Qualmark

Annual fees are $2,248.25 + GST

CarboNZero Certification

Annual fees are $6,200 +GST

Fair Trade Workplace

No annual fees

Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia Animal Welfare Accreditation

Annual fees are $1,363 + GST

Zealandia holds the following Accreditations:

CarboNZero Certification

Annual renewal fees are $5,582 + GST

Qualmark Gold Award

Annual fee is $1,181 + GST

Be Accessible

No annual fees

 

Op-ed: Why is Labour struggling to deliver?

The two year media reviews of the Labour led coalition agree it is struggling to get enough runs on the board.   Why is this so?

After nine years of opposition it can be expected there would be a running in period.   However that doesn’t adequately explain why they are delivering less than they had hoped.

While it is natural to expect Labour would have a modest understanding of how business works, it was a surprise to me also, that far too few Ministers actually understand how Government works.  So many don’t understand the mechanisms of government which means they failed to make best use of their time in opposition.   Not only that, its apparent they don’t understand the most important law of all – the law of unintended consequences.

In opposition I had several meetings with Phil Twyford and found him to be personable and passionate about his policy areas of transport and housing.   As a Minister however he has come across as arrogant, dismissing Treasury officials early on for their questioning of his Kiwibuild targets.   “Wet behind the ears” he said.   That may or may not have been true, but it is now apparent Treasury wasn’t pessimistic enough.

The Auckland tram (or light rail) project is a true “train wreck” in public policy making.   Good journalism from Stuff and others including the Herald’s Matthew Hooton, reveal a picture of chaotic decision making.   Early on Transport Minister Twyford transferred responsibility for the City-airport link from Auckland Transport to NZTA.   Then an “unsolicited bid” for a quite different proposition emerged from the NZ Super Fund together with a Canadian infrastructure fund (CDPQ Infra), jointly known as NZ Infra, which NZTA was asked to evaluate.

Apparently NZTA decided this proposal lacked merit and continued with its tram project along Dominion Road.  Various business entities invested in the NZTA concept in anticipation of bidding for work.

The situation now is the Ministry of Transport and The Treasury are going to evaluate both concepts and Cabinet will decide their preference early next year.  They will need to also get NZ First on board, because the project is not part of the coalition agreement.

To further complicate matters Hooten claims that the recently appointed NZTA chair Sir Brian Roche, was informally involved with the NZ Infra proposal along with Sir Michael Cullen at its beginning.   He is said to be very enthusiastic about it.

While Brian Roche (a personal friend) is well qualified to navigate his way through this quagmire, the integrity of government procurement processes have taken a serious reputational hit.

Minister Twyford has criticised previous NZTA actions regarding NZ Infra.   However it appears NZTA officials repeatedly asked the Minister to clarify the project’s objectives as to whether the focus was in getting to and from the airport in the fastest possible manner or having a tram/train to the airport, which would allow for housing densification.

Twyford thinks we can have both and has referenced London’s tube service from Heathrow to London.  I have used the regular tube from Heathrow to the city, which was a nightmare after a long flight and takes about 50 minutes.  There is a fast 15 minutes service from Heathrow to Paddington which leaves every 15 minutes from Heathrow and has no stops until it reaches Paddington.

I doubt a service every 15 minutes from Auckland going non stop to say Britomart, would be justified by the numbers of customers, so he really need to make up his mind about what’s required.  And while its very easy to publicly slag off officials who cannot publicly answer back, I think it is an unwise practice.  Officials can find ways of biting Ministerial critics.

The billion extra trees, which may or may not be additional to what the private sector would have planted, has also created picture of confused policy making.   The main justification appears to be to create carbon soaks to help NZ achieve the net carbon emission goal by 2050.

As I understand it pine forests will only buy us time over the first 30 years because once harvested they will have to be replanted.   Many in the rural sector don’t like the idea of the landscape being dominated by pine trees and say it will destroy local communities.

Both NZ First and Labour don’t like land being sold to foreigners, but we now have this strange situation where the Green Minister Land Information has allowed Japanese company Pan Pac Forest Products to buy around 20,000 hectares of land for forestry blocks.  This decision followed from a 2018 law change which allowed the Minister to by-pass the Overseas Investment Office, the agency responsible for regulating foreign direct investment into New Zealand.  Other land has being sold to foreigners who want to take advantage of this Government’s policies in respect of climate change and forestry.

