The Press on Mayoral accessibility

January 18th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

editorial:

With the announcement this week of the appointment of a press secretary for Mayor , along with a number of other appointments, the make-up of the mayor’s office is now complete. The mayor had earlier announced the appointment of a chief of staff to run the office. The mayor will have nine people working directly for her, more than twice the four that the former mayor, Bob Parker, had.

It would be interesting to compare the size of the various Mayoral offices to the sizes of their Councils.

In addition to a chief of staff and a press secretary, the mayor now has a senior adviser, a community adviser, a visits and ceremonials co-ordinator, two information officers and two executive assistants (one of them shared with the chief of staff). It must be hoped this staff will be committed to ensuring robust performance from the mayor’s office. It must also be hoped they will be committed to the greatest possible transparency and openness about the mayor’s work.

The mayor’s community adviser is Nicola Shirlaw, who was Dalziel’s campaign manager for the council election. That political connection is of no great significance by itself but the mayor must take care not to allow her office to become highly politicised or excessively inward-looking.

Of course it will be politicised. The job of the Mayor’s office is to get the Mayor re-elected. There’s nothing wrong with that per se. A Mayor who is doing a good job is more likely to be re-elected, so part of what the Mayoral office does is help the Mayor perform well. But they also of course promote the Mayor and try and get favourable coverage.

The office must also not become a barrier between the mayor and the media and public. Parker was commendably available to the media – replying with remarkable diligence and promptness to emails, texts and phone calls, even at the height of his political travails when there was little benefit to him from doing so. Dalziel is proving to be less accessible.

I didn’t know that about Parker. Good on him.

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13 Responses to “The Press on Mayoral accessibility”

  1. Linda Reid (415 comments) says:

    “Of course it will be politicised. The job of the Mayor’s office is to get the Mayor re-elected. There’s nothing wrong with that per se.”

    Then I guess the Mayor pays for these people out of her own pocket? I mean really? Ratepayers have to pay for the Mayor’s campaign team? And no, I don’t think it’s OK just because every other mayor does it. It just sucks.

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  2. MH (762 comments) says:

    it’s called liquisucktion the result of money poured in to cover Dalziel’s resignation from parliament and the electorate she promised to serve for a full term and the by-election costs. The people of Christchurch had the chance to voice their disapproval at that but didn’t.

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  3. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    Come on, it’s only ratepayers money. And there’s more where that came from.

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  4. Reid (16,523 comments) says:

    What is it about lefties and their need always to surround themselves with an army of paid liars? Could it be they know their policies are going to generate such negative feedback that lipstick on the pig experts are therefore a necessary part of doing political business in the lefty world? Why can’t they do what conservatives do, which is simply let their actions speak for themselves?

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  5. OneTrack (3,121 comments) says:

    This seems mild. How big is Len’s reelection team?

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  6. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    This type of frivolous wastage of ratepayers’ money is what you get when all the deadbeats in society get a vote. Local body elections should be the domain of principal ratepayers only, and until this is achieved, we will be screwed by the leeching left, it is effen wrong! Dalziel was the liar Clark sent to the back of the class for misleading Parliament, yet the losers of Christchurch have elected her to rip off those that do the paying. Take a look at the deadbeats that festoon GWRC, it is a leeche’s paradise.

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  7. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    Perhaps Dalziel was impressed with job Len Brown’s office is doing getting him rehabilitated. But the large team of staffers is about protecting her from scrutiny.

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  8. flash2846 (287 comments) says:

    More pigs at the trough helping the new Christchurch mayor look good. Surely Ms Dalziel would know what she’s doing by this stage of her political career and shouldn’t need all the extra help.

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  9. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    The mayor will have nine people working directly for her, more than twice the four that the former mayor, Bob Parker, had.

    So that would make her a Labour mayor, then?

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  10. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    That’s partly because Bob Parker was an egotist

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  11. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    We never heard about Parker being so accessible because it didn’t fit the image the media, his opponents and the Left were so busy promoting.

    Interesting the so-called egotist needed far fewer paid staff and far less expenditure to be far more accessible. Just as well Christchurch loves Dalziel so much she’ll be able to get away with anything. You just can’t beat the Left for troughing.

    MH
    liquisucktion – genius!

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  12. Paulus (2,633 comments) says:

    How can it be political with Kate Brett ex Fairfax Editor of the failed Sunday Star Times as Chief of Staff.

    There is no more left wing paper than that, and it has not changed since she left.

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  13. UrbanNeocolonialist (290 comments) says:

    Mr Farrar is dead wrong on this.

    The Job of the Mayor, and his staff (and all elected officials) is solely to best serve the interests of the voters, not themselves (hence the term civil servant as contrasted to say an aristocratic title). A system that allows for anything else is not fit for purpose and is leaving the door open for increasing levels of corruption. But troughers gonna trough, and will always find ways to rationalise the damage they do serving their own purposes – they should be fought whenever the chance avails itself. Even just the salaries of those extra useless ego-padding staff (ignoring the extra damage they can do) are costing each ratepayer another $5-10 per year.

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