Chin admits mistake over Harland salary

Dunedin Mayor Peter Chin has admitted he made a mistake when he announced council chief executive Jim Harland's pay rise last week.

Mr Harland's salary had not risen to $346,725, but to $352,000, a rise of $17,000, Mr Chin said yesterday.

When he released the figure "I misread my hand-written notes of the council deliberation," he said in a press release yesterday.

"I have apologised to my council colleagues and to the chief executive, and I now apologise publicly for this miscommunication."

News of the pay rise was leaked to the Otago Daily Times two weeks ago. Last week, Mr Chin said the council performance appraisal committee had reviewed Mr Harland's salary, and approved the rise.

The reasons given were Mr Harland's work on the Forsyth Barr Stadium, and reducing the city's rates increase.

Asked yesterday how Mr Harland's salary was decided, Mr Chin said it was a decision of the council. It considered the pay levels of other chief executives when coming to its decision, though that was not the only criterion.

Last year, Mr Harland and most of the council's 43 other senior managers opted to decline a pay increase, a response to the recession.

Asked whether those managers might also be getting an increase, Mr Chin said Mr Harland was the council's only employee, and Mr Harland was in charge of the managers under him. The salaries of those managers was not a matter for the elected arm of the council.


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