The Government has clamped down on the pay of public service bosses but no brakes have been applied to the heads of state-owned enterprises.
Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden took home an extra $90,000 in pay this year to lift his salary to $730,000.
Carden trails other state-owned enterprise bosses such as Transpower’s Alison Andrew on $1.24 million, KiwiRail’s Peter Reidy (recently resigned) on $1.18m and Kordia’s Scott Bartlett on $1m.
I think SOEs should be free to pay their CEOs what rate they deem necessary. They are primarily commercial entities.
But while they are commercial, not all of them face competition. My view is that when a CE has a responsibility to generate revenue in a competitive market, they should be be paid more than those who don’t.
So when we look at the salaries in order:
- Transpower, $1.24 million, monopoly
- Kiwirail $1.18 million, mainly monopoly
- Kordia, $1.0 million, competitive
- NZ Post $0.89 million, mainly monopoly
- Airways $0.79 million, monopoly
- Landcorp $0.73 million, competitive
- Metservice $0.52 million, partially competitive
- Asure Quality $0.48 million, competitive
- QV $0.44 million, competitive
Now of course salaries also reflect size of business, turnover etc. But it does seem strange the two highest paid roles are the ones with basically no competition.