Herald Maths

Bernard Orsman at reports:

 Seven chief executives and their staffs plus 49 directors are responsible for 75 per cent of the Super City’s services.

Auckland ratepayers are spending $13.1 million a year to pay for seven boards of directors, seven chief executives and seven executive teams who run much of the Super City.

The seven council-controlled organisations (CCOs) run about 75 per cent of Super City services at arm’s length from the democratically elected .

I don’t know about you, but $13.1 million for governors, CEOs and executive teams seems pretty reasonable to me. The Herald doesn’t state how many staff are on the combined executive teams, but an average of under $2 million per CCO for a Board, a CEO and a senior executive team does not seem unreasonable. The combined Auckland Council spends $2 billion a year.

The chief executive salaries range from $330,000 for the head of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Brett O’Riley, and Auckland Council Investments’ Gary Swift, to about $710,000 for Watercare boss Mark Ford.

The Herald estimates that Mr Ford’s salary is the equivalent cost of Aucklanders taking about 9.5 million showers.

This is the part I really wanted to blog on. I’m sorry, but what the fuck? How is this a useful or relevant stat? Tell me what his salary is as a percentage of Watercare revenue. Is the Herald now going to write about the salaries of Telecom CEO in terms of the number of e-mails of the same cost? Or the salaries of a newspaper editor in terms of the number of website ads served?

If the comparison had been to the number of days water to a household, I’d find that semi-useful. But unless you know how much of your daily water use tends to be a shower, then the comparison is useless. The suspicion is it is used to just make the salary sound really bad.

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