Consenting blowtorch focuses on Marryatt

Christchurch City Council chief executive to front up to Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.

The Insurance Council and Property Council have weighed in against Christchurch City Council’s consenting failure.

Their contribution comes as Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee meets mayor Bob Parker and council chief executive Tony Marryatt.

The blowtorch is moving in Mr Marryatt’s direction as the Insurance Council raises questions about legality and liability of consents issued in recent years.

Business leaders are raising the issue of whether senior staff at the council should resign.

The International Accreditation New Zealand has announced the withdrawal of accreditation for the council to be a Building Consent Authority and has revealed that problems were identified as far back as 2007.

But Mr Brownlee says there is no question of a moratorium because of the urgency of the post-earthquake rebuild.

The failure of council consenting is a heaven-sent opportunity for insurers to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings and to sheet future blame for shoddy building back at the council.