You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
The head of the police union said that was a testament to the ''loyalty and commitment'' of staff in the South.
Figures released under the Official Information Act show 148 constabulary employees, just over 26% of the 568 sworn staff in Otago and Southland, in the Southern district earn more than $100,000 a year.
People and capability deputy chief executive Kaye Ryan cited privacy in not breaking down where in the district those 148 employees worked or reveal the highest salary paid to an officer in the South.
Ms Ryan said no civilian police employee in the district earned more than $100,000, and the highest paid civilian was on $90,360.
Pay bands provided by police show superintendents at the high end of their top pay band can earn up to $297,850, although the mid-points of their four pay bands are between $164,000 and $259,000.
In comparison, Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose earns $379,355, according to information provided last year.
The Southern district is headed by Superintendent Paul Basham, while the Otago coastal, Otago Lakes-Central and Southland areas are led by inspectors, whose salary mid-points range from $134,800 to $193,600, and up to $222,640 in the ''high performance range'' of the highest pay grade.
Of the 568 sworn staff in Southern, just one is a superintendent, 12 are inspectors, 29 are senior sergeants, 79 are sergeants and the remaining 448 are constables (including senior constables).
Figures provided by police show that, early in their careers, the majority of constables earn between $50,000 and $59,999, but after 10 years, most earn $70,000 to $79,999. Just seven of the 6848 constables nationwide earn more than $100,000.
The majority of senior sergeants nationwide earn between $100,000 and $109,000, and most have been in the police more than 20 years.
Police Association president Chris Cahill was not surprised more than a quarter of Southern police earned over $100,000.
''That's a reflection of the loyalty and commitment in the Southern district where staff are, in general, much more senior than the rest of the country and have stayed for a longer period.''
In his view, the pay bands for inspectors and superintendents were ''lower than you would expect, given the importance of the role''. The association had pushed for a higher band at the entry level for constables in the last round of pay increases.
''We know that a lot of people take a pay cut to join police, and we worry about the long-term pressure that puts on people.''
He acknowledged police continued to be able to recruit at that level.