Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams is going through another pay review after more than three years in the job.

Mr Williams, who currently earns a salary of $315,275, is the only council staff member who is directly employed by the council.

The council's People and Capability manager Richard Bird said Mr Williams' salary was approved by the council on the recommendation of the chief executive performance sub-committee - consisting of the mayor, deputy mayor and committee chair people.

"The committee's recommendation is based on a performance review and on an independent review by a consultant who takes into consideration external benchmarking and job size," Mr Bird said.

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Mr Bird said the performance review took into account a number of factors, including the financial position of the organisation, delivery of key projects and action plans, compliance with statutory requirements and the performance of the council's various services.

When Mr Williams took up his role on July 1, 2013 he received a salary of $294,270.

He turned down a pay increase in 2014, and an increase to $315,275 in 2015 was unanimously agreed on by councillors.

Former chief executive Peter Guerin's salary package at the time he left totalled $332,358, which included a salary of $293,512, a vehicle valued at $24,171 and superannuation of $14,675.

Mr Williams said his job was a privilege and he considered himself to be "very well paid".

"It's extremely important to me and to be able to contribute to Rotorua's future is something I take very seriously.

"This is a difficult role, it's demanding and not the sort of job you can take a real break from.

"We start each day at 7.30am and I won't often get out for 12 hours most days and it frequently rolls into the weekend as well.

"We are dealing with all sorts of pressures and tensions so it's not the sort of job you can take lightly."

Mr Williams was employed three months before Steve Chadwick became mayor in October 2013.

"We have a considerate and professional relationship and it's been great to work closely with him with all the challenges you get when you are facing a period of change," Mrs Chadwick said.

"We have natural tensions from time to time, but we work them through."

Mrs Chadwick said the sub-committee was in the middle of Mr Williams' latest pay review.

"I think what he gets is fair.

"I don't think he is driven by remuneration and Rotorua is lucky to be able to keep him here as he has been noticed by councils in other parts of the country."

Meanwhile, Hamilton City Council chief executive Richard Briggs has recently been given a 15 per cent pay rise, putting him on $380,000 annually.

Tauranga City Council chief executive Garry Poole is paid $347,156, New Plymouth District Council chief executive Barbara McKerrow gets $353,259 and Whakatane District Council chief executive Marty Grenfell was paid $297,391 in the 2015 financial year.