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Marryatt must go

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 am, January 31st, 2012 - 84 comments
Categories: local government, wages - Tags: , ,

Most Kiwis have had no payrise, if they’re lucky enough to have kept their jobs, in the past few years. Yet Christchurch City Council CEO Tony Marryatt has kept on getting pay rises on his obscene salary, even as his job performance has declined. Now the arrogant bastard is saying he’ll keep $34,000 he doesn’t deserve unless the elected council ‘behaves’.

In fairness to Marryatt, he has said he won’t accept his $68,000 a year pay increase. But he is saying he’ll keep the $34,000 of the backdated increase from last July unless the councillors “work together collegially”.

From where I’m standing, it isn’t the councillors that have mucked up the earthquake rebuild. It’s the council – and two people are responsible for that: Marryatt and Mayor Bob Parker.

Unsurprisingly, Bob ‘Common Man’ Parker says that Marryatt deserves a $68,000 payrise despite his falling performance saying:

“It’s still a very good response, in the top 20 per cent overall.”

So, this 0.1 percenter is only in the top 20% of performance reviews? And he’s being paid half a million a year? And getting a 14% payrise?

What the hell is going on? How can anyone justify this? How can Marryatt sleep at night ripping off a bankrupt and dying city to the tune of $1,500?

On a very comfortable bed, I suppose.

There is no justification for this madness. Sack him.

84 comments on “Marryatt must go”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    As much as you may dislike him, Marryatt is an employee with all the same rights as any other employee. So, are you proposing to deny him those rights without going through the normal process of review, verbal warning, written warning etc? The consequence of doing so could be much greater than the $70k pay rise that has been the subject of much discussion lately.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      tsmithfield defending the rights of employees to due process. Delicious.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1

        All power to the Smithfield Soviet!

      • Monty 1.1.2

        No just funny and ironical that leftists are now bleating that someone they don’t like (because he is paid a whole lot of money) should be sacked because well because he earns a whole lot of money and is therefore a “rich prick” who must therefore be despised.

        Why should rich pricks not be able to have the same job protection as low paid workers? You lot really are a nasty bunch.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      Feck… I am so bookmarking that comment ts.

      • tsmithfield 1.2.1

        Just pointing out the stupidity of the article.

        The article calls for Marryatt to be sacked. However, there is no way that Marryatt can be sacked under employment law without incurring considerable costs, probably running into the millions. Also, pointing out the hypocrisy of contributors to “the Standard” who are calling for such an outcome, when in other circumstances they would be bleating about the rights of workers being trodden over.

        So far as I am concerned, I think the Marryatt pay increase was an absolute scandal and totally unjustified. But once it has been given, its a lot harder to take it away, unfortunately.

        • Fortran 1.2.1.1

          Why is Marriott so different to so many others in Local Government, and not only at CEO level.

          When his salary goes up so do the many many senior teirs below.

          I would like to see a list of all Local Government CEO’s and the next four teirs (ie say Chief Librarian) in these Councils. We know that Auckland has more expensive chiefs than staff.
          Also the total staff numbers. These are often along with salaries quietly hidden.
          Names of individuals are not important.

    • Zetetic 1.3

      Sack him on the basis of his falling performance and insubordination to his employer (the council). Give him a three month payout. Recoup it from lower pay for his replacement.

    • fender 1.4

      Bet he missed out on the 90 day trial though, how unfair for him to be discriminated against.

  2. vto 2

    Agree 100%.

    It has got to the stage where EVERYONE you speak to about this just thinks he is absolutely wrong in every way for this position in these times.

    NOBODY wants him. They just see his arrogance, big-headed ego, jandal-wearing manner, spoilt brat mentality.

    Perhaps someone from Hamilton can outline the same problems and kerfuffle he caused there.

    He is the town clerk. Nothing more nothing less.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Here you go.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/769274/Citys-CEO-went-too-far

    The chap appears to be a grade A turd.

    • muzza 3.1

      “Mr Marryatt, who left Hamilton City Council last year and is now chief executive of Christchurch City Council, hit back at the comments, saying he was giving the mayor his “professional wisdom” after the election.”

