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Information about our staff

Find out about staff costs, numbers, salaries and pay gaps for the Auckland Council Group.

The Auckland Council Group

The Auckland Council Group (the group) consists of Auckland Council, its council-controlled organisations (CCOs) and Port of Auckland Limited (POAL).

Our staffing costs

We report our end-of-year staff information in an audited annual report. This includes staff costs, staff headcount and full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) as of 30 June each year.

Annual staff costs for the Auckland Council Group


Staff costs

Staff costs adjusted for
wage inflation

Legacy (previous) councils

$649 million

$778 million


$410 million

$482 million


$670 million

$770 million


$693 million

$786 million


$730 million

$815 million


$791 million

$866 million


$803 million

$868 million


$853 million

$909 million


$866 million

$906 million


$911 million

$938 million


$997 million

$1,006 million


$963 million

$963 million


$1,051 million

$1,051 million


$1,121 million

$1,121 million

The 2010/2011 year covered an eight-month period from 1 November 2010 to 30 June 2011.

Figures before 2010 do not include Port of Auckland Limited.

How we set our chief executive's salary

Auckland Council's Chief Executive is appointed by, and accountable to, the Governing Body. The Governing Body sets their pay.

The current chief executive was appointed on 6 November 2023 and has annual performance and remuneration (salary) reviews as per his contract.

The council's Performance and Appointments Committee considers a lot of factors when deciding what salary to recommend to the Governing Body, including:

  • performance in the role
  • position description and salary comparisons with other organisations
  • the council's financial situation
  • the Group Remuneration Policy for all council employees.

Read the Group Remuneration Policy [PDF 568KB].

Chief executive salary




​Doug McKay


​November 2010

Doug McKay


​July 2011

Doug McKay


​August 2011

​Doug McKay


​August 2012

​Doug McKay


​August 2013

​Stephen Town


​January 2014

​Stephen Town


January 2016

​Stephen Town


​July 2018

​Jim Stabback


​September 2020

​Jim Stabback


​September 2021

Phil Wilson


November 2023

How we set salaries for our employees

Salary levels for our staff are set through a clear and transparent process. When we set salaries, we consider current market rates and salaries paid at similar organisations.

Similar job roles at the council are banded and grouped together in one of 15 salary bands (A-O). This ensures equity and fairness by paying similar roles in a similar way.

CCOs have individual approaches to employee remuneration, increases, diversity and inclusion.

How we set annual salary increases

Each year we negotiate with the Public Service Association (PSA) to decide the annual pay increase for everyone (if they are a union member or not) whose role is covered under the Auckland Council – Public Service Association Collective Agreement / Te Whakaaetanga Tōpū a Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau – Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi.

The outcome of this process also affects staff whose roles are covered by other collective agreements.

Read the Auckland Council – Public Service Association Collective Agreement / Te Whakaaetanga Tōpū a Te Kaunihera o Tāmaki Makaurau – Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi [PDF 1.36MB].

The PSA and Auckland Council

The PSA and Auckland Council are committed to working together for an outcome that:

  • is fair to all our people
  • reflects our strategic goals
  • is affordable and sustainable
  • strengthens our partnership.

Part of our agreement with the PSA states that annual salary increases for council staff must be at least match the rate of inflation. We use the Consumers Price Index (CPI) rate from the previous December to calculate salary increases in September each year.

Diversity and inclusion

We are committed to an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values the diverse voices, specialist knowledge and lived experiences of our staff members.

We are working towards an employee profile that reflects the diverse communities of Tāmaki Makaurau.

We support this commitment through staff recruitment and retention strategies such as:

  • our MAHI Māori employment strategy
  • our Ara Moana Pasifika strategy
  • understanding and addressing gender and ethnicity pay gaps
  • providing support networks for employees, like networks for our disabled, female, Muslim and Rainbow employees.

We pay our staff a 'living wage'

Auckland Council agreed to pay a living wage for employees in 2017. In 2019, we extended this to include our contracted cleaners who are not direct Auckland Council employees.

Gender and ethnicity pay gaps

We believe everyone should be paid fairly regardless of ethnicity, gender or ability.

Our pay gaps

We update our pay gap data on 1 March and publish it on this page by 31 March each year.


Pay gap at 1 March 2023

Pay gap at 1 March 2024
Annual percentage changes are shown in brackets

Gender (overall)


22.0% (-0.6%)

Māori (overall)


16.7% (+0.2%)

Pacific peoples (overall)


27.2% (-0.4%)

We pay gender and ethnicity groups equally for the work they do.

However, these groups are unevenly represented across jobs and organisational levels at the council.

To address this, we plan to monitor and improve our pay gaps by:

  • having a diverse group of interviewers on our interview panels
  • working with staff support networks to create and review policies that support our staff and promote a sense of belonging
  • introducing leadership development strategies that attract and retain talented people who represent the diversity of Auckland at all levels of our organisation.

Our staffing numbers

We publish two staffing figures in our annual report:

  • Headcount  the Local Government Act requires us to report staff numbers as ‘headcount’. Headcount includes all employees regardless of how many hours they work.
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE) figures. These are the number of staff who work the equivalent of 40 hours per week. These figures contain our total full-time and part-time FTEs.

Staffing levels as of 30 June each year

Figures for 2010 to 2011 are an approximate figure because the council was formed mid-way through the reporting year and had a number of unfilled roles at the time.



Full Time Equivalents

Legacy (previous) councils and CCOs

Not reported



Not reported



































Figures before 2011/2012 do not include Port of Auckland Limited.

Increased growth due to demand

The main reason we tend to increase staff numbers over time is because of the continued growth of Auckland’s population.

The Auckland region is experiencing rapid population growth, with a population of 1.4396 million in 2010, growing to 1.7156 million by 2021. This is around a 19 per cent growth.

This large population growth increases the demands on us to provide increased levels of service. These include increases in:

  • building and resource consent applications
  • building controls and regulations
  • rubbish collection services
  • the need to plan and build more facilities like libraries, sports fields, parks and water infrastructure.

The effects of climate change have also increased demands on us to future-proof the city and lead the city’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

We meet these demands by either using our existing resources where we can, or by hiring small numbers of new staff where necessary.

In many areas, such as in consenting, we recover the costs of hiring additional staff through fees and charges.

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