Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Big bucks at TVNZ

State broadcaster's six-figure salaries sign of 'an excessive organisation', say Greens

Kevin Kendrick
Kevin Kendrick

Nearly a quarter of TVNZ's staff were paid six-figure salaries last year.

The state broadcaster's figures show 226 of 940 full-time employees at the state broadcaster were paid more than $100,000 in the year to June.

Top of the list is believed to be chief executive Kevin Kenrick, on between $720,000 and $730,000.

Twenty-four employees were paid $200,000 or more.

Spokeswoman Megan Richards said TVNZ made "no apology" for paying staff well.

"We are a high-tech industry where, increasingly, we need people skilled in particular fields, and they are generally well paid.

"The intention is to ensure our workforce is lean, tightly focused and high performance. You get what you pay for."

Richards said the increase in highly paid staff was mainly due to "bracket creep" where a person was hired within a salary bracket but was paid more over time.

Green Party broadcasting spokeswoman Julie Anne Genter said TVNZ was paying "excessively" high salaries when the public sector should be trying to curb pay inequality.

"They're seemingly becoming quite an excessive organisation with a huge number of highly paid staff at a time when a lot of New Zealanders are struggling."

TVNZ's 2012/13 annual report also reveals it paid more than $4 million in redundancies and to settle employment disputes - the highest figure in five years.

There were two payouts of more than $600,000 to former employees. Former Close Up presenter Mark Sainsbury, who left last year after 31 years at TVNZ, said his redundancy payout was nowhere near that amount.

Analysis of previous reports shows TVNZ has paid $20 million in the past six years as compensation to departing staff.

- Herald on Sunday

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