      Professional Wisdom – What an inditement of the man!

  4. DavidC 4

    Yeah sack him and cost the rate payers a few mil$ when he sues your dumbarse.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      Doesn’t matter if he sues the city council for a couple of million. Consider it an investment the city council will still be saving a huge amount of money over a 10 year time frame.

      • DavidC 4.1.1

        Ha ! What a joke.
        Lets see James edit this strand to include a desire to see him paid out $2 mil in voluntary severance and see a few hundred comments call for James to be hung as a class traitor aka Fran O’Sullivan.

        • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1

          A likely agreed severance payout is going to less than a years salary, because this is NZ, David. If it went through the full ERA process as a personal grievance, then it would be approximately the same amount, less what ever contribution the ERA felt Marryatt made to his own demise.
           
          So, this egocentric Waikato resident could be flicked on for somewhere between $300-500k, which would be a wise investment in Christchurch’s future.

          • DavidC 4.1.1.1.1

            But it wouldnt be “agreed” and there would be considerable damage to his reputation and further work prospects in NZ so the cost would be vastly more than $500k.

            • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Most personal grievances are settled prior to formal hearings and are usually a lot less than a year’s salary, unless there are aggravating factors, such as sexual harrassment or violence. But even if it went the full distance, the figure is still going to be relatively low, because of what is known as ‘contribution’. The council would argue that he was, in part, the author of his own misfortunes, citing the poor performance and media outbursts and the ERA or Employment court, if it agreed, would cut the settlement down on that basis.
               
              Council CEO is an international job market position and they do get sacked regularly, so he’d be struggling to prove real harm. Having run both Hamilton and Chch councils, his next step is probably going to be a bigger city, overseas anyway, say Brisbane or Adelaide.

  5. Bored 5

    Why take this bastard in isolation? The electorate has to demand an end to this nonsense that began when Bassett and the Rogernomes dismantled the whole public service structure, central and local.

    The reality is that Marryatt represesents a whole edifice of non performing overpaid functionaries working for you and me. Unlike CEOs in the private sector we have no ability to say, “fuck off we are not buying your goods or services”. They have no risk. Time for them al to be gone.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Unlike CEOs in the private sector we have no ability to say, “fuck off we are not buying your goods or services”.

      Sorry must disagree with you slightly here, its almost impossible to avoid the private sector ticket clippers who seem to own large chunks of our country’s core infrastructure these days.

    • mikesh 5.2

      Even when they do perform most of their salary is “unearned”. The bulk of it is what economists refer to as economic rent. They are essentially rentiers.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        That’s true of all administration – it’s an expense on the workers. Unfortunately, our indoctrination into our socio-economic system has persuaded us that the workers are an expense on the administration.

        Our whole society is arse about face and we’re about to learn, again, that it doesn’t work.

  6. CnrJoe 6

    for my entertainment please someone defend this well compensated uber executive. I love to watch car wrecks, train wrecks but not so much city wrecks – he’s a vampire on the exposed veins of this flayed community.
    Bob Parker the t.v mayor defends this leeching parasite?

    Off with his head.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The fact of the matter is that if you don’t provide top level remuneration, you will not be able to retain top level talent like Marryatt. Now in my opinion one in NZ could do a better job than Marryatt in what is an extraordinary circumstance and the fact is that he has the experience and networks to do the job that Christchurch needs. It doesn’t do the people of Christchurch any good to ignore these facts while trying to pointlessly politicise what was a fair and transparent employment process between a major employer, the city council, and a long serving employee.

      You “workers rights” types should really know better than push yet another politics of envy barrow.

      It’s pathetically clear to me now that many corners of NZ suffer from an envious, small minded mentality and the comments here reflect the typical left wing “tall poppy” syndrome. Dragging a civic leader like Marryatt down reflects badly on the commentators on the Std.

      (So CnrJoe how did i do lol???)

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        “Now in my opinion NO ONE in NZ could do a better job than Marryatt ”

        whoops I guess I let that slip through lol

        • Bored 6.1.1.1

          Nice effort CV, job for you awaiting at National Party HQ…while you are at it can you get me a job as a CEO?

