The rise in pay packets for Auckland Council's top brass has slowed this year, according to a Herald survey.
Auckland Council has led the way by holding chief executive Stephen Town's salary at $630,000 for two years.
And Watercare, where former chief executive Mark Ford earned $860,000 last year, has taken on board concerns about his salary.
Mayor Len Brown, who had previously defended big salaries as necessary "to meet the market", was among those who called for a pay cut.
New chief executive Raveen Jaduram is being paid between $590,000 and $600,000 to run the city water and wastewater system.
The Watercare annual report shows two executives were paid $710,000-$720,000 and $770,000-$780,000 in the 2015 financial year.
It is understood one of these payments related to salary and other entitlements to Mr Ford, who died in October last year.
The second is believed to be for salary, other entitlements and redundancy costs to one of four executives who left Watercare in the past year.
Auckland Transport chief executive David Warburton has taken the mantle of the highest paid bureaucrat in the Super City, pocketing between $660,000 and $680,000.
This is an increase of $20,000, or 3 per cent, on the previous year.
Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Brett O'Riley, who received a minimal increase last year, was awarded a 5.6 per cent pay rise this year, taking his salary to between $370,000 and $380,000.
This was the largest increase in percentage terms.
Mr Town said pay levels for council-controlled organisation chief executives were determined by their boards and Auckland Council had no formal role in those decisions.
"The salary for my role is determined by the governing body and informed by external independent advice," he said.
While the "council family" has managed modest increases for chief executives, the council's salary bill increased $63 million to $792 million.
Said councillor Cameron Brewer: "Every year since 2010, without fail, Auckland Council's staff numbers and costs have climbed."
The council acknowledged that staff and salaries are a sensitive issue, but finance general manager Kevin Ramsay has said the total spend on staff and sup-pliers was in line with the budget.