Council observer role based on Education Act

19:39, Jan 27 2012

The appointment of former Nelson mayor Kerry Marshall to oversee the Christchurch City Council is the first time a Crown observer has been appointed to a local authority.

The role is based on section 195c of the Education Act, which gives the education minister the power to appoint a Crown observer to a tertiary institution provided the minister considers "on reasonable grounds that the operation or long-term viability of an institution is at risk".

Marshall will be allowed to attend any council meeting or committee meeting and offer advice and assistance to the mayor, councillors and any other elected members.

He may help the council to develop a charter to define the "roles, responsibilities and expectations" of the relationship between the mayor, councillors and staff.

Marshall will not be able to vote on any council matters or perform any of the council's duties.

He can report to Local Government Minister Nick Smith "on any matter raised or discussed" by the council while he is present.

The Government will pay Marshall's salary and associated costs, while the council will provide him with the documentation and administrative support needed to fulfil the role.


The Press