  7. Dave Armstrong has a good description of the situation here (ht Bored).

    The following deserves to be posted:

    “With Christmas credit card bills to pay and back-to-school expenses mounting, it’s a difficult time of year. My advice is to go to your employers and demand a $44,000 pay rise. If they laugh, settle for a mere 18 per cent increase. Tell your boss you’ve consulted international experts and they reckon you need this pay rise to keep you in the country.
    If you work in a trivial occupation – doctor, nurse, policeman – you’ll be out of luck. However, if you work in an essential industry – chief executive of a council organisation – you could be fortunate.” 

  8. james111 8

    I agree many of the Salaries are now obscene for CEOS of Government Departments ,and Local Authorities. They are all funded by the tax payer and should not receive that sort of income.

    They are basically non productive. Most of these big Salary hikes came into force under the years of Helen, and Michael Cullen when they claimed they should get paid the same as private sector CEOS.Its very hard now to stop the monster that Labour created

    • Gawd James do you ever get embarassed at this continuous showing of how little knowledge you have?

      • thatguynz 8.1.1

        Not half as embarrassed as his parents I suspect. That was a pretty poor attempt at blame deflection – even for James!

        • The Voice of Reason 8.1.1.1

          I hope they cut his pocket money and use it to pay the rates. That’d learn him!

    • Galeandra 8.2

      ‘Most of these big Salary hikes came into force under the years of Helen, and Michael Cullen when they claimed they should get paid the same as private sector CEOS’

      Able to provide link or citation for that assertion?

  9. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    Marryatt has lost the plot, and why wouldn’t he? I don’t know how I’d cope in his position, watching the city I live in be destroyed and its people living on a knife-edge for months, still not knowing whether “it” is even all over.

    He got the job in 2007, and it was to manage a very different situation than the one he is now in. Perhaps someone else has a better skill-set for the job. It’s difficult to see how he can carry on after the “collegial” remark, but in his shoes I think I might have been less diplomatic…

    So yeah, perhaps he should go, but I think incidents like this come with the territory.

    • Hami Shearlie 9.1

      His family lives in Hamilton – so does he – he just flies down to Christchurch and then flies out again!!

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        SERIOUSLY? Is this commonly known in Christchurch???

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2

        Well then I have less sympathy for him, but the point about the circumstances he signed up for still applies.

        • Puddleglum 9.1.2.1

          Complaints about Marryatt, his influence and his role in the decision making of the CCC pre-date the earthquakes (think Dave Henderson, Ellerslie Flower Show, etc.).

          The earthquakes have simply brought into sharp relief his, and Mayor Parker’s, inadequate and arrogant modus operandum. 

          • prism 9.1.2.1.1

            Puddleglum
            +1

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.1.2

            Sympathy diminishing further…

            • Zorr 9.1.2.1.2.1

              Bob Parker being reelected as mayor was a contributing factor to my leaving Christchurch… his style of local governance (as aptly demonstrated here though Marryatt) is divisive and undemocratic.

              I would love to be able to say good riddance to both…

  10. happynz 10

    I reckon Maryatt’s in the shit and he’s now gone past damage control and he’s lining up his ducks for a sweet removal package. His golden parachute has been packed and is ready to be deployed.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      He’s going to screw Parker on the way out then; if his parachute is too golden Cantabrians will see it as the Mayor giving a last hurrah to his good mate.

      • happynz 10.1.1

        He’s going to screw Parker on the way out then

        I don’t think that Marryatt really gives a toss. Parading his arrogance around he has demonstrated where his loyalties lie — himself.

  11. vto 11

    One thing I would like to know is why TV Bob gets upset when people get upset with him…

    I mean, shit, we elect our Councillors to reflect our views directly to Council. If that results in disagreement then so be it. If those views are uncomfortable and difficult then so be it.

    Bob Parker needs to grow up.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      the born to rule don’t like to be questioned by the peasantry.

      • vto 11.1.1

        but he’s a peasant himself

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          That’s what he keeps saying but it’s not what he believes and in this situation it’s what he believes that counts. He believes that he’s a ruler and thus that everyone else should do as he tells them.

