Nine out of the 51 executives featured in the Business Herald's CEO pay survey this year saw a decline in annual salary last year.

Spark managing director Simon Moutter saw the biggest decline out of all the executives. His annual pay decreased by more than 23 per cent last year to $2.7m, down from $3.5m the year before.

READ MORE:Revealed: What NZ's top executives are paid
Mike Bennetts, chief executive of Z Energy, received the second largest pay drop.

Bennetts' annual salary tallied to a total of $1.7m last year, down 13.3 per cent from just over $2m, posted a year earlier.

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Port of Tauranga head Mark Cairns and ANZ New Zealand bank boss David Hisco both saw an annual 9.11 per cent decrease in their pay last year.

Hisco received $4.3m in pay last year, down from $4.7m the year earlier. Cairns' remuneration for the 2016 financial year was $1.2m, down from $1.32m.

Fonterra head Theo Spierings saw a 5.6 per cent decrease in pay, down to $4.6m from $4.9m the previous year.

Former Stride Property chief executive Peter Alexander saw his pay drop by 3.74 per cent to $1.02m from $1.06m.

Mainfreight's Don Braid saw a 2.8 per cent decline last year, earning a total of $1.9m, John Penno of Synlait earned $790,000 after a 1.78 per cent decline and Freightways managing director Dean Bracewell earned $1.05m from $1.06m.

Findings from this year's survey reveal chief executive pay for the 2016 financial year averaged $1,732,802, up 3.34 per cent from $1,676,757 previously.

In the survey's 12-year history, the lowest CEO pay increase was recorded at just 0.4 per cent in 2011.

Click here to see the full survey findings.

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