TVNZ CEO responds to million-dollar man revelations
TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick has responded to the public speculation which ultimately led to his salary being revealed, saying that people "have a level of fascination" with the remuneration of high-profile TV presenters.
"I think the interest was really people wanting to understand what was the remuneration around high-profile presenters," says Kenrick. "I think that there's a level of fascination that people have around that and so understandably they were asking questions."
"From a CEO perspective, it's not uncommon for that to be disclosed in annual reports, and we're no different to any other organisation."
So does he think he's worth it?
"That's really for the board to decide."
TVNZ's annual report for the year ending June 2015 revealed the salary bands of 218 employees earning more than $100,000, with its highest-paid employee banking between $1.10 and $1.11 million a year – up on the previous year where the top earner made between $1.02 and $1.03 million.
This sparked calls for the state broadcaster to reveal just who their biggest earner was, with some speculating that Seven Sharp frontman MIke Hosking might command such a salary.
While initially saying that they "didn't have any plans to identify the remuneration of presenters or other individual employees", TVNZ eventually backed down, outing CEO Kevin Kenrick as their million-dollar employee - although they still refuse to divulge individual presenters' salaries.
In New Zealand, state broadcasters TVNZ and Radio New Zealand (RNZ) are required to list the salary bands of any employee who earns more than $100,000 a year in their respective annual reports.
However, those figures are not tied to specific individuals or job types, which has prompted questions over whether that should change to achieve greater transparency.
Kenrick's pay packet is light years ahead of the second-biggest earner, who banks between $640,001 and $650,000, followed by two employees who take home just over half a million dollars each.
In total, 218 current and 33 former employees received salaries from TVNZ over $100,000 in the 2014/2015 financial year, however it was unclear whether payments to contractors were included in the figures.
The state broadcaster's latest annual report shows TVNZ's five most expensive employees collectively bank between $3.3 million and $3.4 million - but apart from Kenrick their identities remained shrouded in secrecy.
The biggest earner on RNZ's books received a salary of $400,000-$410,999, according to its annual report.