  12. Kevin Welsh 12

    Clearly there are productivity issues with this clown. I say lock him out and tell him that unless he takes a 20% pay cut, his job will be contracted out.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      20% pay cut? My man, you’ll never make it as a born to rule CEO, that’s way too unambitious a target.

  13. stever 13

    Given that Mr. Marryatt has, apparently, been showing declining performance standards, an obvious question is: who suggested and agreed to a bonus under those circumstances?

    Followed by:
    What were their reasons for doing so?
    Was there some quid pro quo?

    I would guess that local journalists are still digging, and I’d hope they’d come up with answers to these questions.

  14. King Kong 14

    The thread is 28 comments long and there hasn’t been a call for him to be killed yet.

    Someone is really dropping the ball.

    As it happens I think that this guy should go. Not because I am envious of his salary (which seems to be the driver for a lot of the calls for his head) but because there seems to be a serious loss of confidence in him.

    • felix 14.1

      Funny KK.

      One over the top comment here and you all get on your high horses for a month.

      Yet I never see you complaining over at kiwibog or Slater’s where such comments are so commonplace as to go unremarked upon.

    • CnrJoe 14.2

      off with his head? heh, i guess it doesn’t kill the host and you know that

  15. randal 15

    one ananonymous bloke, he does not live in Christchurch. He commutes every week from hamilton.
    btw, who pays for that?

  16. queenstfarmer 16

    Marryatt is just a symptom, not a cause. Sacking him won’t fix the corrupt cycle of out-of-control “executive” pay – another person would be appointed (and their first job would probably be to deal with the massive lawsuit filed by Marryatt). Likewise the $68K rise isn’t the main issue – the half-$million+ “base salary” is the real deal. Executive pay is out of control all over the place.

    In my (other) little corner of the world, I read over the weekend that the Council has just appointed a new CEO on a base salaray of $250K, for a 3-year term. Which is ludicrous for such a small council, and the guy had never even visited the main towns before. Are they saying they couldn’t get a suitable person to do it for say $200K? $150K? Nonsense.

    • Bored 16.1

      As a real live private sector CEO when I get too much work to adequately handle in an 8 hour day I hire assistance.

      It used to be considered obvious that one person could only do so much, and that could only be worth a certain value. Spreading the load was the normal procedure, not the capturing of the roles by fewer individuals demanding more and more.

      If CCC were clever they would restructure Marryatt out.I would recommend a $200K replacement with 4 $100K assistants suitably empowered. Then we might see some performance.

  17. randal 17

    qsf of course it is nonsense.
    but we live in a world of nonsense now.
    if the chch city council hired lady gaga for ceo the whole place would be in ecstasy for five minutes.

    • queenstfarmer 17.1

      if the chch city council hired lady gaga for ceo the whole place would be in ecstasy for five minutes

      LOL! Hey, here’s an idea… how about they run a “CEO Idol” (perhaps more akin to The Apprentice) where they get 10 candidates who want to be the CEO. Each week they perform various tasks, the public gets to vote, and the winner gets a 1 year term as CEO at say $200K.

      The council would save $400K+ on salary, and the TV rights would cover production costs. And it would allow direct democracy into the CEO appointment. What’s to lose?

  18. randal 18

    king kong if you want to kill somebody then take your thumb and index finger and block off your nostrils till you turn blue and kark it.
    or maybe just get your puppetmaster to take your battery out.
    hasta la vista baby.

  19. Peter Monteith 19

    Isn’t the real issue about the sizof his pay? He gets more than the PM without the pay increase!

    • The Voice of Reason 19.1

      Well, bad as he is, Marryatt’s still better value for money than the current PM. Plus, he appears to actually be interested in his job and he’s only flying back and forth to Hamilton, rather than Hawaii, so it’s no comparison really.
       
      ps Peter, didn’t you once drop me from a cricket team for taking an hour to compile an immaculate 8 runs, all of them singles from the last ball of the over, thereby depriving the other batsman of the opportunity to score, and also running one of them out because he insisted on going for the second despite the well known fact that jogging 22 yards is more than enough for the human body to cope with?
       

