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Million dollar salaries OK if performance matches

13 August 2002

Million dollar salaries OK if matched by performance

For a world scale company, a million dollar salary package for top staff is extremely modest.

In US dollar terms, $1 million equates to about US$400,000 compared to the top salary rates for United States and European executives who could expect to receive any where from US$2 million to US$4 million and higher.

Michael Barnett, Chief Executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce was commenting on disclosure that dairy giant Fonterra paid nine staff more than $1 million in the past year.

“My first response is to look at the value of business that Fonterra has brought to New Zealand,” said Mr Barnett. The company turnover was a record $13.9 billion, making it by far New Zealand’s largest enterprise.

Mr Barnett said that the size of the salaries paid to Fonterra executives – modest on world scale, but at the top end on New Zealand standards – simply reinforced how far behind New Zealand is getting in terms of achieving world performance standards.

“We need more Fonterra’s generating wealth and productivity if we are to get our economy back up into the top group internationally,” said Mr Barnett.

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