Marryatt leaves with big payout - could have cost ratepayers millions
Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt is set to quit with an estimated $400,000 severance payout.
The city council issued a media statement saying he would be paid $269,264 for his notice period of three months and severance of three months. But he continues to receive full pay until his leave ends on November 30 and this takes his total farewell package to more than $400,000 depending on various other entitlements.
His departure, confirmed today, comes after he was stood down amid an independent investigation into his role in the loss of the council’s accreditation as a building consent authority.
News of the payout was leaked to various media this morning ahead of an official media statement expected soon.
The delay in announcing the news to ratepayers was to allow staff to be told.
This prompted thousands of ratepayers to protest outside the city council offices.
In the same year it was revealed that he had taken a personal grievance against councillors who had publicly spoken out against him. The city council was forced to pay his $30,000 legal bill.
His appointment to the job was announced by the then outgoing mayor Garry Moore in February 2007, replacing change manager Lesley McTurk.
Former Local Government NZ chief executive Peter Winder is being paid $50,000 to probe Mr Marryatt’s alleged failure to manage the consent department in the lead up to the accreditation-stripping, which was followed by a loss of insurance cover, a credit downgrade and the appointment of a crown manager
Before coming to Christchurch Mr Marryatt was chief executive at Hamilton City Council, where he championed the loss-making Hamilton V8 super car event and became embroiled in clashes with then Hamilton mayor David Braithwaite.
The $400,000 payout cost to ratepayers is arguably only a small portion of the total cost of the Marryatt saga.
A councillor who declined to be identified says the cost of the recent loss of consenting accreditation under Mr Marryatt’s watch is about $4.5 million before other inefficiencies are counted.
The councillor also says ratepayers should remember which councillors voted for a pay rise in 2011 for Mr Marryatt and who also voted to reappoint him about the same time.
Those who voted for him are the remainder of outgoing mayor Bob Parker’s “A-team”. Four of them are standing again in the local body elections.
They are deputy mayor Ngaire Button, Aaron Keown, Claudia Reid, and Rich List family member Jamie Gough.
Others in the A-team such as Barry Corbett and Sue Wells have decided against standing again.
Mr Marryatt's other controversial post is chairman of the board of Civic Assurance which has been negotiating with the city council over earthquake payouts.
It is yet to be revealed if he will retain this directorship.