Watercare chief executive Mark Ford is expected to step down shortly for health reasons.
Last night, chairman David Clarke said the Watercare board would consider Mr Ford's situation on Friday before making a public statement.
Mr Ford, who keeps a low public profile and is known as "The Fixer", has led Watercare since 1994 apart from an 18-month stint heading the agency that set up the Super City structure.
He returned to Watercare in 2010, became the first chairman of Auckland Transport and was appointed by the Government to chair Solid Energy. He retired from that role in March this year for health reasons.
Remuneration figures released by the council this week show Mr Ford is the highest-paid bureaucrat in Auckland. His salary and bonus packages have increased by 21 per cent in two years, from $710,000 to $860,000.
In the past two years, ordinary council workers have received average pay rises of 1.9 per cent and 2.3 per cent.
The latest figures show a sharp increase in the number of staff earning more than $100,000, from 1500 last year to 1780 in the year to June 2014. The total wages bill increased $9 million to $702 million.
Mr Ford - whose salary package eclipses the next highest salary, a two-year fixed salary of $630,000 for new council chief executive Stephen Town - could not be reached for comment.
Mayor Len Brown, who last year defended big council salaries on the election hustings saying "you've got to meet the market", last night indicated his view had not changed.
"What individuals get paid is a matter for the chief executive and in the case of the [council controlled organisations], the chairs of those boards," he said.
Mr Brown said total Auckland Council staff costs had moved less than 2 per cent in the year to June, and there would be similar restraint over the next two years.
"I'm pleased that since last year, councillors have endorsed positive steps by the chief executive to improve wage and salary levels at the bottom end of our organisation, funded by restraint at the top end," said Mr Brown, who supports the Living Wage campaign at council.
Annie Newman, convener of the Living Wage campaign, said while the council's wages bill had risen $9 million in the past year, a slim majority of councillors considered $6 million to introduce a minimum wage at council too much.
"A small contribution by those people [on the top salaries] would deliver the kind of wages people need to survive and participate in society."