More moves against Marryatt pay rise

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 11/01/2012

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A group opposing city council chief executive Tony Marryatt's pay rise is stepping up its campaign with a Christchurch letterbox drop.

No Payrise For Tony Marryatt has lobbied against the salary rise since the $68,000 increase was announced last month.

The group, which has hundreds of followers on social media and organised a protest at the Hereford St civic offices before Christmas, will deliver fliers urging ratepayers to fight the decision.

A second protest has been organised for February 1.

Spokesman Peter Lynch said a committee of "like-minded, very concerned supporters" had been formed.

The leaflet drop was the first step in a campaign leading up to next month's protest, he said.

Supporters were willing to fund the printing costs and hand-deliver the fliers, Lynch said.

The leaflets state that Christchurch is a "city in crisis", encourage ratepayers to "say no" to Marryatt's pay rise and rally against the council's "dysfunctionality".

Ratepayers are urged to "reclaim our city".

"That's how incensed the city is. It is quite a unique situation," Lynch said.

"We're well aware the council is hoping this is going to go away, but it's not going to go away by any means.

"The ratepayer apathy is gone now. They're a lot better informed and understand the situation."

Marryatt did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, but last week defended his $68,000 pay rise, saying he had never worked harder and calling criticism "unfair".

"Where were those people when after February I didn't take a weekend off for nine weeks. I have worked exceedingly hard this year. I have never worked as hard in my life," he said.

Marryatt's 14.4 per cent pay rise was announced on December 18, taking his pay from $470,400 to $538,529, effective from July 1 last year.

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