Marryatt insists on insurance claim secrecy

Last updated 14:18 07/06/2013
Daniel Tobin

Christchurch City Council chief executive Tony Marryatt answers a question from Cr Tim Carter during the meeting with the council's corporate and financial committee.

tony marryatt std
Kirk Hargreaves
DUAL ROLE: Civic Assurance chairman Tony Marryatt appears at a council committee meeting today.

Related Links

Marryatt may talk in private

Relevant offers

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

Steve Hansen pays tribute to the late Sir Ron Scott Family support memorial for nurses lost in Christchurch earthquake Shortland Street quake show should have carried a warning, say traumatised viewers Christchurch quake rescuer Bill Toomey wins fight for ACC cover for post-traumatic stress Study into 'lateral spreading' earthquake cracks launched Insurance Council asks Kaikoura District Council to pull video from its Facebook page Tower Insurance chairman Michael Stiassny expresses frustration at claims holdouts 'Quake brain' blamed for Cantabrians' weak memories and poor direction - study Red Cross pays out $98 million in cash grants since Canterbury earthquakes Major artwork gifted as a legacy for Christchurch quake victim

Details on how Civic Assurance is dealing with the Christchurch City Council's huge insurance claim will be kept secret after its chairman convinvced councillors that going public could jeopardise hundreds of millions of dollars.

Civic Assurance chairman Tony Marryatt appeared before the council's corporate and financial committee today but refused to release details on how the council's insurance claims were being handled in the public section of the meeting because of the arbitration under way with one of Civic's international reinsurers.

Marryatt said the council had a huge stake in the outcome of Civic's arbitration and it was important that he did nothing to jeopardise it.

''Civic Assurance lawyers have advised me that public disclosure of any details relating to Civic's reinsurance may well be a breach of the the reinsurance contract,'' he said.

''As much as I would like to be able to update the committee on Civic's position and strategy in public, to do so would in my opinion be totally irresponsible as I would be putting hundreds of millions of dollars of ratepayers' money at risk. I am simply not prepared to do this.''

He assured the council that Civic was committed to ensuring the council received a fair payout for its insurance claims.

''Civic's response to the Canterbury situation is being watched by local authorities throughout the country. Civic has to succeed in settling the council's claims it if wants to retain the confidence of the local government sector,'' Marryatt said.

He took the opportunity to defend his dual roles.

He said the potential for conflict between his roles as chief executive of the council and as a director of Civic Assurance had been examined by the Office of the Auditor-General.

That investigation had concluded the two roles were not incompatible.

''I have nothing to do in my council role with the [insurance] claims. I stay right out of it. I manage it [the potential for conflict of interest] as chief executive by having no involvement whatsoever in insurance matters,''  he said.

Asked by Cr Jimmy Chen how he prioritised the two roles, Marryatt said his council job ''always came first''.

Mayor Bob Parker, who does not normally attend the corporate and fianncial committee meetings, pointed out that local government executives had been involved in the governance of Civic Assurance since the sector set the company up 50 years ago because of its concerns at the ever-increasing insurance premiums councils were facing.

Ad Feedback

- The Press


Special offers
Opinion poll

Which memorial design do you like most?

Memorial Wall with a reflective pond

Table and Chairs

A Green and Peaceful Landscape

Call and Response

Riverside Promenade

A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall

Vote Result

Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content