Paying the head of a panel that is reviewing Child, Youth and Family $2000 a day is worth it, Prime Minister John Key says.
Paula Rebstock is collecting about double the maximum standard fee and the special rate was signed off by Cabinet.
The payment has been slammed as disgraceful today by Labour leader Andrew Little.
"For a Government department that we know is under-resourced, struggling to do its job and dealing with some of the most vulnerable young people in the country, to have somebody come along and be paid $10,000 a week to review it - that is a disgrace," Mr Little said.
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"Ten thousand dollars a week is a Lotto win for people, not what you get paid for doing a job and reviewing a government department dealing with some of the most vulnerable and poorest people in the country."
Mr Key defended the special payment, and said the advice the panel would produce would be worth it.
"In the end the work that she was doing, it actually relates to an area where we do need to see significant change and where the Government is investing, frankly, hundreds of millions of dollars over time, so getting good advice is important.
"Cabinet signed off on it, yes. But the decision on what someone gets paid is determined by the State Services Commission."
Ms Rebstock is also the chair of ACC's board and the deputy chair of KiwiRail's board, and has headed the CYF review panel since it was established in April.
The panel has published an interim report, and a final report on overhauling CYF is expected to be released in December.