As National’s Paul Goldsmith said: Foreign investors can’t buy farm land to farm, or to convert to horticulture or vineyards, but they can buy productive farm land on a massive scale to put into forestry blocks”.  He said “this is creating massive distortions in land use decisions in rural New Zealand”.

In defence Winston Peters said forestry is good for marginal land.   But it’s is not clear all the sales to foreigners are for land that is marginal for pastoral farming or horticulture.   Meantime Shane Jones has indicated he is sensitive to rural concerns about the impact of forestry on their communities.

This saga indicates a Government that is not thinking through conflicting goals in a rigorous manner.   If a National Government had made these forestry decisions there would have been a ballistic response from the parties now in the coalition.

Barrie Saunders is the Chairman of the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.  This opinion piece original appeared at https://barriesaunders.wordpress.com/

Op-ed: For the centre-right to win elections, they have to turn up

The following op-ed is written by Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams and is also available on the NZ Herald website (Premium) here.

Conventional wisdom says oppositions don't win elections – those in power lose them.

So much for conventional wisdom. If ever someone in power had set themselves up for a voter revolt, it was Phil Goff. After promising to eliminate wasteful spending and keep rates under control, his new local fuel tax, targeted rates, and waste charges worked to extend Len Brown's legacy of costly council bloat.

The undercurrent of ratepayer resentment had become a torrent of vitriol, judging by jeers at town hall debates. Going into the campaign, Phil Goff's net favourable/unfavourable rating according to internal National Party polling was negative 30 per cent – even lower than the hapless (now former) Wellington Mayor Justin Lester.

And yet Phil Goff's victory on Saturday was a trouncing. He brought in more than twice the votes of his closest challenger. Clearly, even with a deeply unpopular status quo, voters expect a palatable alternative to rally behind.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can see John Tamihere failed this basic test. Why would Aucklanders on the centre-right rally around a former Labour Minister, risking betrayal and disappointment? And why would more moderate voters elect a man who casually drops Nazi slogans into election debates?

Voters who this year should have led a ratepayer revolt opted to keep a clear conscience, voting for protest candidates like Craig Lord, or skipping the vote entirely.

Even so-called centre-right ticket "C& R Communities and Residents" could barely get more than a few candidates over the line outside of its Ōrākei stronghold. Its campaign was confused, even going so far as urging candidates not to give any specific commitments on rates and spending, despite this being the key issues it was running on. What should have been its campaign strength, and Goff's weakness, was given away.

Results outside of Auckland for the centre-right weren't much better. Christchurch re-elected the Labour-aligned Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Wellington's National Party-aligned "Wellington Party" failed to fire, and Dunedin elected the Green Party's Aaron Hawkins. In Hamilton a solid centre-right mayoral candidate was sidelined by a contest between two middling ones. The one place a Labour mayor has been booted out, in Wellington, it's in favour of a career councillor who in 2017 stood for New Zealand First.

So where are our palatable centre-right alternatives? Or to make the point more obvious: where the hell is the National Party?

Every central government election since 2002 has proven that the National Party brand is, at the very least, recognisable and palatable for centre-right voters. Faint praise indeed, but this is stellar compared to the performance of hodgepodge local tickets.

The constitutional role of political parties is to identify candidates on behalf of their supporters, to act as a quality control, a signal, and symbol. Without the National Party, every centre-right candidate has to start from nil to build recognition, and a campaign infrastructure.

No wonder the high profile candidates that were urged to stand for the Auckland Mayoralty by senior National Party figures turned it down – the party could not be relied upon to do anything to help them. This is what happened in 2016 to Vic Crone, who was well-meaning but naively talked into standing for Mayor by National Party figures who had no intention of helping her.

Even as someone who has an interest in local government, I struggled to work through the laundry list of candidates to figure out who to vote for. The Taxpayers' Union was bombarded with enquiries from members across the country asking us to issue "voting guides".

Labour and the Greens have long since cottoned on that local government matters, throwing their branding and resources at candidates they deem electable and ideologically sound. It works: On Saturday in Auckland, four Labour-branded councillors were elected, plus 27 local board members.

Those of us on the centre-right might not like the effectiveness of this strategy, but we ought to respect it. If you believe in your cause, why wouldn't you take advantage of the most valuable commodity in marketing – name recognition?

National's refusal to fly its colours in local elections is timidity bordering on negligence. Long suffering ratepayers and businesses in neglected territories from the Far North to Invercargill are more than capable of rallying behind change: they just need to see that choice on the ballot paper.

