Joe Bennett on the Chch Town Clerk

Joe Bennett isn’t happy about the carry on of the out of control Christchurch City Council Town Clerk, Tony Marryatt:

The sickness, as always, shows up in the language. Mr Marryatt, for example, is known as a CEO. But he is not a CEO. A CEO runs a competitive business that has to earn money. The council is a monopoly that does not have to earn money. It just demands money from ratepayers. So Mr Marryatt’s job is merely to oversee the spending of a guaranteed income. Spending is easier than earning.

Mr Marryatt’s role used to have the more accurate title of town clerk. I think we should revive it. It is an honourable title but it stresses that the role is clerical. No-one pays a clerk half a million bucks.

The tipline is buzzing with an awful lot of stories about Tony Marryatt and his pal bob Parker…it is taking some time to sift through it all.

If as it appears that Council mistakes have lead to people dying, then someone should be held accountable. Bob and Tony should fess up, take the rap and get out of the way.


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  • bb

    thinking of other council functions – would we class the parking meter management as revenue gathering (likely profit making) if so the every council jn nz is revenue gathering for profit therefore run as a profit generatjng business. small point but all the relevant. i prrsonally think joe is a ranter cause he can and loves it.  no question maryatt has massively under prformed for such a salary. another cushy govt job.

  • Harold

    My grandfather, an ex-employee of the Wellington City Council for 40 years from the 1940s to the 1980s was banging on about this exact same subject recently. He rightly pointed out that the CEO (in this case Garry Poole) is just the Town Clerk, that the council’s expansion is way, way out of hand and much of it has been unnecessary and simply empire building. I also found it interesting that until reasonably recently (perhaps the early 1980s, he was saying something about Fowler changing the culture there) the mayor’s and councillor’s positions were all free! That is they were all business people and they didn’t get paid for it. I understand that times have changed, but my street and path lights and trees and surrounds that the council neglects hasn’t.

  • Anonymous

    Mayor Parker seems to have put his Mayoralty on the line to have the incumbent CEO re-appointed. It now seems he is not worth his salary – it is the CEO’s job not to make blunders that embarrass the Council. I saw it reported somewhere that the Government was considering taking over some Council’s functions because it was more concerned with processes in the ‘buildings’ area rather than facilitating recovery. A top notch CEO would be addressing such issues directly and if he felt the Council was inhibited by legislation then negotiate with Government for appropriate ‘Gerry-orders’ to smooth the path.

    Councils are obliged by law to advertise for and reappoint their CEO’s every five years. If I was a councillor, I would want to ascertain the salary level (inc perks) short of ‘top dollars’ to attract a suitable candidate and tell head hunters the salary range is 90% of that (to give a bit of negotiating leeway). If the existing CEO or other applicants think it is too low they need not apply. You may not get the ‘best’ candidate, but you would get one who is 95% ‘best’.

    • Anon

      Don’t Panic –
      Lianne Dalziel is on her way to the Mayoralty.
      She will sort all the bugger’s out

      • anon2

        Yes, this lady is due for her due..and she will be thinking an working for us, and us alone…

        Remember how she was predicted to become  our PM?… But another lady popped up and  pulled up the ladder.

        Go on Lianne there are many out here waiting for you.

      • Roscoe

        Have to admit to being very surprised about your prediction I would have thought that the lady Dalziel was considering retirement? Not sure that I understand who supposedly “pulled up the ladder”

  • Scanner

    Councils should provide core services, NOTHING MORE, some no most, now see themselves as the guardians of every fucking thing, dump the bullshit and get back to what you are supposed to do, provide core services.
    At the same time what an awesome business model, not making enough money, simple charge more, and your end user has to pay.
    Not paying staff enough, charge more, and your end user has to pay,
    Want to provide more airy fairy namby pamby interfering services, charge more, and your end user has to pay.
    Want to pay a legion of overblown bureaucrats with huge titles, huge salaries, complete with bonus packages for doing what they were employed for, you got it,  charge more, and your end user has to pay.
    Gravy meet train.

  • Yoti

    All this nonsense about CEO’s happened when Council’s were attacked by accounting firms to re-brand. The top man before that was the Town Clerk and the ratepayers were just that. They paid their rates as a tax by the fact they lived in a particular area. The new image was that the Town Clerk became the CEO and the rate payers/tax payers became clients or customers. 

    I always thought that clients or customers had a choice as to who they did there business with!

    Strangely as part of this whole exercise Councils were encouraged to revalue the whole city and treat that as an asset they could borrow against. That included putting commercial values on parks, reserves, etc. Most Councils took up the challenge and borrowed heavily and still are.

    Those chickens are about to come home to roost.

  • Roger

    One other aspect of Councils is their revenue generating activities eg parking fees are often put into separate organizations. However these organizations are not tax payers as they hide behind the Council’s tax exempt status. However they compete head on with external providers of for example parking services who are subject to tax. This is just another way the Councils rort their position.

