The Auckland Blues will "live to regret" the appointment of Michael Redman to lead the Super Rugby franchise, says former Hamilton mayor David Braithwaite.
Mr Braithwaite has launched a scathing attack on Mr Redman, who toppled him as mayor in 2004 before becoming Hamilton City Council chief executive. Mr Braithwaite said Mr Redman was out of his depth in both roles and cited as evidence his management of the V8 project and the construction of the $60 million-plus Claudelands Events Centre. "He was completely out of his depth in both politics and administration. Now to my astonishment the Blues franchise has employed a man who has cost the city millions."
Mr Braithwaite said the Blues role will mean Mr Redman is responsible for developing new ownership structures for the franchise and financial negotiations that will go with that.
"It will be beyond Mr Redman. I tell the people of Auckland now, the Auckland Blues franchise will live to regret that decision."
Mr Redman responded to the criticism, saying he was pleased to enjoy the confidence of the Blues board.
"Being a CEO comes with risk and profile. For any organisation to make progress there can be high-stake challenges they have to be prepared to take on. There will always be a myriad of variables that can potentially impact [either positively or negatively] what they are trying to achieve.
"However, nothing is ever as clear-cut as some may wish to portray. In my new role at the Blues I have a responsibility to the board and various stakeholders to move the organisation forward. Every experience during my 25-year career - good and bad, just or unjust - will contribute to me fulfilling those expectations."
Mr Redman, who takes over at the Blues on October 1, has been out of the public eye since resigning from his position leading Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development in October 2011.
Another former mayor Russ Rimmington, who worked closely with Mr Redman when they both owned advertising agencies, said he was "chuffed about Mr Redman's new job".
"I found him, on the business side, to have impeccable integrity."
However, he agreed with Mr Braithwaite that Mr Redman hadn't been up to the Hamilton City Council CEO's job.
"I don't think he had the skill set to do that. He had the same skill set as me, in advertising and marketing. He didn't have the legal or accounting experience to be able to lead a $100m organisation which indirectly employs a 1000 staff. How the hell they made that appointment I'll never know."
Mr Braithwaite was also scathing of Tony Marryatt, who this month resigned as chief executive of Christchurch City Council. He described Mr Marryatt as "a control-freak - with a view that it was his way and nobody else's".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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