Marryatt a no-show at communication workshop

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 15:54 07/08/2012
Tony Marryatt
DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
REVIEW DUE: A review of Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt's pay and performance is due within the next week.

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Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt has failed to attend a workshop on a communications audit that slammed the council's ''bunker'' mentality.

Today's workshop covered how the council would address the issues raised in the $80,000 report, commissioned by Marryatt, before a full council meeting on the review on August 23.

The audit, conducted by public relations consultants Felicity Price and Wilma Falconer, slammed the council's relationships with the public, said a change in culture was required and offered 13 recommendations for change.

Marryatt publicly vowed to take steps to address the issues raised when the report was released.

Cr Yani Johanson, who chaired the workshop, said he had expected Marryatt to attend.

"Maybe wrongly, I assumed he would be there, given the importance of this review,'' he said.

Cr Peter Beck said the report was ''absolutely crucial'' for the council, and he was not sure why Marryatt was not there.

''Because it is about our culture and the way we go about our business, it's really important that those two [Parker and Marryatt] are absolutely at the heart of the discussion,'' he said.

Cr Tim Carter, a vocal critic of Marryatt's decision to commission the audit, said cultural change started at the top.

''So both the mayor and the chief executive play a large part in ensuring that this organisation has a strong change in culture,'' he said.

Mayor Bob Parker was unable to attend the workshop because of illness, but he said he would have attended otherwise.

Seven city councillors attended the workshop.

Crs Claudia Reid, Aaron Keown, Ngaire Button, Jamie Gough, Sue Wells and Sally Buck did not attend.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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