Sam Sachdeva at The Press reports:
Christchurch city councillors have defended chief executive Tony Marryatt’s decision to quit a meeting early to play golf.
Yesterday, Marryatt excused himself from a full council meeting to take part in a pro-am tournament at Pegasus Golf Course, being held as part of the NZ Women’s Open, which starts today.
Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button said she supported Marryatt taking part in the “flagship event”.
“The event is also important for Christchurch in that it brings visitors into the region and has so many positives, particularly economic, for our city,” Button said.
Councillor Aaron Keown defended Marryatt, saying he had been granted leave to play.
“The guy’s allowed to take leave when he wants, and if he chooses to take leave to play in a pro-am golf tournament, that’s his call,” he said.
“He can get a tattoo and start hanging out with strippers for all I care, as long as he performs.”
Keown is essentially right. All employees get at least four weeks annual leave, and what the CEO does on his annual leave is up to him.
The council meeting in question did not look to be a critical one, albeit all meetings post-earthquake are of greater importance than in other cities. But the CEO no doubt has numerous direct reports who can handle one half day meeting in his absence.
Having said that, Marryatt can sometimes be his own worst enemy.
He defended his decision to take part, saying he needed “some kind of balance” between his work and personal life.
“I just think I’m allowed to do this: I have annual leave, and I’ve taken half a day’s annual leave to play a game of golf,” he said.
“At the end of the day, I can’t run my life and this organisation on what some people will think.”
His golf game had deteriorated since the city’s earthquakes, and his handicap had “gone out by eight [strokes]” in the last 18 months, he said.
The first few lines are fine, but that last line made me groan. He may not intend it, but it comes across that having his golf handicap worsen is something people should have sympathy for. He shouldn’t have mentioned that at all and just stayed with the line that unless he takes annual leave, he will not be as effective as he otherwise would be.Tags: Christchurch City Council, golf, Tony Marryatt