The high salaries paid to CEOs in New Zealand are actually indefensible for a small Pacific nation. Our government sector heads earn much higher salaries than many equivalent sized institutions overseas and our CEOs of private companies and SOEs also do extraordinarily well. CEO pay increases averaged over 10% over the past year while workers were lucky to receive 3%.
Our PM earns the equivalent of $280,000 US which makes his salary only $120,000 less than the US President and more than that of Cameron in the UK, Germany’s Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe of Japan.
The Mayor of Auckland receives $180,000 US while the Mayor of New York (pop. 8 million) receives only $40,000 more.
The US Secretary of the Treasury earns $191,000 US a year while our NZ Secretary of the Treasury earns $431,000 US.
Nestle’s Revenue is ten times that of Fonterra’s and the salary of Nestles’ CEO is $9 million. If Theo Spierings’ salary was revenue based, he would only be earning around $1 million, instead he is earning $3.3 US million a year.
Considering our country only has the population of a reasonable sized city (internationally), we pay CEO salaries greater than those of most major economies. Something is seriously wrong with our values and we are rapidly looking like a banana republic.