Marryatt on leave, crown manager appointed

The Press reports:

Chief Executive Tony Marryatt is taking leave.

The council has issued a statement announcing Marryatt was taking leave “pending further discussions with the council”.

General manager city environment Jane Parfitt will be acting chief executive.

I’ve not been a long-term Marryatt hater, like some people. I thought the issue around his salary was a beat up. However he has on a number of occassions demonstrated judgement not up to the job – in my view.

The decision to give an extra day’s leave per month to all staff, without even informing Councillors, was one example.

The consenting failure has to be his responsibility – both the lack of capacity, the inability to improve enough, and the downplaying of the seriousness of it.

This afternoon’s planned meeting with four Government ministers has been cancelled.

Instead, councillors have been called to a special meeting of council at 12.45pm tomorrow when a resolution will be put to invite the local government minister Chris Tremain to install a Crown manager to oversee the council’s consents department.

Following the meeting, councillors will meet with the minister who will discuss the terms of reference for the Crown manager.

Mayor Bob Parker said it was “crucial that the community and the Government have complete confidence in the robustness of the consents process”.

This is a smart move by the Council – a crown manager, just for the consenting function. This should mean that the Council can be assisted to get its processes and resources sorted out, so they can regain the ability to authorise consents.

As a sign of how bad it may be, the Insurance Council says:

Christchurch buildings constructed using faulty council consents may have to be demolished, the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) says.

International Accreditation New Zealand () this week said it would revoke the council’s consents accreditation on July 8, prompting a council and Government scramble to ensure consents can continue to be issued in the rebuilding city. 

The council had granted consents that Ianz found ”did not meet the requirements of the Building Code”.

ICNZ insurance manager John Lucas said today that the Ianz revelations were ”quite startling”.

Recently consented buildings should be audited on a case-by-case basis by an independent authority, he said.

”If insurers have started work on developing a new property, rebuilding a house or repairing a house, and then partway through that construction period there’s a delay because they find out later the building consent was issued incorrectly, then that’s going to stop that project,” Lucas said.

”It may cost the parties a lot of money because the project may have to be demolished and rebuilt, or there may be some very expensive remediation costs involved.”

Non-compliant foundations were the most likely to be an issue, he said.

Now who is it that has been calling for the Govt to be more hands off in Christchurch?

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