Contact Energy chief executive Dennis Barnes' pay package was worth $1.58 million in the year to June, up almost $280,000 - or more than 20 per cent - on the previous year, the company's annual report shows.
Barnes' pay package is equal to about $30,440 a week, or more than $760 an hour, assuming a 40-hour week. Even based on 80 hours a week, Barnes would make about $380 an hour.
The pay rise takes Barnes to the top spot among power company bosses revealed so far, this year.
Last year, Mighty River Power boss Doug Heffernan was paid $1.49m. But Heffernan was also due to get an additional $500,000 to stay at the helm for its first financial year as a listed company.
Earlier this year, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman criticised the super profits of the power companies as well as the "super salaries" of their chief executives.
The Contact Energy annual report, issued to the NZX yesterday, shows about a large portion of Barnes' pay is "at risk" or variable depending on the performance of the company. The balance is fixed pay in cash and other benefits.
For the latest year, the fixed portion was about $936,500, up about $125,000 on the previous year. Barnes' at-risk pay rose about $154,000 to about $646,000. That included short-term incentives in cash and long-term incentives including share options and performance share rights.
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