Why are Barry Corbett and Sue Wells seemingly permanent appointments to the board of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd?
Being a director of Christchurch City Holdings Ltd seems to have become permanent positions for Spreydon ward councillors Sue Wells and Barry Corbett. They've been raking in the directors fees since 2005.
It can't be said they bring any special talents to the board.
In July Barry Corbett got rated a 'D' for his council performance by The Press. The newspaper commented:
A councillor since 1998, Corbett brings life to the adage that experience does not always mean quality. He contributes little of note during discussions, other than thanking council staff for their efforts. Some have remarked, not unfairly, that few would notice if he was not there.
But there goes 'Bazza', getting paid another $38,000 for all the 'work' he does for Christchurch City Holdings Ltd. This, incidentally, is the same councillor who thought some of Christchurch's poorest and most vulnerable people should have their rents put up by a massive 24 percent - which was later ruled illegal by the High Court.
Sue Wells took her snout out of the trough to also vote for the rent increase.
When Councillor Len Livingstone (backed by Yani Johanson and Jimmy Chen) attempted to prevent councillors getting directors' fees last October, Corbett - not surprisingly - spoke against Livingstone's amendment. In fact it was probably Corbett's biggest contribution to council debate in recent times.
Corbett was critical of Livingstone: "If he had served on the board of any of these organisations, he would recognise all the extra work that goes on."
But according to a former director of CCHL, Gail Sheriff, the work takes no more than five to ten hours a month.
So someone is making things up. My money is on Corbett - who finds time in his 'busy schedule' to voice radio commercials and make the occasional appearance on Radio New Zealand National's weekday afternoon show 'The Panel' .
Its apparent that Corbett and Wells continue on the board of the CCHL largely as a reward for their continued loyalty to Sideshow Bob.