Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) boss Roger Sutton should have been sacked. Not just for the unwanted hugs but for the wimpiness.

Men who get things done don't hug. They especially don't hug staff. It's okay to hug mum at dad's funeral but that's about it.

It's not sexism. I wouldn't want a boss to hug me. And I know my exact response: do that again and I'll drop you. I don't like being touched by the uninvited.

Men who get things done don't resign over bad taste jokes. They certainly don't see a psychologist about them. Sutton should have quit the jokes and got on with the job.


Men who get things done don't brag. Sutton declares: "I have done heaps in this job. I have done lots and lots." He sounds like a small child.

And he whines: "But I haven't done enough with my family. I haven't done school camps. I have hardly ever been to anybody's athletic sports."

Boo hoo. What are we supposed to do? Cry with him?

Men who get things done don't complain about the necessary personal sacrifice. They accept it like, well, a man. They don't cry on television.

Sutton rides a bike around Christchurch. But not like the rest of us. We do it to get to work. Sutton rides his bike to say, "Look at me. I'm riding a bike. How cool is that!"

And maybe that's Sutton's problem. He tries too hard to be cool. It's green and cool to hug, to be in touch with your feelings, just like riding a bike.

But it's not cool. You don't have to be a paid-up femi-nazi or member of the politically-correct brigade to know hugging staff is not okay. Or calling them "sweetie" and "honey". We only have Sutton's word on what happened.

The State Services Commission spent seven weeks investigating. Sutton stayed on as boss throughout. That situation is intimidatory to possible witnesses and other possible complainants. It should have taken days, not weeks. And Sutton should have been stood down.


The State Services Commission hasn't released its investigation. It instead stage-managed a press conference for Sutton who it found guilty of "serious misconduct". We heard only Sutton's side of the story, not the complainant's. We haven't seen the inquiry findings.

It's wrong for Sutton to be speaking out while the complainant is silenced by a confidentiality agreement.

Sutton was to stay as boss through to January 31. Not now. The process is wrong. The outcome sucks.

Men who get things done don't have their wives defend them at a press conference.

Sutton's wife said: "He's a really good man. And - as I said on my Facebook page - why his hugs and jokes have been misinterpreted, I have no idea. I can't answer that question. But he's a touchy-feely person."

Well, there's another name for a touchy-feely man: it's creep. And here's the point: I wouldn't want my daughter working for Sutton. Would you?