Marryatt takes controversial $68k pay rise

By Shelley Robinson

Tony Marryatt
Tony Marryatt

Controversial Christchurch council boss Tony Marryatt has taken his controversial $68,000 pay rise which was put on hold after a public outcry.

But city council staff were refusing to say whether it is part of the chief executive's $400,000-plus exit package announced last week.

Mr Marryatt was given a pay rise of $68,000 in late 2011, taking his salary from $470,400 to $538,529 a year.

But the increase, voted in by city councillors, caused a massive outcry at a time many in the city were struggling with earthquake issues.

As a result Mr Marryatt directed the pay rise be stopped - but reserved the right to take it in the future.

City council media manager Jocelyn Ritchie confirmed to The Star he had now taken the payment but would not say if it was included in his exit package.

Mr Marryatt has been on special leave since July while Crown investigator Peter Winder looked into his role in the city council losing its consenting accreditation.

On Friday, the city council announced Mr Marryatt would leave his role in November, staying on in an advisory capacity until then if needed.

He will leave with a $270,000 payout, plus $269,264 for severance payment and payment in lieu of notice period.

Mr Marryatt's contract was set to expire in December 2015.

The Star has also been told that city councillors were worried what an employment legal case might cost if they didn't come to an agreement over an exit package.

They were told Mr Marryatt could receive a minimum $1 million for loss of potential earnings, damage to reputation and defamation.

Legal fees alone would have cost between $300,000 to $400,000.

Mayoral candidate and Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel said she was shocked Mr Marryatt had taken the pay increase.

"I'm speechless. What can I say to that? Gosh, that is just extraordinary. This will just be the final thing to leave a nasty taste in people's mouths.

"The publicity around him asking for his pay increase to be stopped was certainly received by the public as him saying I won't take it," said Ms Dalziel.

- CHRISTCHURCH STAR

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