Govt sidesteps calls to sack quake-city council

By Jarrod Booker

Tony Marryatt. Photo / Supplied
Tony Marryatt. Photo / Supplied

The Government is refusing to step in amid calls for Christchurch's dysfunctional city council to be sacked.

The council has been plagued with internal division when residents most need leadership in the city's earthquake recovery, and mayor Bob Parker is now planning a crisis meeting with his councillors to ask them to "put the city first".

Strong criticism has been levelled at council chief executive Tony Marryatt -who accepted a $68,129 annual salary increase when many quake-hit residents had losttheir jobs or homes.

Now a senior city councillor has called for a Government-appointed commission to replace the elected councillors, while another councillor wants the Government to replace Mr Marryatt.

Local Government Minister Nick Smith visited Christchurch yesterday and told Mr Parker he would not replace councillors or the chief executive.

Long-serving city councillor Sue Wells told the Press newspaper the Government needed to look at whether councillors needed to be replaced for the good of the city.

Councillor Tim Carter called for Mr Marryatt to be sacked and replaced with a Government-appointed commissioner.

Mr Parker said Dr Smith had told him he was happy with the performance of the council and Mr Marryatt to date.

"He made it very clear that the responsibility and onus is on the elected members of the council to sort themselves out. And he asked them to reflect on their responsibilities to this city in what is effectively our hour of greatest need."

- NZ Herald

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