Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says Lyttelton Port's decision to award its chief executive, Peter Davie, a $600,000 bonus is out of step with the community's expectations.
The bonus is on top of Mr Davie's $400,000 salary.
Mr Parker says he speaks from experience, following the council's own experience with the big public backlash to its decision to award a $68,000 pay rise to its own chief executive, Tony Marryatt.
Mr Parker says that the council it can't interfere in its decisions of the port company, even though it owns a ske in it of almost 80%.
The chair of the council's shareholding company, Bruce Irvine, says the bonus, which covers several years, was adequately explained at the annual meeting.