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Wellington incomes

  • July 21st, 2008

Saturday’s Herald featured the growth in public sector pay that gives Wellingtonians the highest average hourly pay rates in the country.

Then Garry Sheeran in the Sunday Star Times reported on the extraordinary growth in the pay of senior City Council management. Being an Auckland paper they dwelt on the Auckland region councils in the 10 city study, but some contrasts caught the attention of a friend who dropped in his copy with annotations.

Dividing the reported cost of senior management by the reported numbers of ratepayers he got the following costs per ratepayer:

Wellington       $66.41

Waitakere        $46.56

Rodney            $45.26

Hamilton         $44.23

North Shore    $40.66

Dunedin          $37.32

Manukau         $31.63

Auckland         $19.72

Tauranga        $16.10

Christchurch  $11.19

How come Wellington is 43% higher than the next most generous (Bob Harvey’s pretentious Waitakere) and 6 times the oft-mocked Christchurch?

Would the Peoples Republic of Christchurch repay closer study?

I want Wellington to be a high salary city, so I hope that Wellington has a good story to explain this anomaly. Perhaps the other cities use consultants while Wellington does everything in-house? Whatever the reason we should know it.

It is not necessarily good management to build in-house capacity where consultants can be more experienced, and objective. Wellington is the home of consultants. And if consultants prove to be no good they can not claim the golden parachutes that H Clark vowed to get rid of 9 years ago.

If Wellington City Council says we’ve got people 43% more valuable than any other city, and it shows in the the efficiency and quality of the results for ratepayers  that’s great. But I’d love to hear how it is measured. If it stacks up I’ll gladly defend those salaries.

From my recent experience of resource consent costs I fear that can’t happen.




Can you please check your figures for Wellington, Stephen? Is it meant to be $66-71? Or higher? $41 might be a typo, based on the rest of this post.

[I’ve now replaced the hyphens with decimal points in the figures. Funny to think I used hyphens simply because the friend had in his note to me]


They look like dollars AND cents figures to me. Not ranges.

  • uk_kiwi
  • July 23rd, 2008
  • 12:36 pm

Might it be due to their legal fees for the massive leaky homes liability?

I’m glad I rent so don’t have to pay for it!

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