If National truly believes its principles of limited and accountable government are important, then entering local elections is a moral necessity.

Mike Tana should pay the money back

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on former Porirua Mayor Mike Tana to repay money clocked up on his ratepayer-funded fuel card for personal travel.

The Ernst and Young report released yesterday reveals that, within less than three months, former Porirua Mayor Mike Tana used his ratepayer-funded fuel mileage for 1,820km of personal travel, including five round trips to Palmerston North to transport his son.

Based on the Remuneration Authority’s 73-cent-per-kilometre compensation rate, Mayor Tana would have charged $1,328 in personal mileage to the ratepayer.

This level of private benefit from a ratepayer-funded fuel card is not reasonable. Running small personal errands in the work car is one thing, but if you’re embarking on a three-and-a-half hour drive for family reasons, you’d be pretty bold to charge that to your employer. In this case, the employer is the poor old Porirua ratepayer, and Mayor Tana chose to whack ratepayers not once, but on five separate occasions in just a couple of months.

There’s a simple way for Mayor Tana to clear his reputation: pay the money back. It’s not a huge sum, but it’s the decent thing to do.

Revealed: ‘Indigenous procurement' proposal will punish taxpayers

ScalesThe New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters to veto Cabinet’s proposal to give special preference to iwi and ‘indigenous firms’ during procurement processes.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Buried in MBIE’s briefing to Phil Twyford [para. 27] as incoming Minister for Economic Development is perhaps Cabinet’s maddest idea yet: ‘indigenous procurement’ policies that ‘seek to actively increase government contracting to indigenous firms’.”

“When the Government decides who to hire, its sole consideration should be value for taxpayers. It should not use procurement as a way to do favours for particular groups.”

“Iwi authorities like Ngāi Tahu and Tainui are not little guys in need of a handout. Māori authorities already enjoy a special discounted corporate tax rate. This policy will inflate prices for taxpayers, and punish Kiwi businesses trying to compete fairly for government contracts.”

“Winston Peters always campaigns on ‘one law for all’, but does he mean it? This is a great opportunity for Mr Peters to act as a moderating influence and nip this dodgy idea in the bud.”

Editors' Notes:

The relevant paragraph of the BIM states:

  1. When deciding on procurement, Cabinet agreed that you and the Minister for Māori Development should jointly report back on indigenous procurement policies. Indigenous procurement policies seek to actively increase government contracting to indigenous firms. One option under consideration is to broaden the supplier diversity focus to include other disadvantaged groups (e.g. Pacific firms). We are preparing advice to support you in an initial meeting with the Minister for Māori Development on procurement diversity options.

BREAKING: Government finally pulls pin on controversial Clinton Foundation funding

Clintons

We can reveal that the Government has halted its funding of Clinton Foundation subsidiary the “Clinton Health Access Initiative” following nearly three years of campaigning on the issue by the Taxpayers’ Union.

New Zealand taxpayers, to date, have shovelled more than $10 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Had the Government continued to make payments in accordance with the grant agreement, taxpayers would have been on the hook for millions more.

Soon after Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential election to Donald Trump, many western nations that were funding this diplomatic rort pulled out. Australia stopped its funding in late 2016, but New Zealand was one of the few to continue the claim that the funding was for genuine aid.

Taxpayers will celebrate the decision to finally stop using NZ Aid money to fund this scandal-plagued charity. So too will the nearly 7,000 Kiwis who signed our petition on the issue.

Official Information Act response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade below. 

2019 Jonesie Awards celebrate the worst of government waste

Today at Parliament, the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union hosted the 2019 Jonesie Awards, an Oscars-style ceremony celebrating the best of the worst of government waste.

The Jonesie Awards are our annual celebration and lamentation of the weird and wackiest ways taxpayer money has been wasted in the last 12 months.

The Jonesie Awards are presented with a tongue-in-cheek entertainment Hollywood style ceremony complete with black ties, evening gown, and the Union's lovable mascot 'Porky the Waste-hater' appropriately dressed in a tuxedo.

While we have fun at the Jonesies, there is, of course, a serious underlying message: all of the spending is taxpayer money, time, and sweat. This ceremony is a warning to our malevolent money wasters in Parliament and town halls: rein it in, unless you want a golden porker of your own to mark your disturbing disrespect for taxpayers.

