The Buller District Council aims to save up to $93,000 a year on its new chief executive.

Mayor Garry Howard said the council was offering a salary package of $180,000 to $210,000 -- that's up to $72,000 less than Paul Wylie received in the previous financial year.

Mr Howard said the council would also be cutting the chief executive's expenses. It would no longer take out key man insurance, which contributed $20,696 to Mr Wylie's $42,958 expense tally.

Mr Wylie's salary package and expenses came to $294,816 in the past financial year. He was the most expensive Coast council boss by over $60,000 and the only one who didn't live locally.


His weekly commuting from Richmond, then Amberley, at ratepayers' expense was unpopular but Mr Howard said the council could not legally stipulate his replacement lived locally.

Mr Wylie left last month for "personal reasons", 11 months short of completing his five-year contract.

Mr Howard revealed earlier this week that the early exit had cost ratepayers almost $234,000 -- $208,679 to pay out the term of Mr Wylie's contract, an additional payment of $13,000 and $12,055 in legal fees.

Asked today where the funds had come from, Mr Howard said council would try and contain them within its gross salary budget for the year.

"Our current expectation is to remain within the total 2015/16 budget by being prudent across all expenditure."

The council has received 32 applications for the chief executive's position. It hopes to make an appointment late next month for an August start date.

- Westport News