Will it just be Tony Marryatt who carries the can for the Christchurch City Council's building consent fiasco? Will the independent committee set up to investigate Marryatt resort to Sir Humphrey Appleby's 'Charge of the Light Brigade' Excuse'
The stage show of the classic television comedy series Yes Prime Minister will be in Christchurch
next week and I could not help but think of Sir Humphrey Appleby when the Christchurch City Council announced this week it was setting up an independent committee to investigate CEO Tony Marryatt and his role in the building consent shambles.
You can easily imagine Sir Humphrey holding forth at the council table: 'I recommend that we set up an council committee with fairly broad terms of reference so that at the end of the day we'll be in the position to think through the various implications and arrive at a decision based on long-term considerations rather than rush prematurely into precipitate and possibly ill-conceived action which might well have unforeseen repercussions.'
But this committee does not appear to be a device to stall things and ensure that nothing gets down, but rather to ensure that the Council does not put its foot further in the proverbial. Such an inquiry is demanded by employment law if Marryatt's contract is to be terminated.
There will be another council meeting on Monday which will set the 'terms of reference' and who will undertake the inquiry.
At this point the good people of Christchurch need to remember who voted to reappoint Marryatt for a second term. They were: Jamie Gough, Barry Corbett, Ngaire Button, Aaron Keown, Claudia Reid, Sue Wells, Sally Buck and Chrissie Williams.
Although Parker did not take part in the vote, after earlier standing down, he later said that the reappointment was 'excellent news'.
Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button commented that 'Mr Marryatt has the strengths we need at the moment'
And the good people of Christchurch should remind themselves of what Aaron Keown had to say about Tony Marryatt. Just a few weeks ago he warned that 'he would unleash carnage if Tony Marryatt was pushed out of the job.' Keown should stop watching The Gladiator immediately.
The good people of Christchurch also should recall who voted for Marryatt's 70,000 salary rise - which they generously backdated by some six months. They were: Ngaire Button, Sue Wells, Aaron Keown, Jamie Gough and Claudia Reid.
We need to remind ourselves of all this when it comes time to vote because it is more than likely that the Council's independent committee will employ Sir Humphrey's 'Charge of the Light Brigade Excuse' : 'It was an unfortunate lapse by an individual which has now been dealt with under internal disciplinary procedures.'