  • David

    New council building which cost twice what was budgeted, dirty back room deal with Dave Henderson slipped passed the rules by splitting into five deals, buying the elders lie flower show without releasing the cost, buying the buskers festival for no good reason the list is bloody endless.
    Word is, aside from the backhanders that Maryatt knows about from Hendo there is of course the mayors husband and his overseas procedures she has had done. Parker gives the big pay rises and the town clerk keeps his gob shut. Have a look at Maryatt being given a directorship to the local body insurance company and his canceling of the existing NZI contract which has left us with no cover at all for our underground services when he switched our cover, he should be in court over it. Drives me fuckin mad but being in the construction business I ain’t putting my head above the parapet.
    Big Gerry should do an Ecan on the whole lot of them.

    • plastic

      this is explosive stuff – where to from here then gerry?

  • Caleb

    Eveyones in on it, though. Bending the council for every cent, every tender, every service. A private company would go nowhere. Instead of super sizing these beasts, we should be down sizing. I wonder if a suburb sized co-operative would work.

    • Roscoe

      I suspect what you say it quite right, I have heard numerous tradespeople say that the council tells them what tender price they want even when it MUCH MORE that the actual intended quote. How is that process clean and open?i

  • Dion

    I remember seeing a brochure from the CCC using the phrase “council inflation” during their last round of rates increases.

    What the hell is “council inflation”, and how / why does it differ from real inflation?  In the world I come from, if you don’t control your costs, you’re held accountable.  There are no homeowners with bottomless pits of cash to extort money out of.

  • dad4justice

    The CCC is beyond a sick joke.

    • Anon

      CCC is no different from any City Council in New Zealand.
      Try Auckland first as a start.

      • dad4justice

        born in Auckland 1960 dude so don’t start me on fucked up council dickwaks, my mate fell from building in redzone ( grand c0) hardocre shit  bob and fat gerry.

        council wimps need a pill that Hilter took.

  • Dave Payne

    Thanks to Christchurch city council allowing brick houses with tile roofs to be built on land known to turn to mush in an earthquake, we are all going to be paying very high insurance premiums henceforth. That’s if we can get disaster insurance at all. Other councils are busy degrading our ability to earn a living by turning export earning farms into unproductive lifestyle blocks. Central government really need to reign them in.

  • kevin

    Is that the same marryatt that set up the Hamilton V8’s?  If so, we all know the outcome… and debris left behind.

  • jay cee

    reading former whanganui mayor mike laws column in the sunday star times a while back he made the point that local councils have to get creative with their revenue gathering because central government is putting more responsibilties  on them without providing extra funding. the actual details escape me  but he did say it.

  • Duncan

    Bob was a sitter for a knighthood before “I’ve been working 9 weeks straight” Tony’s contract renewal came along.

  • Steve and Monique

    It totally astounds me that this incomptent, money hungry, glorified bludger is employed by another city council. When will they learn? What he was able to get away with in Hamilton; the ratepayers are still paying for! He has gone to a higher paying job and Hamiltonians are left to pick up the tab and now the people of Christchurch are picking up HIS tab for earning more money than a bull can shit! Surely there must be something people can do to stop the injustice. These people have been going through hell while this rubber johnny has been off holidaying and swanning around. He didn’t even give enough of a toss to come back when the last shake hit just before Christmas. If he was employed in the “real world”, he would have been sacked!

  • Anonymousecoward

    The Government will not appoint commissioners to run the Peoples Republic of Christchurch.

    The Council is not blocking access to water by dairy farmers.

  • gazzaw

    If these allegations have even a modicum of truth behind them then Ch’ch ratepayers need  to grow soe cojones and take to the streets while the national focus is firmly fixed on the city.

    • Southshore

      Yeap and so they will on February 1st – Mayor Parker and the town clerk are gone! 

  • Gazzaw

    What happens on 1 Feb? Election or are you taking to the barricades?

    • Southshore

      On February 1 at midday there is a public protest rally at council offices to seek an urgent re-election of the council and the mayor or the appointment of statutory managers.  This is a critically important issue for all of Christchurch.

  • Brighton Belle

    Marryatt’s behaviour is beyond contemptible, he doesn’t give
    a toss about the people of Christchurch; he is a self-centred, egotistic
    monster. He has surrounded himself with whimpering sycophants at the council,
    all vying to please the master so that they can get a good review and more
    ratepayers money.   Ask the real workers
    what they think of the town clerk? Tot up the million dollar blunders he has
    made, Turners and Growers, Civic Assurance, Henderson Property buyback,
    Ellerslie Flower Show – the numerous backdoor deals he has going, the multiple directorships on every conceivable board, the missing Emergency Response appraisal, EQ victims
    burial charges, the list goes on and on… his arrogance grows daily and Bob
    Parker shrinks more in stature and reputation as a result – it’s now clear that
    Marryatt runs Parker along with the rest of the council.  The only way is to clean out the entire council
    management structure before we are bankrupted by this man.  The voters of Christchurch will protest  demanded council are removed at midday on February 1st at the council offices.

