Mike Hosking says TVNZ salaries could well "horrify" viewers - only because they want to be shocked - but he doesn't want presenters' pay packets revealed.
The Seven Sharp host and Newstalk ZB presenter this morning addressed claims by former TVNZ broadcaster Marcus Lush that "people would be horrified" to learn what the state broadcaster paid its biggest presenters.
It followed an outcry in Britain after the pay packets earned by the BBC's biggest stars were revealed.
In his daily Mike's Minute video, Hosking agreed his salary for fronting Seven Sharp five nights a week would shock people, but he argued that it should never be revealed.
"Would people be horrified if wages at TVNZ were released to the public? ... In part, yes, probably, but only because they want to be shocked," he said.
"Some people set out to be offended and upset, and linking names to salaries would be right up their alley."
Hosking said it wasn't a debate he was interested in having.
"Do we need to know what the newsreader earns? No, because who can possibly win out of that? ... Just imagine if my salary was made public? Can you imagine the reaction, very little of which would be rational ...
"How hard can it be, they would say, to sit and talk for a couple of hours a day? When that's the level of debate, the debate is going nowhere fast. Therefore, it is not worth having."
He argued that as long as he was doing his job, he was entitled to his salary.
"Any wage is the result of a couple of people agreeing on terms and conditions ... wages aren't a democracy, they're a business transaction, and if the people writing the cheques are happy, that is the end of that."
Fellow Newstalk ZB host Marcus Lush said on Marcus Lush Nights that if TVNZ was to take the same step as the BBC and reveal what it pays its stars people would be shocked.
"I think if the salaries were revealed people would be to a large degree horrified.
"They would say things like how hard could it be to read from the autocue for 44 minutes a day... and some of those queries and concerns would be totally justified."
The BBC sparked controversy by disclosing what its top earners were paid, a list topped by Chris Evans who earned up to $3.98 million last year followed by Gary Lineker on $3.18m.