Former Otago Museum chief executive Shimrath Paul
received $429,104 in accrued sabbatical leave payments when he
left the Otago Museum to take up a senior health administration
post in Indonesia.
This was part of about $700,000 in payments made to Mr Paul
when he left the museum in September 2012.
The museum recently confirmed the size of the overall payment
and released details about it after the Otago Daily Times
appealed to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Museum authorities had earlier declined to release the
details, citing a confidentiality agreement with Mr Paul.
Before his resignation in 2012, Mr Paul had worked at the
museum for 22 years, 18 of them as head, and had overseen the
museum's successful two-stage redevelopment.
Mr Paul come under fire over his $310,793 salary, which
critics said was higher than that of the Te Papa chief
The current museum head, professional astronomer Dr Ian
Griffin, took up his post as director, with total annual
remuneration of $250,000, last year.
In a recent letter to the ODT, board chairman Graham
Crombie said the board had decided to release the information
sought, taking into account ''the passing of time, the
information already published in the ODT'' and the costs
involved in completing the process.
He said part of the overall payments made to Mr Paul
consisted of a taxable payment of $662,000, to cover
contractual payments of. -
• Salary in lieu of notice: $77,500.
• Retirement payment: $155,396.
• Accrued sabbatical leave: $429,104.
A payment of Mr Paul's legal costs had amounted to
A further payment had been made for time and holiday pay, up
to Mr Paul's final day, on September 14, 2012.
Mr Crombie confirmed in an interview yesterday there had been
no ''golden parachute'' payments to Mr Paul.
Considerable sabbatical leave, of more than a year, had been
accumulated, under a contractual provision agreed by an
earlier trust board.
Overall, what was essentially involved were ''straight
mechanical payments'' arising from a contract agreed by a
Mr Paul's departure had simply ''crystallised'' existing
contractual entitlements, which would also have been due to
him if he had remained at the museum.
Asked if the ''retirement payment'' of $155,396 involved
superannuation entitlements, Mr Crombie said this was a
retirement payment specified in Mr Paul's contract.
Asked if there had been any dispute which had required
payment of legal costs, Mr Crombie said this was not the
case, but legal advice had been sought by Mr Paul in
finalising details of the contractual payments.
He emphasised the payments to Mr Paul involved an
''historical'' situation at the museum.
Dr Griffin was a new director, whose contract had different
provisions, and he was doing ''great things'' at the museum.
Mr Paul could not be contacted for comment yesterday.