Local Government Nominees

  • Orakei Local Board: Creative grants – gardening for mansion owners and Tinder for the elderly. Property owners in New Zealand’s wealthiest suburbs of Remuera, Orakei, and Mission Bay are being given ratepayer-funded grants of up to $2,000 to cover the cost of pruning trees on their property. This Local Board has also funded online dating workshops for the elderly.
     
  • Palmerston North City Council: Corporate welfare for Toyota New Zealand. Ratepayers in Palmerston North forked out $391,000 to appease the world’s largest car manufacturer after it threatened to move its offices to another city. The decision was made in a closed council session and was only publicised after a Taxpayers’ Union information request.
     
  • Wellington City Council: $21,000 for studying bike lights. The lycra lobby is alive and well in Wellington. Wellington City Council spent $21,750 on not one, but two studies into different brands of bicycle lights. Sixty-one types of bike light were reviewed for battery run-time, light output, ease of charging, lighting modes, and water resistance.
     
  • Auckland Transport: $1.3 million for a doomed ride-sharing app. Auckland Transport produced an-Uber style app to taxi the wealthy citizens of Devonport to the ferry terminal. For each trip, the user pays $2.50, while ratepayers pay a $41 subsidy. The app was hoped to reduce congestion, but a survey shows it is mainly used by former cyclists, walkers, and bus users.
     
  • Joint nomination: Local councils fighting climate change with air miles. Local councils across the country collectively spent $2.4 million on international flights in 2017/18. Auckland Transport flew business class to a “low emissions vehicle workshop” in Madrid, and Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese visited a “Climatorium” in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, Whangarei ratepayers paid for 11 art museum staff to look at architecture in Vienna. All three councils have declared climate emergencies.

WINNER: Palmerston North City Council's corporate welfare for Toyota New Zealand.

Central Government Nominees

  • Hon Nanaia Mahuta: Local Government Minister forgets about ratepayers. When we heard that ratepayer groups could not get a response from the Local Government Minister, let alone a meeting, we dug deeper. An information request revealed that, despite a paycheque of $296,000 to look after the nation’s ratepayers, Nanaia Mahuta has not met with a single ratepayer association. Meanwhile, she is happy to meet with the council bureaucrats paid with ratepayer money.
     
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority: $65,000 for bunker oil energy. A “low emissions vehicle” grant was given to Interislander so it could install electric vehicle chargers on its ferries. The chargers are of course powered the same way as the rest of the boat: with emissions-spewing heavy bunker oil. Other grants totalling $4.5 million were given to companies like The Warehouse, New World, and Vector.
     
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: Fuel price inquiry hypocrisy. The Prime Minister says that New Zealanders are being “ripped off” at the petrol pump, and we agree. But the Commerce Commission investigation she ordered is not allowed to consider the effect of excise tax. So, while the companies take a sliver in profit, Jacinda Ardern gets to keep the 50 per cent of tax that inflates every petrol bill.
     
  • Hon Tracey Martin: for thinking deaf people can’t read. Our Associate Education Minister decided it would be wise to spend $800 of your money on a video of a sign language interpreter. This would make sense for a speech, but it this case, it was to translate one of her written press statements. $800 is our smallest nominated spend, but Jonesie adjudicators were stunned that a Minister evidently thinks deaf people are illiterate too.
     
  • Finance Minister Grant Robertson: $133,000 Wellbeing Budget document. The Government’s annual Budget should set the fiscal tone for all taxpayer spending. The official printed document is usually sparse, but the Wellbeing Budget incorporated glossy graphic designs and photography, blowing out costs by more than 50 percent compared to 2017. The model posing on the Budget’s front cover now lives in Australia, seeking better economic opportunities.

WINNER: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's fuel price inquiry hypocrisy.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Invercargill Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt took home the most heinous ham: the Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in government wast

His feats are new and old.
 
Sir Tim was arrested 33 times as a protestor in the 1960s and ‘70s, before running for Mayor of Waitemata City in 1983, where he unexpectedly won. After famously losing his mayoral chains (literally) twice, he was voted out in 1989. He then failed to get elected as MP for West Auckland, as Auckland Mayor (twice), and as MP for Wellington Central, before in 1993 finally finding the one group of voters who would accept him: the forgiving folk of Invercargill.
 
He famously said, “I don’t care where, as long as I’m Mayor”.
 
