Four top public officials will donate 20 per cent of their salaries to charities for six months, following the Prime Minister's move to cut the public pay purse.

Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill and his deputy Rose Wall and Mental Health Commissioner Kevin Allan will all donate the portion of their salaries to charity.

Reddy made the move today to show leadership and support for sectors of the community affected during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The three health watchdogs followed suit soon after. All three are appointed by the Governor-General.


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It comes the day after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she and public sector chief executives would take a 20 per cent pay cut for six months to show they feel New Zealanders' economic pain during the coronavirus lockdown.

"I am very conscious of the impact of the current situation on all New Zealanders and feel it is important to offer support to organisations helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community," Dame Patsy said.

The portion of her salary would go to St John, Women's Refuge, KidsCan, the SPCA and the Arts Foundation.

Yesterday Ardern announced a 20 per cent pay cut to her salary and public sector chief executives, which will last for six months. Ardern earns $471,049.

She said it was about the Government taking leadership and also reflected what was happening in the private sector.

"If there was ever a time to close the gap between different positions, it's now," the Prime Minister said.

"This is where we can take action which is why we have."


Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who has been leading the response to Covid-19, is one of those chief executives who will take the pay cut.

His salary of $528,000 will be cut by about $52,800 right at the time he's never been busier.

Opposition leader Simon Bridges has also stated he will take the pay cut, with his $288,900 salary dropping by $28,890.

Others include Ōranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss, the Solicitor-General Una Jagose, and Justice Ministry CEO Andrew Kibblewhite.

Hill said he and the other commissioners' action was to support the leadership shown by the Prime Minister and Governor-General.

It was also to "acknowledge support for all of the community affected during the Covid-19 pandemic and particularly for people in the health and disability sector".


Hill's salary, $377,807, is set by the Remuneration Authority and as such were not included in the Public Sector cuts announced by the State Services Commission yesterday. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

The announcement, welcomed by State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes - who would also take the cut - was followed by Auckland Council.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he and many councillors were taking a leaf out of the Prime Minister's book and would take the pay cut. Goff earns $296,000 per year.

But there's been no similar announcement from Hamilton City Council's mayor Paula Southgate or her councillors.

Southgate said on Twitter she would be happy and willing to take a pay cut from her $174,500 a year income but that it was "not possible until the Remuneration Authority enabled that to happen".


The council's chief executive Richard Briggs has already said he would not take a pay cut from his $469,000 a year job - just a few thousand less than Ardern.