Christchurch City Council's controversial boss, Tony Marryatt, has resigned and will walk with a payout and earnings of nearly $500,000.
The chief executive will stay on the council payroll until the end of November.
In a joint statement released this morning, Marryatt thanked council staff for their "ongoing support, work ethic and focus on making a difference during extremely stressful and trying times".
He said he was proud of what the organisation had achieved for the city.
Marryatt's last day with the council will be November 30.
He will be on full pay until that date which means between July 3, when he was stood down, and November 30, his last day on the job, he will earn about $221,000. On his last official day at the council he will receive another $269,000.
Marryatt has already pocketed just over $100,000 since being placed on leave on July 3.
He will not be required to perform the chief executive role, but will be available to assist with handover matters.
His departure comes at the same time as a report into his role in the council's consenting crisis failed to fully point the finger of blame at him.
The council employed Peter Winder, of McGredy Winder and Co, to carry out the investigation.
His report, to be released at 6pm today, identified key issues that led to the loss of accreditation, but noted the pressures on the organisation and Marryatt as a direct result of the earthquakes that hit the city from September 2010.
The report was of the view that in normal times a chief executive would have been expected to be aware of the issues relating to accreditation, but found that Marryatt was not aware of this situation until shortly before he informed the council.
The report stated: "The chief executive has been very focused on pursuing specific council objectives, including the signature projects and cost-sharing agreement with Government. Christchurch City Council is not in a business-as-usual situation."
Marryatt accepted that despite mitigating factors, the final responsibility for the loss of accreditation must rest with him.
Taking this into account, and with local government elections due next month, Marryatt said in a statement that he felt now would be a suitable time to resign.
There will be no further comment from Mayor Bob Parker, Marryatt or the council.
Mayoral candidates are congratulating Marryatt for resigning.
Mayoral hopeful Lianne Dalziel said Marryatt resigning was the "right thing to do".
She said it was better late than never that he had accepted responsibility for the consents crisis that had plagued the council.
"I'm pleased that the matter has been resolved by this council and I do believe it was their responsibility to get it sorted before the new council came in," she said.
Meanwhile, Paul Lonsdale said it was good that Marryatt had finally accepted some responsibility for the consents debacle.
"The debacle was really unacceptable and everyone believes he brought about the 'business as usual' thinking and that led to a whole lot of issues in the council," he said.
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said Marryatt's departure was a great opportunity for the council to head in "a new direction''.
He said it was "really important'' for the council to have more transparency, more accountability and more interaction with the community.
"With this changing of the guard, it is an opportunity for that to happen,'' Townsend said.
He was reluctant to criticise Marryatt, saying his performance was an "employment issue".
"It is time to look forward, not backwards," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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