Tony Marryatt

Random Impertinent Questions about the Dodgy Socialist Dam

The dodgy socialist dam in Central Hawkes Bay looks like it is going to fall over with the council taking several weeks to decide whether to proceed or not.

The Board of Inquiry didn’t buy into the HB Regional Council’s now discredited model that said they only needed to limit one nutrient.

This leads to a series of questions:

  1. Was the HBRC aware that their decisions were being made based on a model that had not been adequately peer reviewed and would not have stood up in the environment court because it was not released to other submitters?
  2. Why did the HBRC think it was so special it could turn a river toxic by setting N levels at Toxicity?
  3. Why did the HBRC think it was so special it could only limit P, not N, while every other river in the country has to limit both?
  4. Why didn’t the HBRC listen to staff who dissented on the TRIM model?  Read more »

Dodgy Socialist Council Gives Staffer $84,500 Pay Rise

Regular readers will know we think the Hawkes Bay Regional Council is exceptionally dodgy.

They are the regulator and promoter of the dodgy socialist dam in Central Hawkes Bay, and have bullied opponents to the dam in a totally shameless way that will become a media story.

They are also the ratbags that allowed the CHB District Council to pour brown “treated” sewage into the Waipawa River.

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Now they have paid their CE who has left to push the dodgy socialist dam through the dodgy consents process another $84,500. The non socialist members of the council have said this is a disgrace.   Read more »

Is the Press trying to tell us something?

With the countries worst kept secret about to be revealed The Press thought they should hold a little survey.

This is the image that thy presented with the survey…Keeping Stock noticed and wondered if perhaps they were trying to tell us something.

Why wouldn’t you vote for a radiant, beaming Ms Dalziel, against the taciturn, tired and grumpy looking Bob Parker?

Has The Press already annointed Ms Dalziel as its candidate of choice, even though an official announcement will not be made until Saturday? Is this a subtle (or perhaps a not-so-subtle) message from the editorial staff of The Press that a fresh face is just what Christchurch needs?

Dalziel Parker poll Read more »

Shouldn’t Someone Resign?

NZ Herald

As just about everyone in Christchurch knows their council is bloody useless. To demonstrate how useless they are they paid $80k to get someone to tell them they are unbelievably useless.

Christchurch City Council is an isolated “fortress” which is “culturally reluctant” to communicate openly with its city’s inhabitants, a new report concludes.

An $80,000 independent audit of the council’s communication systems was commissioned by council chief executive Tony Marryatt in January after mounting criticism that it was failing to inform residents what it was doing post-earthquakes.

The final report, released today, found people unhappy with information surrounding key council moves resulting in confusion over the decision-making process

It said there was “widespread agreement” that the council was not customer focused and had developed a “can’t do attitude”.

They are so useless that the only way to change the culture is for people to resign. The Mayor and the CE would be a good start.

It is a tragedy that the Earthquake Recovery Minister is such a lazy bastard or he could use his dictatorial powers and sack a few people.

More popular than a dictator

The Press

The Press has commissioned a leadership survey of local personalities. The result are astonishing for one person in particular:

Tousle-haired Student Volunteer Army head Sam Johnson and controversial Christchurch City Council boss Tony Marryatt find themselves at opposite ends of the leadership spectrum in The Press’s Local Issues Survey.

In a time of crisis Christchurch residents have looked to their leaders for guidance and reassurance.

The Opinions Market Research survey shows some have inspired us with their efforts, others have dispirited us, and the work of others remains seemingly unknown.

The top dogs of local and central government agencies, and of business and community organisations, came under the spotlight in The Press survey of 300 Christchurch, 33 Waimakariri and 26 Selwyn residents.

Johnson’s performance was head and shoulders above the rest, with a staggering 98 per cent of the 359 surveyed considering he had done a good job.

Fifty-eight per cent said his leadership had been “extremely good” and 33 per cent said it was “very good”.

With figures like that  he will be giving lessons to the Kim, Assad and Putin. Perhaps he should stand for Mayor?

A Duplicitous Chief Executive

Stuff.co.nz

The Bob and Tony Show is more like bad imitation of Laurel and Hardy, in that they are trying to be comedians but just aren’t funny.

Protests made Tony offer to pay back his 14.4% pay increase. Now he is using a weasel clause to get out of it.

Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt will not make a decision on whether to return part of his controversial $68,000 pay hike until a Government observer leaves.

The council awarded Marryatt a 14.4 per cent increase last December, sparking a wave of public criticism.

In January, he said he had asked the council to stop paying the increase. However, he held on to more than $25,000 already received and said he would return the money only if councillors worked together.

“The councillors said they would work together collegially,” he said in January. “If they can be true to this commitment, I will make a similar commitment in the same spirit of good faith and will give back any increase I’ve received to date.”

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.

Trotter on Christchurch City Council

Chris Trotter has blogged about the Christchurch City Council. He sounds very much like he is a gnats whisker from endorrsing action to remove the council:

But to meld a council of strong-willed and opinionated individuals into a united team of citizens’ advocates requires leadership of the highest order. Unfortunately, this has not been forthcoming. Neither the Mayor, Bob Parker, nor the Council CEO, Tony Marryatt, appear to have grasped the urgency of transforming the Council into the principal advocate of – and for – Christchurch’s battered citizens. On the contrary, both men seem to have scant regard for the three principles indispensable to the construction of unity: transparency; consultation; and accountability.

Local democracy is not about gathering together a bare majority of compliant cronies whose sole contribution to local government is to rubber-stamp the joint recommendations of the Mayor and his CEO. And it is certainly not about the Mayor’s cronies, puffed-up with pride at their insider status, heaping scorn upon those councillors denied admission to the magic circle of power. Indeed, nothing is more calculated to breed disunity, disaffection and defensiveness: the very feelings that cause politicians to resort to that time-honoured response to secrecy and exclusion – the leak.

Of all the many sins capable of arousing the fury of administrative authoritarians the leaking of privileged information is the most egregious. Their invariable response is to double-down on the secrecy while setting in motion a witch-hunt for the person or persons responsible. The “Us versus Them” mentality is thus transferred from the council table to the council bureaucracy. In consequence, the political and administrative dysfunction, far from being reduced, intensifies.

Sounds like Nick Smith really needs to act with alacrity.

How Tony Marryatt’s Salary was set

According to the Mayor

Councillors had “progressively” tested the size of the increase until they found a figure that most were happy with, Parker said.

Does anyone from the Peoples Republic know if “progressively” is an euphemism for pulling it out of your arse?

Christchurch City Council dumb stuff, Ctd

They get a report saying Tony Marryatt’s pay rise exceeds the norm. They give him a pay rise. Then the LGOIMA requests come in. The report is released. The council look like plonkers.

A controversial pay rise for Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt put his salary more than $100,000 above the median pay for similar roles, a report shows.

The report, from remuneration consultant Strategic Pay, was used to help set Marryatt’s $68,000 pay rise, taking his salary to $538,529.

Marryatt said on Friday, after weeks of public criticism, that he had asked the council to stop paying the increase.

The council released the document in response to several Official Information Act requests from media organisations, including The Press.

As I have said previously, the council doesn’t need a review of their communications. They just need to stop doing dumb stuff….and sack Tony Marryatt.