Not a PR disaster, just a disaster

There is no way to spin stuff like this

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker admits Tony Marryatt’s $68,000 pay rise was a ”PR disaster” as the councillors prepare for a last-ditch attempt to save the troubled council.

Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning, Parker repeated yesterday’s ineptitude claim, saying the pay rise was “politically inept and it was a PR disaster”.

“Many of the public are angry,” he said.

“The council has to accept blame for that process.”

A grotesque pay rise for an overpaid bureaucrat when the whole of the city is suffering is an insult to the people of Christchurch. You can’t spin this kind of thing no matter how hard you try because it is wrong.

If Tony Marryatt wasn’t such a prick he wouldn’t have a heap of Christchurch against him. His high handed approached started in Hamilton where he is unpopular, and continued in Christchurch. Amongst the MPs in Christchurch I have spoken to not a single one has a good thing to say about him as he is far too precious to give a mere MP the time of day.

Over a long career in politics one lesson I have learned is that if you aren’t on good terms with important stakeholders like MPs you won’t be on good terms with ordinary voters. Tony Marryatt proves this point, and the council should have known better to reappoint a man who is so unpopular. If there weren’t better candidates then they should have re-advertised the position.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Gt6mark

    Even if he was doing a great job 14% pay rise when do many rate payers are gone or in the deep brown shit just isn’t on.
    He was also caught lying badly as well. Public repect as long gone.

  • captain Kidd

    why do councils call these people CEOs they are what they always have been town clerks.If any councils turnover is insuficient all they need do is rob the ratepayer more.A normal CEO would need to increase sales or drop expenses.

    • That is what the “modern” head of council is supposed to do – why they changed them from being Town Clerks to CEO’s the problem is the definition of sales – i.e. use of council facilities and who are their customers.

    • Gazzaw

      Absolutely correct. Real CEOs compete in a commercial environment.

      Wannabe CEOs in city councils are just jumped up town clerks and those heading up government departments should revert back to secretary or whatever they used to be called. Very few of them would hack the pace in private enterprise.  

      The usual excuse for the pay rise is that its not their fault, its what the Higher Salaries Commission have calculated they are worth so blame it on the system.
      Well, the system is FUCKING WRONG so where is it carved in stone that the system has to stay? Get rid of the HSC and bring in a system that reflects the the taxpayer/ratepayer (ie the employers) requirements.

  • Top Bloke

    And so it continues. Have shovel will dig – check, Foot in mouth – check.  

  • Rockyr

    And now the Kapiti Council has upped the ante by giving its’ town clerk an 18% $48,000 a year payrise with double figure rate increases forecast for years ahead, and despite a record of disasters and extravagant future developments. Many letters sympathising with Kapiti ratepayers had been published in local newspapers from disaffected Nelson ratepayers who joyously allowed Kapiti to headhunt him.

  • Anonymousecoward

    Your story about the Christchurch City Council Chief Executive refusing to meet with local MP’s seems to be beyond the bounds of reason.

    If true the man is inept.

    • bb

      won’t meet cause he know he will be found out to be the inept fraud he is.

      • Gazzaw

        Does Marryatt still commute from Hamilton? If so then he should be gone if for no other reason. At this time in Ch’ch their CEO should be there 24/7.  AS our old labour mates kept saying “It’s all about perception”.

  • insider

    The smart way to approach this would be no annual increases on fixed term contracts for senior execs. Give them a fixed pool of money with incentives as part of it to allow performance recognition and that’s it for their term. No annual arguments about increases. Sure you might pay a bit more up front but it should average out over the term

  • Paulus

    Who created this monster called the Higher Salaries Commission ?
    Remember for every Town Clerk salary the next pecking orders move up also, and most Councils have many in the next teirs of hierarchy and so down.
    So for a salary of $500,000 for the Town Clerk their will be 5 next teirs on $350,000 and so on.

    • Gazzaw

      We can surely ‘uncreate’ the HSC. It isn’t set in stone is it? There must be more modern & efficient processes.

  • Rot at the Top

    By all accounts Marryatt is a self absorbed, self serving BULLY – the Mayor is clearly afraid of him, the old timers on council fear but fall all over him because he hands out favours and directorships to those who toe the line –  but the new group of councillors Carter, Johanson, Livingstone and Jimmy Chen confront him, question his poor decisions, asked and now demand transparancy and collective consultation, before projects are approved and announced to the media.  And so they should, that is what the voters of Christchurch elected them for.   Jamie Gough is the most disappointing councillor of all he started out with such promise but changed sides and joined Marryatt/Parker at the first hurdle (Marryatt’s pay increase).  Best they all go, the good ones wil be relected, the Mayor and CEO will fade into oblivion and turn up with some other unsuspecting organisation – maybe Mike Stenhouse could help them all find new employment and Felciity Price could do their PR..

    • Cantab

      Very good comment Rot.
      That would be the same Mike Stenhouse that derives the majority of his income from the CCC. The same man that managed the recruitment process. The same man that came up with the pay increase number for Marryatt. the same man that holidays with his good mate, Felicity Price.

      Agree with your comments re new group of councillors, Jamie Gough is a boy doing a man’s job. The Sue Wells types with their experience based on their radio talkback history have been found wanting when it comes to standing up to the bully.

      The squabbling is not good, but it’s better than letting Tony and Bob operate without consulting the democratically elected counsellors.

      • Rot at the Top

        Thanks – yes I agree the Marryatt pay rise started the ball
        rolling and as more and more stuff was unpeeled, the whole council emerged as
        the most corrupt, dysfunctional organization in the land – it all falls to Mayor
        Parker to keep things under control but he has failed miserably. It’s too late
        for Marryatt, even now thinking about, maybe, giving the $68 pay rise back – it
        is going to resolve the problems within council, they all have to go and be
        re-elected on their individual performance. Mike Stenhouse and Felicity Price
        should be formally excluded from future council projects for their part in all
        this mess.

  • ConwayCaptain

    The problem with councils in general is the way they raise their money.

    The Govt raises its money by taxing people and companies.  As the economy fluctuates its income goes up and down and it has to cut its clothe to suit and/or borrow.  It also has to have contingency plans for disasters like Pike River, Rena, ChCh quake.

    The councils raise their money by saying Oh thats agood idea we need another X million so we will raise the rates thisbyear by 5% for instance.  If the Govt raise taxes byb 5% pa they would be out of office.

    The Govt has ministers that are meant to control depts and HODs and in the main they seem to do a good job.  There are no Minister equivalents in councils justr committees and the HoDs seem to be able to do what they like.

    The whole thing needs reform.

  • aobugs

    Not that I want to compare Christchurchs situation to Dunedin, but it interesting to see Shimrath Paul (Chief exec for Otago Museum) salary package at $310+K! Compare Te Papa – highest paid employee is in the $310-$310K bracket. Compare other senior local or national public servants. Dunedin Council os currently trying hard to see where they can save money. I have a suggestion.