Tony Marryatt staying in Christchurch

GLENN CONWAY
Last updated 10:03 03/01/2014
Tony Marryatt
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ

CONTROVERSIAL: Tony Marryatt fell as a result of the building consents crisis in Christchurch.

Tony Marryatt
Joseph Johnson
TEEING OFF: Former council chief executive Tony Marryatt is a keen golfer.

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Tony Marryatt still lives in Christchurch and the embattled former city council chief executive will decide on his future career moves sometime this year.

He has also welcomed the knighthood of former Christchurch Mayor Sir Bob Parker, formerly one of his most trusted allies and trusted supporters, saying the New Year's honour was 'well deserved.''

Marryatt, who resigned from the council last November after a tumultuous seven-year tenure, told The Press "I reside in Christchurch and actually never left'' despite rumours he fled the city after his very public resignation.

He holds three directorships and will "decide whether I do more than that'' later this year, he said.

Marryatt also recently resigned from the board of council insurer Civic Assurance. He was swiftly reappointed and returned to his post as chairman.

But he was more outspoken about Parker's knighthood.

"Bob stood tall in the city's darkest moments and I haven't spoken to anyone who lives outside of Christchurch who doesn't say what a great job he did and that they wish he was their Mayor.''

Marryatt said history would one day show the decisions made by the previous council "ensured that solid foundations were put in place for the city's recovery and ongoing viability and vitality''.

"Bob led the council through this difficult period and ensured that all key decisions were made. I think Bob, who at all times put the city first, should be proud of what he helped achieve for the city.''

Marryatt's time away from the council has enabled to keep up his love of golf with records showing he has played 16 rounds at the Clearwater resort course over the last three months. Marryatt plays off a 14.5 handicap.

It was his love of that game that fuelled one of the many controversies to flare up during his time at the council.

His golfing habit came under fire in January 2012 after it was revealed he played golf on two of the weekends he said he had worked after the February 2011 earthquake.

At the time, Marryatt said he had worked nine weekends straight after the earthquake, attending meetings, but that did not mean he had worked full days.

In February 2012, he skipped a council meeting to play a Pro-Am tournament at Pegasus Golf Course. Marryatt took half-a-day annual leave to play that event but missed several key earthquake-related council debates.

Marryatt was placed on paid leave in early July while an investigation was conducted in what he knew about the consenting crisis that plagued the council in the middle of last year.

He never returned to the council offices after that move and had little interaction with the council before he agreed to leave the high-paying job on November 30 last year, when he received one last payout - $267,264 - the equivalent of six months' pay.

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- The Press

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