Parker v Dalziel

February 20th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Glenn Conway at The Press reports:

Former Christchurch mayor Sir has criticised his successor, , for doubling staff numbers in her office without consulting ratepayers.

The staff changes for the Mayor’s Office were part of a restructure by the Christchurch City Council’s acting chief executive Jane Parfitt, as mayoral responsibilities increased.

Dalziel said the structure helped “create an efficient use of my time so I can devote myself to the city”.

Dalziel yesterday said she had made “an error in judgment” by not explaining the changes when staff were appointed.

Figures released under the Official Information Act show the mayoral office budget in the 2013-14 year was $385,952. The proposed budget for 2014-15 is $798,605.

Dalziel said she should have “front-footed” the changes to her office.

Parker, who had about four staff in his office during his six years in charge, said the “sizeable increase in costs” was never raised publicly through the annual plan process.

“The decisions, apparently, have already been made and contracts granted by the mayor,” Parker said.

Dalziel’s office has more staff than the mayoral offices in Wellington and Dunedin combined.

It would be very interesting to learn the size of each mayoral office. They should all be of comparable sizes, for similarly sized councils.

Auckland mayor Len Brown has about 20 staff in his office and Prime Minister John Key employs about 25 staff .

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull, who has “a PA and that’s it” said new mayoral powers were “more illusionary than real”.

His council looked for savings “wherever we can find them” and “as a default” did not hire new staff if possible. There were no plans to review staffing levels.

A spokesman for Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown said she employed six-and-a-half fulltime positions, including a chief of staff, office manager/PA, receptionist (who is also PA to the chief of staff), an events co-ordinator and one and a half fulltime correspondence co-ordinators.

20 staff for Len Brown is a staggeringly high figure.

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29 Responses to “Parker v Dalziel”

  1. BeaB (1,948 comments) says:

    The poor people of Christchurch were so eager to get rid of Bob they fell into the trap of electing one of the Labour elite. No end to the machinations, lies and extravagances they will now be subjected to.

    And if she persists in getting offside with Gerry to score political points, it’s the city that will suffer.

    I would never vote for a former MP as mayor, especially one who has had her snout in the trough for years and a track record of telling lies.

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  2. MarkF (89 comments) says:

    “20 staff for Len Brown is a staggeringly high figure.” May I ask why we aren’t surprised? I believe it is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Or PDB suffers from NPD!

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,668 comments) says:

    Len Brown has twenty spin doctors.

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  4. Manolo (12,624 comments) says:

    Despicable socialists like Dalziel and Lecher Brown building little fiefdoms of their own at rate-payer’s expense.

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  5. thedavincimode (6,119 comments) says:

    20 staff for Len Brown is a staggeringly high figure

    That number is a bit misleading though. Half of them are needed to clean up after him.

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  6. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    “Dalziel yesterday said she had made “an error in judgment” by not explaining the changes when staff were appointed.”

    No..she thought if she kept quiet in the euphoria of a great Labour victory no-one would object.

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  7. davidp (3,320 comments) says:

    >20 staff for Len Brown is a staggeringly high figure

    You need to look at the breakdown tho:

    3 Lawyers
    9 Spinmeisters
    6 Bodyguards
    1 PA
    1 Full time cleaner, to polish office furniture after Brown has entertained himself on it

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  8. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    I guess this staff increase is the reason she was up on her hind legs the other day saying how the city “couldn’t afford” some projects that it had committed to?

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  9. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    People don’t seem to learn – lefties are self serving empire builders.

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  10. flash2846 (132 comments) says:

    Typical left leaning mayor surrounds herself with self serving left wing clowns. She even has former (pathetic) mayor Garry Moore with her half the time. Smug arrogant bastards; and we pay for it.

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  11. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    @davidp – surprised. I thought there’d be half a dozen “interpreters”, are they on topof those staff numbers then?

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  12. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..Dalziel said the structure helped “create an efficient use of my time so I can devote myself to the city”……..she had made “an error in judgment” by not explaining the changes when staff were appointed..”

    Fucken bullshit!

    What!……..Lianne Dalzeil not taking the opportunity to brag to the mediia that she is going to do twice as much as Parker – because she had the wisdom to commit rate payers money to having twice the amount of staff?

    She will have pissed off a fucken lot of ratepayers with that fucken bullshit line!

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  13. igm (859 comments) says:

    Give these useless leeching lefties a look at swill and they take the whole trough. A smaller scale to Clark’s regime increasing the size of our public service by nearly 70 per cent. They are totally irresponsible, fiscally illiterate, and downright arrogant when it comes to other people’s money, they themselves, never having the ability to earn any of their own.

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  14. Jack5 (4,220 comments) says:

    I think Parfitt is a nurse who branched into health management by gaining an MBA degree.

    In October as acting city manager, she received a $91,104 rise to her $324,651 salary.

    Someone may be able to tell us whether Parfitt did anything significant in the health industry, and whether she’s a skilled executive or just a (feminine) beneficiary of the fashion for MBAs, whose value and standing varies widely.

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  15. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    So the Christchurch Mayor’s office has more staff that Wellington and Dunedin combined. That doesn’t seem out of the way to me. The populations of these cities cannot be considered to be anything like of equal size. After all, the population of Dunedin plus that of Wellington is about 30,000 less than that of Christchurch.
    If you were really making the comparison of Christchurch and Wellington you would have to look at the Mayor’s office staff in Wellington PLUS that in Lower Hutt PLUS that in Porirua. Those three total about 339,000 compared to Christchurch’s 342,000

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  16. Viking2 (10,715 comments) says:

    And to add to Alwyns post you should also factor in the earthquake issues.

