More on the consenting issue at the council. I’ll try and look at the numbers behind it later on, though it seems that the numbers aren’t really the issue. From the Press:

High-ranking Christchurch City Council managers knew about the threat to revoke consenting power, but decided the situation was “being handled”.

It was revealed yesterday chief executive Tony Marryatt and democracy and regulatory services general manager Peter Mitchell both knew the International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) had given notice on May 30 of its intention to revoke the council’s accreditation as a consenting authority.

However, Mayor Bob Parker and councillors were not told.

So Marryatt got the letter, read it, and somehow came to the conclusion that no one else needed to know about it? Was he too busy thinking of a way to explain his job over on the board of the council’s insurance company? This guy gets paid more than half a million dollars a year, and yet seems to revel in his ability to completely useless at it. And Peter Mitchell, who has one of the most Orwellian job titles possible – democracy and regulatory services manager – decided that on this occasion, democracy was best managed by him not passing key information on to the councillors. I can see two explanations here; upon receiving the letter, Marryatt and Mitchell decided it wasn’t that important and didn’t need to be passed on – in which case they’re inept and should be sacked – or they knew the significance of the letter, and decided to not act on it – in which case they’re undermining the elected council and should be sacked.

The elected representatives may not get on with each other at the council, which isn’t ideal. But it’s hard to see how the councillors can get anything done, when the executive branch seems to have gone rogue, and taken the staff with them. This wouldn’t be ok at the best of times, but it is the last thing Christchurch needs right now.

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