Peter Bromhead: 'I was obviously highly overpaid'

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Cartoon / Peter Bromhead
Cartoon / Peter Bromhead

Following frank discussions with my CEO (the caregiver) - I'm delighted to announce a 65 per cent increase in my remuneration. In percentage terms, this effectively places me ahead of the 45 chief executives included recently in The Business chief executive salary survey.

This increase was precipitated after I learnt the latest salaries awarded to the nation's top executives and realised I had slipped seriously below the level I believe I'm truly worth.

The increase is gratifying, considering the diverse nature of unusual products I bring to the nation's table as a captain of industry.

Of course, there was a time when I was one of the highest paid executives in the country - during the 70s, following my appointment as cartoonist for the Auckland Star.

The editor designated my status on the staff as an editorial senior special, with a salary of $65k a year.

Required to produce five editorial cartoons a week, I commenced work at 9am and after a leisurely cup of tea accompanied by one or two of the in-house canteen's hideous pink buns, I would swiftly draw the daily cartoon and be on my way home by 10 on the dot each morning.

A total of five hours work a week for 49 weeks, plus 3 weeks paid holiday a year to compensate for such exhausting labour, suggests I was roping in an average hourly rate of $265.

Work out what that was worth in the 70s and eat your heart out Andrew Ferrier, having to make do with a mere $5,000,000 last year.

Doubtless, cynics might suggest this explains why the Auckland Star no longer exists and that I was obviously highly overpaid.

But that's just another burden of misguided envy that I cheerfully carry - like Mr Ferrier, perceived by those less fortunate as just another "tall poppy", rather than being judged as part of an elite band of decision-makers who make significant contributions to the nation's wellbeing.

Over the years, my ratio of working hours to salary earned has changed slightly.

I now appear to work close to 80 hours a week in exchange for pocket money of approximately $25.

However, with the latest 65 per cent increase graciously granted by the CEO, who is in charge of my empire's purse strings, I now have a weekly allowance of $41.25 - a giddying amount of cash to handle, even for an astute company director such as myself.

- NZ Herald

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