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.


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  • Bugger me days, 80,000 bucks spent on a report that is of no value whatsoever. Rather ironic its someone from the Court Theatre. It all sounds like some new farce that has been written.

  • Problem does not reside in Christchurch only. I am sure a few Auckland Ratepayers both resident and business wonder if aspects of Auckland Council or certain CCOs suffer from “basic culture deficiency” as well… Especially when hard earned cash is flushed down the toilet on some rather big duds.

  • Roland

    There is
    still time for this farcical review by Felicity Price to be stopped it is
    completely useless and nothing more than a PR stunt by Marryatt and Parker –
    the whole thing stinks she was handed the project, it was never tendered, it
    happened behind closed doors and even councillors only found out about it
    moments before the media were told – if Christchurch ratepayers are happy to
    let the council waste $80.000 of their rates money on this nonsense survey stay
    silent, if you are not happy make certain that you email your councillor.

  • AnonWgtn

    Don’t panic Lianne & Jim will soon be along to sort the bastards out.
    But, –  the new Councillor Buck, ex Dean of Christchurch Cathedral,  will be looking to get a well paying job after his piqued resignation from the Cathedral.

  • MarcWills

    Also, buying the rights to The Ellerslie Flower Show, the details of which were hidden behind the “commercially sensitive” cloak. Eventually after nearly 3 years of blocking by the perpetrators, the ratepayers (ie those whose pockets were being picked) discovered that we had paid $3 million for this privilege. It made a small profit in the first year held here, a loss the second, and will be unlikely to ever be a good investment.

    • Guest

      And again the Ellerslie Flower Show is headed for a huge loss why would people come to Christchurch the way things are…

  • Chris

    You can’t polish a turd, but can roll it in Glitter !