Felicity Price

It’s not the culture, they are just useless

Criticism of the Christchurch City Council is due to a “basic culture deficiency” within the organisation rather than communication problems, a council committee has been told.

The council’s communications committee met yesterday to discuss the draft terms of reference for an $80,000 review of the organisation’s communication problems.

Council chief executive Tony Marryatt commissioned the review after increasing criticism of the council’s performance.

Court Theatre Trust chairwoman and communications consultant Felicity Price was chosen to do the review. Her report is due on June 30.

In a submission to the committee, public relations consultant David Lynch said the council’s problems were due to the culture within the organisation, rather than poor communication.

“No amount of good communication or examination of channels will change the fundamental problem.”

The review could be seen as “shifting the onus from the shoulders of the CEO, mayor and councillors onto the communications team”, Lynch said.

The Bob and Tony show have lead to more stupid decisions being made than by any other council in living memory. Some genius thought the following were good ideas:

  • 22% rent increase for social housing, incorrectly implemented so reversed in a court case
  • Buying up the Henderson properties after three days negotiation
  • Building a modern music complex in the historic arts centre
  • Re-employing Tony Marryatt
  • Giving Tony Marryatt a $68,000 pay rise
  • Giving New Zealand’s most unpopular mayoress her own office in council HQ

And that is before the Royal Commission reports back on how council failings lead to people dying in the earthquake.

You can’t polish a turd, unless of course you are myth busters.