Roger Sutton has won praise for his first year in the hot seat at Cera but the role's restrictions have been widely criticised.
Former mayor Garry Moore said Roger Sutton was a "superb" guy working within a "flawed structure". "I was hopeful that Roger, who is an excellent person and manager, would be able to stamp his style on CERA," he said.
"That hasn't been possible in the way that a lot of us hoped because the structure is fundamentally flawed.
"You could have Mahatma Gandhi in there and it wouldn't work."
Moore said while Sutton's style and rare understanding of both the public and private sectors suited Christchurch, changes would have to be made if his full potential was to be realised.
Labour MP Lianne Dalziel also felt that Sutton faced restrictions, but that that did not reflect poorly on his leadership. "There have been limitations within the role, but they were not his making.
"I honestly believe Roger could do an even better job if he were free from the political constraints that are restricting him. He is doing an excellent job given those restrictions."
Former MP Jim Anderton said there was nobody better for the role, but the monumental problems Sutton had faced meant it had been difficult to meet expectations.
"Roger's done as well as he probably could have, given the enormity of the disaster.
"It's way beyond any individual's capabilities in a short peroid of time."
He said expectations were unfairly high early on and the job was going to take much longer than most people thought.
"I don't have any doubts about his commitment but expectations have been high and the problems have been overwhelming for him."
CanCERN's Leanne Curtis agreed that expectations have been high, but that Sutton's leadership needed to be more "obvious".
"I would like to see him using his position as CEO to make sure that all of the players have been sitting around the table, bringing all of the information at the right time."
She said a lack of communication had been a major source of frustration.
"Maybe people were naive to believe that under a government department he was going to have the same freedom of speech."
But not everyone had a criticism to make.
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said felt "very positive" about the last year.
"Roger took on an enormous challenge and he knew he was taking on an enormous challenge.
"I firmly believe he has settled in to the job well and he'll be an enormous benefit to Canterbury.
"He has done remarkable well. All power to him."
Bob Parker sang Sutton's praises too, calling him a "great guy". "Roger is everything we would have expected of anybody in that role.
"He brings a lot of personality and I look forward to working with him for some time."
Not all Christchurch residents back Sutton
Joyce Fuller: "I don't think he's done too bad a job given the circumstances."
Bert Fuller: "He's straight up and calls it as he sees it. I like that."
Bev Johnson: "No good in my books. The way he's handled things is appalling, there's just a huge lack of communication. It wouldn't really matter who was in that job though, he's just a figurehead getting flak for other people's decisions."
Louise French: "He's got an impossible job to do. He's damned if he does and he's damned if he doesn't. It's a no-win situation."
John Sinclair: "I think he's doing reasonably well. Nobody is ever going to be 75 per cent perfect at his job at the current time. For one man to be held accountable for allthat... it's bigger than the Prime Minister's job."
Trevor Green: "He's got a hell of a job to do. It's just one of those jobs where it doesn't seem to matter what they do, someone will always be unhappy."
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