But Sir Tim wanted more. The very next year he unsuccessfully ran for Parliament again, was voted out as Mayor, ran for Parliament once more for the Legalise Cannabis party, and finally was welcomed back to the Invercargill mayoralty in 1998, where he has remained ever since.
 
Sir Tim is now a household name, and has supplemented his ratepayer-funded mayoral salary with a range of celebrity gigs, and even receives public money through his positions as ambassador for the Southern Institute of Technology and director for Invercargill Airport.
 
Sir Tim’s career has recent highlights: in 2015, his Council flew four staff members to China to buy Christmas lights, only to bring them home and discover the lights failed to meet New Zealand standards and were scrapped. A replacement set of lights cost ratepayers $250,000.
 
Sir Tim also has the honour of owning the country’s most expensive mayoral vehicle, a Chrysler 300C.
 
His Mayoral expenses this term alone include $3,100 maintaining his Chrysler, $19,500 on books (mostly books about himself to give to other people), $2,600 on donations to private charity, $8,000 on conference fees, $1,800 at local liquor stores, and $3,200 on custom made rubber wristbands that say, “I met the Mayor”.
 
This year, Mayor Tim was finally knighted. And adding to his prestige, today he enters the pantheon of government waste, alongside last year’s inaugural lifetime achievement winner, the Honourable Shane Jones.

Revealed: New Zealand's army of ratepayer-funded council staff

Staff graph

Figures obtained as part of the 2019 Ratepayers’ Report league tables reveal that local councils across New Zealand employ 30,497 staff – 5,376 of whom earn salaries north of $100,000.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says: "The sheer scale of council bureaucracy is stunning. Ratepayers are forking out salaries for a population the size of Timaru, or double the size of the New Zealand Defence Force. And one in six of these staff members earns a salary higher than $100,000. In the Auckland Super City it is one in four."

Some councils are less efficient in their staffing than others. Ratepayers' Report looks at staffing costs per household, to compare how bloated each council's bureaucracy is on an apples-to-apples basis. We also present staff-to-household ratios.

“Westland District Council ranks the least efficient in New Zealand in terms of both its staff costs and numbers. Meanwhile Rangitikei and Central Hawke's Bay District Councils appear to be getting the most from their staff.”

“Westland, at least, has the excuse of a large geographic area, and a small population means it lacks economies of scale. Ratepayers in Wairoa, Waitomo, Waitaki, and Christchurch should ask what their councils’ excuses are.”

“Often councils will justify rates increases on the basis of infrastructure spending, when in reality the spending is sucked up by rising payroll costs. Auckland ratepayers in particular have cause for concern, with an incredible 2,473 council employees paid more than $100,000. These costs are an obvious place to cut waste, especially as ratepayers suffer under higher rates and other charges.”

Total personnel costs per household (including CCOs):

Highest personnel cost per household:

  1. Westland District Council: $3,643
  2. Wairoa District Council: $3,319
  3. Waitomo District Council: $3,160
  4. Waitaki District Council: $3,143
  5. Christchurch City Council: $3,134

Lowest personnel cost per household:

  1. Rangitikei District Council: $622
  2. Upper Hutt City Council: $693
  3. Whangarei District Council: $718
  4. Tararua District Council: $723
  5. South Wairarapa District Council: $724

Average personnel cost per household: $1,364

Lowest and highest household-to-staff ratios (including CCOs):

Least efficient (households per staff member):

  1. Westland District Council: 19
  2. Waitomo District Council: 20
  3. Buller District Council: 26
  4. Hurunui District Council: 26
  5. Wairoa District Council: 34

Most efficient (households per staff member):

  1. Central Hawke's Bay District Council: 112
  2. Masterton District Council: 104
  3. Whangarei District Council: 102
  4. Rangitikei District Council: 102
  5. Hutt City Council: 100

Average (households per staff member): 67

Numbers of staff earning over $100,000 (including CCOs):

  1. Auckland Council: 2,473
  2. Christchurch City Council: 534 (excludes CCO staff, council failed to supply)
  3. Wellington City Council: 261
  4. Tauranga City Council: 138
  5. Hamilton City Council: 124
  6. Palmerston North City Council: 83
  7. Hastings District Council: 79
  8. Dunedin City Council: 79
  9. Waikato District Council: 69
  10. Queenstown-Lakes District Council: 62

Nationwide: 5,376
Nationwide (all salary levels): 30,497

Staff poster


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