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How Public Service chief executive and senior management pay rates compare

A comparison of New Zealand Public Service chief executive and second tier senior management remuneration shows a strong correlation between the size of the job and the individual's overall level of responsibility.

The State Services Commissioner sets the remuneration of most Public Service chief executives; the chief executives in turn set the remuneration of their managers.

As job size increases, chief executive remuneration increases at a greater rate than remuneration for second tier managers. This is because chief executives generally receive more at-risk performance pay, reflecting the greater complexity of chief executive roles.

Where the second tier managers receive higher remuneration than chief executive which similar sized roles, the second tier managers are likely to be in large agencies, compared to chief executives in small agencies.

It is important that remuneration for the two groups is broadly similar where job size/complexity overlaps between the two groups. This is so that people in large second tier roles can progress to smaller chief executive roles (and vice versa) as part of senior leadership career development.


Notes on the graph:

  • the chart shows the relationship between the remuneration lines for Public Service Chief Executives and managers at the second tier for total remuneration (i.e. base salary, fringe benefits plus any performance pay).
  • the remuneration lines are based on data for Public Service chief executives and 167 second tier managers collected by SSC in March 2015.
  • the remuneration lines represent median pay at particular job sizes, not specific remuneration for any particular role.

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