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Mansions & garden sheds

The New Zealand Herald has released data today showing that our highest paid executives had a pay rise of 12% in 2015. In contrast most working Kiwis had a pay rise of 2.2% over the same period. So while the news is great for these high paid executives – why didn’t most working people also receive a 12% increase in pay?

“The increases for these executives mean that their average a pay rose by around $180,000 meaning an annual salary of $1,680,000. That is 37 times what most Kiwis get paid,” said Richard Wagstaff, CTU President.

“In real terms this means that the executive’s pay would buy a house in the most expensive area of New Zealand* every year and still have $300,000 left over – which is still almost seven times what most Kiwis get paid.  For most working Kiwis an increase of 2.2% or $988 would only buy a kit-set garden shed,

“I think most New Zealanders would find this level of pay rise that those at the top of the economic pile are awarding themselves, way out of step with the realities of most working people,

“Right now our society is so out of balance in favour of the wealthy few. We must find ways to rebalance. One of the solutions is better employment law. This could ensure fairness in pay outcomes and strengthen the ability of working people to speak up together in their workplaces,” Wagstaff said.

*(Auckland City – East – average price $1,377,649)


Note – We use annualised median weekly wage and salary income to estimate what most working Kiwis get paid. At June 2015 that was $45,864 according to Statistics New Zealand’s New Zealand Income Survey and rose 2.2% from June 2014.