A new study has revealed the pay gap between CEOs and employees is increasing.
University of Otago researcher Dr Helen Roberts' study reveals almost half of New Zealand's CEOs earn more than $500,000 and their pay is up 114 percent in 17 years, compared to the average workers 26 percent.
The study, using information between 1997 and 2013, shows CEOs are also paid up to 30 to 50 times more than the average wage, which now sits at around $60,000.
"It reflects a serious imbalance in the way we set and pay wages in New Zealand," Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff says.
"The fact is it's been very difficult for ordinary people to get decent wage increases while the very well-off [people] have more leverage to get even more."
The trend is not only an issue in New Zealand, with CEO pay gaps in the United States as much as 300 and 500 times that of the average wage there.
New Zealand's highest paid CEO this year is Fonterra boss Theo Spierings, who received a salary package of more than $8 million.