Revealed: The “Rich List” of public sector CEOs

Press Release – New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

12 DECEMBER 2019

The Taxpayers’ Union has published the 2019 ‘Public Sector CEO Rich List’ at

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “This year taxpayers will pay $62 million in salaries for just 140 people. With poverty on the rise, and so many families struggling with the cost of living, that is an eye watering amount.”

“The average public sector CEO is paid $443,950. 53 are paid 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.”

“While some of these salaries can be justified, others are totally out of whack. For example, some of the Rich Listers lead obscure QUANGOs (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisations) that generate little value for taxpayers.”

“Not many taxpayers would have heard of New Zealand Food Innovation, whose boss Alexandra Allan is paid $327,000.”

“Callaghan Innovation boss, Victoria Crone, takes home a cool half a million for running the corporate welfare agency. That’s even more than the secretary of health and is totally unjustified.”

“We hope the Public Sector CEO Rich List provokes debate over the necessity of these generously-paid positions.”

The Rich List’s highest-ranking public sector CEOs are:
1 Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Mr Matt Whineray $1,065,000.00
2 Accident Compensation Corporation Mr Scott Pickering $841,000.00
3 Housing New Zealand Corporation Mr Andrew McKenzie $791,000.00
4 University of Auckland Prof. Stuart McCutcheon $760,000.00
5 Commissioner of Police Mr Mike Bush $709,000.00
6 The Treasury Mr Gabriel Makhlouf $687,000.00
7 New Zealand Transport Agency ACTING (Mr Mark Ratcliffe) $682,000.00
8 Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short $670,000.00
9 Controller and Auditor-General Mr John Ryan $670,000.00
10 Auckland DHB Ms Ailsa Claire $667,000.00

After correspondence with the Taxpayers’ Union and the Ombudsman, the State Services Commission agreed to release this year’s Senior Pay Report using specific pay rates rather than salary ‘bands’.

As a result, the Union has been able to rank all central government-funded CEOs by salary, in the form of a Rich List. Taxpayers can also download the table as a spreadsheet to sort by type – such as Tertiary Education, DHBs, and so on.

Figures relate to the 2018/19 financial year. 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) CEOs.

Content Sourced from
Original url