Yardley calls for accountability

July 2nd, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

writes in The Press:

The news ricocheted across the city yesterday morning, like a thunderclap.

Despite all the soothing tones of reassurance, despite all the varnished rhetoric that the big bad wolf of revocation would be kept from the council door, International Accreditation New Zealand () has walked the talk and blown the house down.

The has incurred the unique and ignominious distinction of becoming the nation’s first consenting authority to be stripped of its accreditation.

On the day that the IANZ letter, outlining their intention to revoke, was brought to the public’s attention by the Earthquake Recovery Minister, the Christchurch mayor’s first reflex was to absolve the council of any blame or responsibility.

He slammed Gerry Brownlee for launching a ”media missile”, and he accused the Government of ”undermining public confidence in the council”. 

And that is something I doubt he will recover from. Up until the Govt made it public, the Council itself wasn’t aware they were on the verge of losing accreditation. And Parker attacked the Government for their transparency.

In the wake of such embellished bravado, the political fallout for Bob Parker is thunderous. Just three months out from election day, it’s a hell of a black eye. But beyond the political ramifications, this is a withering hammerblow to our sense of trust in the council. 

Would you trust them to be straight with you?

Late last week, the council’s senior management were trumpeting all of the progress they’d made to ward off and neutralise the compliance concerns IANZ had flagged.

But as the council brass back-slapped themselves into believing that all was well in the state of Denmark, ministers Gerry Brownlee and Maurice Williamson were busily deploying contingency plans, just in case the council was duly defrocked. 

Now that the nightmare scenario has become a reality, we should learn more about those plans tomorrow. But a show of accountability would also help clear the head. 

So, now that the good ship Christchurch has hit the rocks, stripped of its accreditation for one its most critical functions, who will resign?

I think the Chief Executive has to go. Consenting is a core function of Council, and losing accreditation is a management failure. This was not a surprise – IANZ had been warning for over a year.

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16 Responses to “Yardley calls for accountability”

  1. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    Parker was on TV saying there is not a problem here all will be fixed. He still is in denial. This will seriously dent his credibility especially his response to it.

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  2. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    I’m not defending Parker or the CEO , but according to Parker they had done everything the IANZ people had asked for but then last Thursday ( just before the deadline) they come up with more info requests. That does not surprise me –I’ve been in a similar situation some years ago ( not with IANZ). You ask these bureaucrats to state exactly what is wrong , what information is required etc and they just can’t be definitive, so you end up with a drawn out affair as they find exactly what they want.

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  3. Lance (2,309 comments) says:

    @Ross12
    I have had a similar experience with NZ standards.
    2 completely contradictory requirements across 2 different standards with regards to product we designed.
    When I asked for a definitive answer…. not such definition would be given but by thunder they will come after your butt with full vengeance if they consider you breached such regulations.

    Friggin jobs worths.

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  4. RF (1,128 comments) says:

    Who is Mike Yardly. What a breath of fresh air. Maybe the good people in Christchurch would like him to be Mayor.

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  5. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Mike Yardley was a talk back host on ZB. If he ran for Mayor he would be a shoe in….and yes , yet again…Tony Maryott town clerk needs to resign.

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  6. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    The rebuild of Christchurch has been a shambles from the start. When they should have been encouraging and supporting business and investors to stay, they instead scared them off with fantastic visions of a “green” city, with restrictions on building that made them uneconomic and train sets. The smart ones took their money and ran.

    Christchurch could have been a vibrant and exciting city by now, as construction workers and investors rebuilt a wonderful new city.

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  7. Viking2 (10,709 comments) says:

    Seemingly some of the building companies don’t share the view that CHCH is so bad at all.

    Mike Greer Homes director Mike Greer said the council was marginally slower than other councils at processing consents, possibly due to the council dealing with a larger number.

    Greer had 12 people in their Christchurch consents team, who had audits to check for missing information done on all consents before filing them with the council.

    Richard Diver, from Countrywide Property, said spending more time and money on consents was an important way to save time post-quakes. “The reality is, two years ago nobody was applying for building consents.

    “You just can’t beat an organisation like that up over night to cope with the huge influx, and the increase in workload is significant.”

    In the past 14 days the council issued 632 consents with a combined value of $160 million.

    Of the original 500 backlogged consents which Parker committed to clearing by the end of June, 25 remained yesterday morning. All were expected to be cleared by the end of the working day.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8866474/Govt-steps-in-over-Chch-consents-debacle

    Another Nat fuckup. so unnecessary. Clearly Williamson and Brownlee continue with their pointless games. Brownlee always was Key’s bully. Remember way back when before they were elected to govern sensibly. Nah you don’t but plenty here used to praise the bully at the time.

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  8. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Staff members were moved from the council to work at Cera..How many edifices do we need? Awhile back one of these seconded staff members was publicly approving box type building designs by foreign architects. He does not have any town planning quals and is relatively young..Who would know what is really going on?
    I agree with kea’s earlier comment re the business people having left already. ChCh city was dying before it was smashed..Who wants the stadium? Who wants the precincts? The international precinct people are expecting almost everyone else to finance them before they set up their stalls.
    For those who don’t know Mike Yardley , he is a well known CHCH talkback guy and writer who narrowly escaped being another CTV statistic.

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  9. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Maryyatt is conspicuous by his absence in all this..Is he on a golf day today?

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  10. marcw (206 comments) says:

    It took the threat of deregistration for the Council to respond to the backlog of consents – a responsive customer focused organisation would never let that situation develop. The fact that they achieved this in 14 days just shows how dysfunctional in their normal “work” mode they are. We know they face tremendous obstacles, but with the monopoly they have and the fees they charge, they need to be accountable for their failures.

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  11. BeaB (1,946 comments) says:

    And Lianne wants the Government to back out and let the Council take charge! It’s time for Bob and Tony to go but I think she will slow things down even more.

    One day they’ll be erecting a statue to Key and Brownlee, the two Christchurch boys who saved their city.

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  12. xy (130 comments) says:

    Hahahaha accountability in chief executives?

    This is politics of envy. Marryatt is clearly worth his commercially-negotiated salary, because otherwise the entire argument for paying market rates for top talent collapses.

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  13. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    So all is well on planet beab today.

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  14. freethinker (648 comments) says:

    I cannot work out why Bob Parker who with councilors are responsible for governance fronts issues that Marryatt should as chief executive responsible for executing policy, unless his excuse is that council policy is to delay consents which I doubt.Time for the town clerk to be transferred to a job he is capable of running instead of ruining – I cannot think of such a job that is within Marryatts capability but others may have useful suggestions.

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  15. thedavincimode (6,113 comments) says:

    Is it the in-breeding? Or just too much fluoride in the water (and who would trust that Council to get the dosage right). Is it a legacy of all that coal smog? Christchurch local gummint just seems incapable of getting anything right. They couldn’t organise a paper round.

    This little development certainly puts all the whinging and bitching about Brownlee into context.

    Nearly drove off road when I heard reported criticism by second troughing career aspirant Dalzealous bag the gummint for not intervening. FFS, the sheer front.

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  16. thedavincimode (6,113 comments) says:

    Time for the town clerk to be transferred to a job he is capable of running instead of ruining

    And what would that be exactly? I can’t think of one.

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