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.


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  • mps

    Could be applied to many councils – seems to be method of operation for Tauranga City Parking Meter Collection Council 

    • Precisely why we need a recall facility

  • Gazzaw

    I’m not up on the mood of the Ch’ch people but wouldn’t it be fair to assume that the lefties will sweep into power at the next LB elections so the sooner the better for Trotter. I appreciate that labour got a good kicking in the national election but the mood of the people down there seems to be ‘Anyone but Parker’.

    • Mrv Antispam

      I don’t know if this extends to installing Dalziel however?

      • dad4justice

        put dalzeel in as mayor then redzone turns to deadzone!