A new report on pay rates has presented "shocking evidence" of growing inequality in New Zealand, a union says.
The Service and Food Workers Union says the Strategic Pay Survey released on Monday shows that in 2011 chief executives were given salary increases greater than the wages its members earn in a year.
"The average base salary for chief executives rose nearly 10 per cent last year to $315,000," union national secretary John Ryall says.
"For hard-working New Zealanders slogging their guts out caring and cleaning, wages are too low to put food on the table and pay basic household bills."
Mr Ryall says the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
"Until the very lowest pay rates are increased, the equity gap will grow and, with it, poverty in New Zealand."