While Sideshow Bob is now trying to distance himself from his hapless CEO, it wasn't so long ago that Bob was telling everyone  that 'we were lucky' to have Tony Marryatt  working for the Christchurch City Council. But this isn't the first time that Marryatt has screwed up - this time though it can't be swept under the carpet.

The debacle over building consents could have all been avoided if Mayor Bob Parker and councillors like Sue Wells, Ngaire Button and Aaron Keown had not continued to consistently defend Tony Marryatt.  These councillors, like the good little poodles that they are, just followed Bob's example and ignored the alarm bells that were periodically  going off around New Zealand's highest paid CEO.

One such alarm bell was a  2011 Christchurch City Council internal report that raised huge questions about Marryatt's competency.

Instead of addressing the issues, Sideshow Bob sat on the report and it only saw the light of day after the  Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission demanded it be submitted as evidence.

Among other things, it revealed that Tony Marryatt's failed to respond even adequately  to unfolding events.

The report exposed   that the Christchurch City Council shockingly didn't recognise the seriousness of the September 2010 quake and responded in a haphazard and ab hoc manner.

The report said the  Council relied on a new overworked and under-resourced team, called the building evaluation transition (BET) team, to evaluate dangerous buildings.

I wrote on January 2 last year:

The BET team made the Keystone Cops look professional. It communicated poorly with the council and the public, losing files and sometimes giving conflicting and "embarrassing" advice. There is no evidence that Tony Marryatt intervened to address the situation.

The team also exceeded its original mandate, operating for 12 weeks instead of three and costing ratepayers $50,000 a week. Again, where was Tony Marryatt? Where was Sideshow Bob? Was everyone simply asleep at the wheel?

The report  also said  that buildings that were classified as 'safe' later collapsed in the February quake. It had already been revealed the Council incorrectly cleared a green-stickered part of a building after September 4 that collapsed in the February 22 quake, killing one of the occupants.

Yet no one from within the Christchurch City Council  took any accountability or responsibility  for any of this.

In fact, in Sideshow Bob's view, no one was accountable and  he chalked it all down to 'experience.'  As  I also wrote on January 2 last year:

He insists that this wasn't a fiasco - just part of 'a learning curve' for the Christchurch City Council. Yes, council officers losing files and a CEO seemingly missing in action can all be chalked down to the vagaries of Bob's nonsensical 'learning experience'.

And now the chickens have well and truly come home to roost. - and Bob has been well and truly caught out this time round. He can't just sit on this issue and wait for the clamour to fade away.  He can't just chalk it all down to a 'learning experience'. Marryatt will have to go.

Bob is claiming that Marryatt  withheld information about the true picture of the building consent process -   but we only have his  word for that.  With Marryatt on 'garden leave' and under council instructions not to talk, we'll have to wait and see whether  Bob's soon to be former right hand man will remain loyal and go quietly.

It shouldn't just be Tony Marryatt walking the plank. But we'll get our chance to throw out Sideshow Bob and his council toadies in October.

Support for Marryatt came from Jamie Gough, Barry Corbett, Ngaire Button, Aaron Keown, Claudia Reid, Sue Wells, Sally Buck and Chrissie Williams.

Glenn Livingstone, Jimmy Chen, Yani Johanson and Tim Carter voted against Marryatt.

Helen Broughton abstained. 


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