The chief executive's salary at the Bay of Plenty District Health Board has increased between $30,000 and $40,000 within the past four years.
Parliamentary documents show the highest-earning individual at the health board had a salary between $440,000 and $450,000 for the 2019/20 financial year.
The board's corporate services general manager, Owen Wallace, told the Bay of Plenty Times the individual was the chief executive.
The salary had increased tens of thousands of dollars since the 2016/17 financial year, when the top earner salary was between $411,000 and $420,000.
Wallace said the salary rates in the document — the health board's annual review for the health select committee — were not for the same person but were for the same role, that of chief executive.
The next highest-earning individuals — of which there were two people — had salaries between $350,000 and $360,000.
The board's remuneration sub-committee sets the remuneration for the chief executive in consultation with the State Services Commission.
"This is in line with the standard process for the majority of Crown entity chief executives," Wallace said.
Salary rates for all other staff were set by a variety of means including union negotiations and single- or multi-employer collective agreements.
Wallace said the board did not have a performance pay mechanism but each year the majority of staff received some form of payment adjustment.
Those could be base rate changes or career merit step movements and for some staff both, Wallace said.
Meanwhile, the chief executive during the pandemic response — interim chief executive Simon Everitt — took a pay cut.
In April 2020, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that leading public sector bosses would have their salaries reduced by 20 per cent.
Ardern said the six-month, 20 per cent pay cuts would apply to all 25 Government ministers and to 34 Government department chief executives.
The Prime Minister herself took a $45,000 pay cut, however, a Herald investigation showed one in five bosses did not take a pay cut.
Wallace did confirm that the health board chief executive did take a pay adjustment during the Covid-19 period in line with guidance from the State Services Commission.
"The salary rates used in the health select committee responses are the gross rates – ie before that Covid-19 pay adjustment was implemented."
Bay of Plenty DHB chief executives since 2016:
• Up to 29 Jan 2016: Phil Cammish
• 29 Jan 2016 to November 2019: Helen Mason
• November 2019 to Sept 2020: Simon Everitt (interim)
• Sept 2020 to present day: Pete Chandler.
Health Minister Andrew Little earlier this week announced all of New Zealand's 20 district health boards would be abolished next year.
In their place, a central national body would be established and placed in charge of running all of the nation's hospitals.
It will be called Health New Zealand and is part of the biggest changes to the country's healthcare system in history.
And a new Māori Health authority will also be set up, with the power to commission health services and monitor Māori health, as well as developing policy.
This will all be overseen by the Ministry of Health, which will be "strengthened" by the review.
The major announcements were:
• All district health boards would be replaced by one national health body, Health New Zealand to fund and run the health system;
• A new Māori health authority would be created, with power to commission health services;
• The Ministry of Health would become an advisory and policy agency only;
• A new Public Health agency would be created within the Ministry of Health.