Tauranga City Council's new chief executive Leigh Auton has been confirmed into his new job on a salary package of $340,000.
Details of Mr Auton's terms of employment were agreed at a special confidential meeting of the council this week.
His salary was $20,000 more than his predecessor Ken Paterson but still $66,000 less than what previous CEO Stephen Town was getting paid when he left the council in 2010.
Mr Town's pay hit the headlines in 2006 when he received a $46,000 pay rise to take his salary to $340,000 - making him the top-earning CEO outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Mayor Stuart Crosby said Mr Auton had been appointed on a fixed-term contract for up to 12 months.
The size of his salary package had been independently determined by human resources consultants Strategic Pay.
The consultants charged the council $569 (including GST) for their advice on the salary package.
Strategic Pay works with many local bodies, offering advice on how much a senior appointee should be paid according to the person's role and the job's complexity and difficulty.
Although Mr Auton had already been in the job for a fortnight, his position becomes effective next Tuesday - the day after the council signed off on his responsibilities, duties and powers.
Mr Auton was the former chief executive of Manukau City before Manukau was swallowed up into Auckland's super council in 2010.
A big part of his new job will be to carry on the council restructuring begun by Mr Paterson who died suddenly on June 17 after 11 months in the job.
The council will begin the process of appointing a permanent replacement for Mr Paterson later this year.
Mr Auton's $340,000 salary package compared with the $320,000 paid to Mr Paterson and the $406,000 paid to Mr Paterson's predecessor, Mr Town.
The $86,000 drop in pay for Mr Paterson followed strong political pressure to reduce the council's top-tier staff salaries.
Councillor Larry Baldock campaigned at the last election to review the six-figure salary packages, starting with the chief executive.
Cr Baldock said soon after he was elected that the whole public sector was overpaid. "We have gone nuts."