    • Anon

      Are not all Local Government CEO’s self centred egotists.
      Every few years they trough from one council to another leaving their stuff ups behind them for the next trougher to re stuff, and move on in time. Its the same people almost every time. Look at the familiar names.

  • Sarah

    oh dear lord the anti marratt brigade have latched on to whaleoil.  MMmmmmm and I see he does not delete comments that are not favorable to a cause. Sad that the facebook page on anti marryatt can not do the same. I was called a council sycophant lol, and if I was Ngaire????? Whoever Ngaire is.  I just suggested that maybe it was all a little too vitriolic and obsessive and perhaps getting a bit sad. Oh well under the circumstances the stress has to be released somehow and Marryatt is it. 

    • Brighton Belle


      Sarah are you a ratepayer in Christchurch I wonder – are you
      sitting on a smashed up, silt sodden property? 
      If so you too would object to anybody being paid $2,000 A DAY of
      ratepayer’s money?  And if that person is
      also an incompetent oaf you would be even more incensed.  It is so much more than the anti Marryatt
      feeling, the entire council have to be removed.   Ngaire Button is the Deputy Mayor she blogs
      as “Nelly” but of course you would know that being associated with
      council.  You go have a wonderful day in
      your rosy world… 

      • Sarah

        Oh I love it!   So sad be so vitriolic.  My best friends house is munted and daughters house needs major work but you know what they’ve moved on.  Still in ChCH but as they said at christmas man there are some sad and bitter people. why waste all the energy…move on make lemonade out of lemons. jeeze wayne. and once and for all please save the petty crapola, I do not have anything to do with council. My rosy world huh don’t think so please dont make comments on what you do not know about me personally. another typical ploy bitter people use.

    • Southshore

      Ken Williamson #9 09:21 am Jan 20 2012 Note for Sarah this is from Marryatt’s time in Hamilton!!

      Outstanding article, particularly Joe’s clear understanding of Marryatt’s hubris and arrogance. Much of the Hamilton V8 fiasco rests with him and his attitude that it’s not my money and all we need to do is milk the ratepayers to make up any deficit is close to being dishonest. The “I deserve it attitude” is typical of this man’s lack of humility. Wake up Christchurch ratepayers and buzz him off just as we should have done here in Hamilton. Its worth the exit settlement payment. Do it before your debt level increases to the nearly half a billion dollars we Hamiltonians are burdened with. Let Marryatt work in the real commercial world where profit and loss is truly measured and poor performance is not underpinned by long suffering ratepayers. Lets just see if the commercial world will pay him the same salary and venerate him as much as he desires if his performance is as abysmal as it has been with two major Councils.

    • starboard

      Is your name Sarah Marryatt? Dont comment on things you know little about sweetheart.

      • Sarah

        not ur sweetheart . and the re comments personal ..I rest my case.

  • Gazzaw

    I can only comment as an outsider I did, however, live in Ch’ch for five years so am very much aware of the intensity of local politics there. This is not just a Ch’ch issue with hundreds of millions of NZ taxpayers’ dollars involved it’s vital that there is no perception of local pockets being lined at our expense. Parker is shrinking in stature and maybe now is the time to open up the books.

  • Brighton Belle

    Reply to Sarah – I honestly don’t believe your story  – unless your daughter and your friend
    were renting or been fully paid out by EQC and their insurers, they could not possibly be “moving on” and there are not many people in Canterbury who have had claims settled.  Most of us live in a state of limbo and constant worry.  But it’s great that you and your family are so happy and positive.

    • Anon

      I would be interested in Sarah revealing more as her story appears to be inconsistant.
      Umm ??

      • Brighton Belle

        Couldn’t agree more it seems she has gone silent… funny that …

    • Sarah521b

      they own ok Both are taking one day at a time.. She was in limbo too but have the go ahead The other yes waiting re payout only because of last rattle.. I guess strong positive people move on and others use it as a crutch.  Life as we as a family have found out is too short. Live every day as if it was your last is our philosophy.
      I wish you all the best and hope your corner turning is soon

      • Brighton Belle

        Sorry doesn’t add up Sarah!   Thousands of very strong and hugely brave people in Christchurch are getting through ONE day at a time,  The last rattle as you put it would not affect a payout from EQC or anyone else – majority of the insurers are holding on to their money untl the seismic acitivity has stopped.  That is the biggest single problem for Canterbury, no money to repair, no money to rebuild no money to move on.  If your friend or daughter has managed to get a settlement from her insurance company they are very, very fortunate. 

  • Sarah

    sorry so over the bitter twisted.  funny how if your not agin  you must be telling untruths.  My silence was i was working. As I said all the best.