A transport agency regional director has been appointed the new chief executive of Auckland Council, Mayor Len Brown announced today.

Stephen Town will take up the role on January 15, following the departure of outgoing chief executive Doug McKay.

His annual salary of $630,000, fixed for the first two years, easily tops Prime Minister John Key's salary of $419,300.

Mr Town is currently NZTA's Auckland and Northland regional director, and has signed a five-year contract with Auckland Council.


Mr Brown said he had strong credibility across government and the private sector, and combined experience of local government with leadership of large infrastructure projects.

Mr Town said it was a privilege to take on the role.

"This next phase in Auckland's transformation will require a relentless focus on delivery, service improvement and prudent financial management. We have a genuine opportunity to make Auckland the world's most liveable city and I am delighted to be part of that project.''