Embattled public service supremo Iain Rennie enjoyed a $50,000 salary bump last year, his department revealed yesterday.

But State Services Commissioner Mr Rennie's $610,000 to $619,999 pay package was eclipsed by those of several other public sector bosses, including NZ Super Fund chief executive Adrian Orr, who received $800,000 to $809,999 in the year to June, according to the commission's report on executive remuneration.

"Chief executive remuneration requires a careful balance between ensuring we can attract and retain highly qualified and skilled leaders for New Zealand's public institutions while being prudent and restrained when spending public money," said Mr Rennie yesterday.

He is on notice from State Services Minister Paula Bennett for botching the departure of Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority chief executive Roger Sutton, who resigned last month after an investigation into claims he sexually harassed female staff members.

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Mr Rennie said the average increase in base salary for public service chief executives was 2.8 per cent.


State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie.

His own pay, however, which is set by the Remuneration Authority, rose by 8 per cent.

A number of other public sector bosses, including the Treasury's Gabriel Makhlouf, were also paid 8 per cent more but that was due to one-off payments related to a change in the period over which their performance-based pay is calculated.

But the big winner was the Super Fund's Mr Orr, whose pay increased from $667,102 a year earlier, according to the fund's annual report, which put his 2013-14 package at $791,462 rather than the $800,000 to $809,999 reported by the commission yesterday. Mr Orr's base salary excluding bonus payments rose by more than $100,000 to $585,681 - an increase of almost 22 per cent.

However, the highest-paid public servant remains an unnamed ACC employee - understood to be investment manager Nicholas Bagnall - who got between $810,000 and $820,000.

Excluding chief executives, the number of public servants receiving $100,000 or more rose 11 per cent from 6396 to 7111.

Labour's state services spokesman, Kris Faafoi, said that while chief executives were getting pay increases of almost 3 per cent on average, the average core public sector worker got an average hourly increase of just 1 per cent.

"It looks like those at the top are creaming it and those who work for the CEOs are struggling to get any sort of pay increase at all."

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National Council of Women national president Rae Duff noted that only nine of the 29 public service chief executives were female, and they received less pay than their male counterparts. None of the seven top-paid public sector bosses are women.

"The remuneration is just another example that shows we have a way to go to get gender equality."

Top paid public sector bosses

• 1. Adrian Orr - NZ Super Fund: $800,000 to $809,999

• 2. Stuart McCutcheon - University of Auckland (Vice-Chancellor): $660,00 to $669,999

• 3. Gabriel Makhlouf - Treasury: $650,000 to $659,999

• 4. David Smol - Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment: $620,000 to $629,999

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• 5. Geoff Dangerfield - NZ Transport Agency: $620,000

to $629,999

• 6. Iain Rennie - State Services Commission: $610,000 to $619,999

• 7. Scott Pickering - ACC: $600,000 to $609,999