A Maori tertiary institute in Whakatane disputes an accusation by a Ngapuhi leader that its chief executive earns more than $500,000 per year.
David Rankin from Matarahurahu hapu said public information shows Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi's chief executive received more than $500,000 in 2011.
He wants to know why Maori organisations in the public sector including tertiary institutes, are paying such high salaries, when some whanau at the other end of the scale are struggling financially.
Whare Wananga Council deputy chair Layne Harvey said Mr Rankin is wrong.
He said the chief executive is paid in accordance with terms approved by the State Services Commission.
Mr Harvey said the base salary range in 2011 went from $296,700 to $362,600.