Marryatt supporters have billboards vandalised
City councillors who backed a massive pay rise for their chief executive have had their election hoardings defaced in an orchestrated blitz overnight.
Signs belonging to councillors Jamie Gough, Claudia Reid, Aaron Keown and deputy mayor Ngaire Button all had stickers with "Voted Marryatt $67K Pay Rise'' plastered across their faces.
All four were among a group of sitting councillors who approved a $68,000 pay hike for embattled chief executive Tony Marryatt last year - a vote that sparked a large public protest.
Marryatt resigned last week after a report showed he was largely to blame for the consenting crisis that engulfed the council. However public tensions have been running high for some time over his general performance with the pay rise perhaps the one decision that sparked the most debate.
Gough was unaware his signs had been stickered when contacted by The Press this morning but was not surprised by the news.
"That is almost an inevitable part of any election campaign,'' he said.
Gough also confirmed he had since changed his mind about the pay rise and if asked to vote today, he would oppose such a hike.
"It was such an emotive issue but I would like to think I've grown and developed as a councillor. That decision was made very early into my first term.''
At the time it was a commercial decision, but Gough said he now realised there were other factors that should have been considered.
"You learn and a grow as a councillor. When I look back, I'd like to think I made the right call [but] I guess everyone deserves a second chance."
The stickers were designed to cause inconvenience rather than cost a lot of money to fix, he said.
Meanwhile, other candidates have experienced unrelated problems with their signs.
Mayoral candidate Robin McCarthy has lodged a complaint with police after one of his hoardings was stolen over the weekend.
McCarthy said he suspected he knew who took the sign and he had since recovered it.
Hagley-Ferrymead ward council candidate Wendy Gilchrist today claimed someone had stolen 20 of her election signs.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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