Go Bob, Now, and take Tony with you


Mike Yardley writes in The Press about the failure of Bob Parker’s mayoralty and his CEO as Christchurch City Council gets spanked by IANZ.

The news ricocheted across the city yesterday morning like a thunderclap.

Despite all the soothing tones of reassurance, despite all the varnished rhetoric that the big bad wolf of revocation would be kept from the council door, International Accreditation New Zealand (Ianz) has walked the talk and blown the house down.

The Christchurch City Council has incurred the unique and ignominious distinction of becoming the nation’s first consenting authority to be stripped of its accreditation.

On the day that the Ianz letter, outlining the intention to revoke, was brought to the public’s attention by the Canterbury earthquake recovery minister, the Christchurch mayor’s first reflex was to absolve the council of any blame or responsibility.

He slammed Gerry Brownlee for launching a ”media missile” and he accused the Government of ”undermining public confidence in the council”.

 Typical of Bob, blames everyone but himself. He is the mayor, and the CEO reports to him…those two should go if they had even an ounce of humility.

Bob Parker characterised the revocation warning as ”simply the accreditation folk going through their process”.

And, of course, he was supremely confident that the council had no cause for concern that its accreditation was in jeopardy.

In the wake of such embellished bravado, the political fallout for Parker is thunderous. Just three months out from election day, it’s a hell of a black eye. But beyond the political ramifications, this is a withering hammer blow to our sense of trust in the council.

Would you trust them to be straight with you?

Nope, I wouldn’t.

Late last week, the council’s senior management were trumpeting all of the progress they’d made to ward off and neutralise the compliance concerns Ianz had flagged.

But as the council brass backslapped themselves into believing that all was well in the state of Denmark, ministers Brownlee and Maurice Williamson were busily deploying contingency plans, just in case the council was duly defrocked.

Now that the nightmare scenario has become a reality, we should learn more about those plans tomorrow. But a show of accountability would also help clear the head.

So now that the good ship Christchurch has hit the rocks, stripped of its accreditation for one its most critical functions, who will resign?

Bob and Tony at a minimum, plus the head of the department responsible.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.