  20. prism 20

    Some legal types use the term about a party in difficulties ‘that he is the author of his own misfortune’. Put Christchurch people in the place of ‘his’. They voted Bob Parker back, a Mayor who had already shown that he made questionable financial decisions ie when dealing with a property speculator. So it is not unexpected that unsatisfactory decisions and practices will continue over the present electoral period which will disadvantage Christchurch’s recovery and future.

  21. randal 21

    I find it very hard to beleive that marryatt is the only person in the whole wide world who can be ceo of Chch.

  22. randal 22

    and if the job was open to competition isntead of being third partied then somebody just as qualified could be found who would do it for less pay and with less trouble.

  23. DH 23

    I don’t think it’s such a good idea calling for Marryatt’s head. The sentiment I can agree with but not the practicality of it. He’s subject to the same employment laws as every employee; you can’t fire him without the usual due process of warnings etc and even those have to be in compliance with the conditions of his contract. It’s possible he’s in breach of contract in some way but I doubt it, would have to be a very well crafted contract for that.

    The standard form for getting rid of a CEO or anyone else on a fixed contract is to buy out their contract. There really isn’t any other way to do it without risking a huge personal grievance suit. That usually entails paying out the remainder of the contract and in the case of Marryatt the size of the golden handshake would make ChCh people very upset. I think Cantabs would be pretty pissed to see the guy handed a million bucks just to sod off.

    I think it’s great to see so many people protesting his pay hike, wish us JAFAs would be bit more active in that respect.

  24. JonL 24

    Different country, but, we got rid of our shire CEO, who was a total nob with delusions of grandeur, power and a cynical disregard for the ratepayers…….. rumours of a couple of ex-Vietnam vets up in the hills not taking their meds and going troppo while rabbit shooting, finally did the trick! (plus paying the prick out $220K +, – who the hell did his contract!)
    Now, we just have to replace half the shire members, and………..

  25. Ah, the joys of living in a “free market”, where CEOs are paid truckloads of cash because we have to “compete” to get talented managers…

    Whatever happened to the Town Clerk?

    Oh yeah – they were replaced. CEOs were deemed more… “efficient”.

  26. randal 27

    yep thats the business round table model frank.
    ask hooton.
    he knows.

  27. geoff 28

    Direct Democracy Councils! Governance For The People BY The People! Major spends/decisions made by residents! How do we do it???!! Seriously??!!

    • Draco T Bastard 28.1

      Online voting. It’s the only method that’s fast enough to get out more than one referendum per year.

      • geoff 28.1.1

        Here’s how I would do it:

        Start a website called something like “your town, your say” and just start running polls like the polls on stuff or nzherald, except not lame ones. Perhaps have some kind of system that allowed
        users to decide the poll questions?
        If it became popular enough it would be difficult to ignore.
        I dont know how to do this or if it would be technically feasible, who does? LPRENT??

        • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1.1

          You don’t want it to be a poll but an actual vote. Yeah, once you get to 60%+ of registered voters voting then there would be no way that it could be ignored and I don’t think it would be that hard to get that many people involved.

          • geoff 28.1.1.1.1

            How would you verify that the voters are registered?

            • Blue 28.1.1.1.1.1

              How do you account for the large section of the population that don’t have or use computers? I’m thinking of the large elderly demographic that still would have no idea how to vote online? Isn’t there the risk of disenfranchising them from the process?

      • Colonial Viper 28.1.2

        Online voting. It’s the only method that’s fast enough to get out more than one referendum per year.

        No online voting.

        The alternative I suggest is to change our Parliamentary terms to 4 yr terms.

        Then mid term (ie 2 years in) have a referendum election which might pool 2 or 3 referendums together to be voted on.

  28. Eduardo Kawak 29

    Screw sacking him. [Deleted. A repeat of any kind of direct personal threat like that will earn a permanent ban..RL]

  29. Eduardo Kawak 30

    The council should do a performance review of the performance review.

    [Hehe… that’s very droll, and smart. RL]

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