Unlike Sideshow Bob, a former Hamilton mayor is no fan of Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt.

One of the persistent criticisms of Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt is that he operates as an unelected councillor, interfering in areas that are outside his job description. In tandem with Sideshow Bob he has, on many occasions, deliberately kept the Council out of the decision making loop. Several councillors are known to be concerned about Marryatt's activities.

The most recent example of Marryatt's secretive ways is the decision by the SuperShed directors to move the recycling store from the east side of the city to the west side. As a director of SuperShed and as CEO of the Christchurch City Council, Marryatt was instrumental in depriving the hard hit Eastside of a valuable community resource.

Yet the Council was entirely unaware of what Marryatt was up to, despite the fact that SuperShed's own Statement of Intent obligated the directors to inform the Council of any major proposals.

This is not the first time Marryatt has been involved in sidestepping Council. It was, for example, he and Sideshow Bob who secretly cooked up the deal to buy the five Dave Henderson properties at a cost of $17 million. That was a winner wasn't it?

It was also 'Bob and Tony' who thought it would be great idea to put Council rents up a massive 24 percent. Marryatt claimed it was all entirely legal and above board. The High Court disagreed and struck out the increase.

Before he arrived in Christchurch nearly fours ago, Marryatt was CEO of the Hamilton City Council.

In a book published in 2008, former Hamilton mayor David Braithwaite has some uncomplimentary things to say about his CEO.

In Making A Stand Braithwaite writes that Marryatt came to his house the day after his 2001 mayoral election win with a note outlining which councillors should hold positions of power.

He says : 'I was elected on a Saturday and on the following day I was visited by Tony Marryatt at my home.

He presented me with a hand-written paper on which he outlined who should hold positions of responsibility on the incoming council, who the deputy mayor should be and that councillor Dave Macpherson should hold no positions of responsibility at all.'

Dave Macpherson was an active member of the Alliance Party.

According to Marryatt he was just giving the mayor his 'professional wisdom' after the election.

Braithwaite also says in his book that his immediate concern on taking the mayoral reins 'was the attitude of chief executive Tony Marryatt.'

'My mayoralty began with what was essentially a threat from him, and a clear warning that he thought the mayoralty and its smooth functioning were in his gift and not in the gift of the electors of the city."

Braithwaite also writes that Mr Marryatt 'never lost an opportunity to tell me how powerful and important he was'.

'He was, he said, the best chief executive officer in New Zealand. Clearly in Tony Marryatt's view, he was the city's king-maker and infinitely more important than people who had merely been elected to their positions by the public. Council employees were at his direction, so why not the mayor and council as well?'

Kind of makes you think that Marryatt has transferred his elitist and undemocratic philosophy to Christchurch...


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