Buller District Council

Media Release-Positive annual review of Chief Executive’s performance

4th September, 2019

Today Buller District Council released the outcomes arising from its annual performance and salary review of its new Chief Executive Officer, Sharon Mason.

Buller Mayor Garry Howard said that the review was overwhelmingly positive and was formally signed off unanimously by Council. “There is no doubt that Sharon has delivered on what was asked of her. Indeed, she has more than exceeded our expectations of a Chief Executive Officer who is both new to local government and new to filling the role of a Chief Executive Officer.”

“From our point of view, it’s pretty clear that there has been a monumental shift in staff engagement with them working much better as a team, and there has been a real focus on its level of community engagement and good communication with all ratepayers, residents and stakeholders of Buller”, said Mayor Howard.

“In addition, Council delivered on its work programme for 2018-19 along with many projects that were carried over from the previous year”, added Deputy Mayor Graeme Neylon.

In addition to reviewing the delivery of results, Council also had to conduct an annual salary review.  To do that, independent salary data was sought that showed how much Chief Executive Officers in similar smaller-sized Councils around the country are paid.  As a result, Councillors unanimously agreed to a salary increase that takes the Chief Executive Officer’s total salary $236,000 per annum (representing an increase of 4.88%) which is at the median of salaries for smaller Councils, thereby paying the current going rate for CEs.

“The question of setting the CEO’s salary is always going to be a sensitive one”, Mayor Howard said. “Accordingly, Council has therefore decided to stick with the median pay rate for small Council CEOs; not more and not less.”

“Let’s face it, we are lucky to have a talented Chief Executive Officer like Sharon, and we should pay her what the job is worth”.



Council is legally obliged to carry out an annual (formal) review of the performance and salary of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Because 2019 is a local government election year, the review was moved forward to the August meeting of Council to avoid direct proximity to election and the very last meeting of this Council; normally the review process would be completed in September of each year.

Since employing its new Chief Executive Officer, Council has publicly put in place formal key performance indicators (KPIs) for the Chief Executive Officer which describe the crucial matters that the CEO must deliver on. These KPIs describe results in simple terms of whether they are either achieved or not achieved.

Therefore, the clear direction of Council to its CEO in the form of those KPIs probably represents the most important decision a Council makes each year, in as much as Council is saying exactly what it wants from its CEO. Accordingly, Council believes that there needs to be public transparency around this matter; both in terms of what is being asked of the CEO, and in what gets delivered.

Attachments (below).

  1. Formal resolutions (only) for:
    1. CEO Salary Review (July Council Meeting) (121Kb)
    2. CEO Performance Review (August Council Meeting) (289Kb)

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