    Its seems clear to me that Parker rolled Brownlee into the pub and they agreed to fund almost everything without CHCH council taking any haircut and having to sell some of their corporate assets leaving the taxpayer to pay for their sorry state.

    No business could get away with that. Maybe, just maybe Dalzeil might raise some of the funds that they need by doing just that. Sell some of the “old” assets like the airport and delay some of the nice to haves that we taxpayers have been hoisted with by Labour Lite.

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  17. Grendel (873 comments) says:

    just think what the difference would be if the money had to come out of their own pocket?

    if i want more admin staff i need to either reduce my income or work out a break even point where ideally the employee will enable me to make more money.

    these public sector leeches have no idea what it is like to spend your own money.

    i see a lot of clients in wellington and barring the very big law and accounting firms, no private firm has anywhere as nice as office, meeting rooms, free coffee etc as public sector offices.

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  18. david (2,482 comments) says:

    I’ll call Alwyn on her thesis. To take an extreme example if it takes a staff of one to support a mayor of a town with 50 ratepayers, it doesn’t follow that the mayor of a town with 100 ratepayers will need 2.

    The critical factor is the managerial ability of the mayor, the clarity of his/her vision and the confidence not to need to be continuously advised but to stand by their own words. If a mayor needs spin weasels and more than one person to manage his/her diary (ie a good PA) then he/she is already in lala land and has lost the plot.

    Such a mayor should be thrown out on his/her sorry fat arse and a bit more care taken in selection of the next one.

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  19. Sponge (108 comments) says:

    We are going to get what we deserve down here. All the fools that voted for Dalziel were blinded by their dislike of Parker.When he saw the writing on the wall and pulled out there was no one viable to fill the gap.

    She is going to be a disaster nearly as big as the earthquakes.

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  20. Rick Rowling (776 comments) says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there’s a positive correlation between Mayors who have never run their own business or worked in the private sector, and Mayors who have a really high support staff.

    A few years working somewhere that really can’t afford non-productive personnel would be great training for all public service managers.

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  21. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Yes 20 staff for the Wanker is ridiculous when others have two or three. But Akl is much bigger than other cities, so maybe pro rata he should have ten or twelve, tops?

    Re the CHCH Mayor, I can imagine the CHCH Mayor and council probably have a bit more on their plate than other councils, what with having the great natural disaster of our time to overcome, so a bit more staffing could be understandable.

    But is that really what this is? Or is it just your traditional Labour / Left jobs for the girls exercise? I don’t know…

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  22. Grendel (873 comments) says:

    yeah but RRM, Parker got by with half the staff and dealt with the immediacy of the earthquakes. its how many years later and Dalziel needs double the budget becuase of the quakes etc?

    i get that more staff would have been handy initially (compared to similar councils) after the quakes, but you would expect it to start to lessen over time, not double x years later.

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  23. tedbear (119 comments) says:

    I have always said Council Mayors are totally unneccesary.
    The core function of ALL Councils is to provide services to the peoples homes – full stop!

    There is need to have anyone cut a piece of tape or make any speech at a function like the Auckland Nines. People going to watch the matches DON’T NEED that crap.

    Property owners should expect and demand that all their property taxes to be spent on services like water, sewerage, rubbish colllection. There may be one or two more I have omitted but the list should not even include libraries and swimming pools.

    It’s long overdue time for a massive cleanout of all the non-productive and non-service type personnel in EVERY Council in the land.

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  24. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Brown has TWO Diary Managers and One Programme Manager. Go figure. Given 2014 IT Brown should be able to manage his own Diary and Programme using the same electronic device that he used to talk to his former screwing buddy. He didn’t need a Diary Manager and Programme Manager for Bevin………….. or maybe he did and WE paid.

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  25. Warren Murray (238 comments) says:

    “Dalziel said $800,000 was “a lot of money” but it would have been spent elsewhere within the council anyway”

    So what is the opportunity cost of this spending?

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  26. lastmanstanding (1,154 comments) says:

    Warren Murray. Right on the money( pun intended)
    Dalziel’s statement is typical of LEFTIE pollies. So the money would have been spent(wasted) in any case.

    No thoughts of NOT spending it. They see Ratepayers as a cash machine. Like we all have CASHPOINT tattooed on our foreheads!!!!

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  27. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    “Dalziel said $800,000 was “a lot of money” but it would have been spent elsewhere within the council anyway”

    Fuck it! Easy come, easy go.

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  28. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    On the numbers given the most overstaffed Mayor, in terms of number of hangers on per resident of the city, would seem to be Wellington.
    The Wellington Mayor claims to have six and a half full time people. With a population of 190,000 that is 3.5/100k people.
    Christchurch has 2.3/100k. Auckland has 1.4/100k and Dunedin 0.8/100k.
    It is thus the Green self-proclaimed conservationist (but not of ratepayer’s money) mayor of Wellington who is the most extravagent.

    Hardly surprising really, although it is hard to see what they do. Prepare objections to roading projects perhaps.
    They certainly don’t impress the management of Kirks (a Welligton landmark department store) anyway.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/9743304/Kirks-blasts-paralysed-council

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  29. Steve (North Shore) (4,321 comments) says:

    “Dalziel said $800,000 was “a lot of money” but it would have been spent elsewhere within the council anyway”

    Now they are short $800,000 for other things and she will just Rate you for it. Money is no problem, it is provided by Ratepayers – always

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