Ratepayers may know this morning whether they will face a
$700,000-plus pay out to Christchurch City Council chief
executive Tony Marryatt.
City councillors are likely to know whether Mr Marryatt will
stay or go after he was put on special leave over the
The council's chief executive committee has prepared a report
on Mr Marryatt's future which will be discussed behind closed
doors from 8am.
Mr Marryatt's contract expires in December next year.
If city councillors decide he will not return to his desk
from his special leave then he is likely be paid out for the
rest of his contract. He receives $538,529 a year.
Mr Marryatt could also receive another $68,000 - the pay rise
he did not take after a massive public outcry last year.
However he reserved the right to take it back at any time.
Christchurch employment law specialist David Beck, of SB Law,
said in general terms a settlement package might also include
provision of compensation for any time left in an employee's
contract period and a reference "if there had been no
established performance issue or serious misconduct''.
But he said confidentiality was a "bog standard'' clause in
any settlement or severance package.
That was likely to mean ratepayers would never be officially
told what Mr Marryatt's settlement was.
"The parties would generally enter into a full and final
agreement that would include confidentiality,'' said Mr Beck.
"It would be absolutely confidential.''
Confidentiality was included for "very sensible, pragmatic''
reasons including preserving an employee's professional
reputation and averting any litigation costs.
In the case of a local body, all councillors would be legally
bound by the confidentiality clause.
"Any councillor who breaches confidentiality would put the
whole council at serious risk,'' Mr Beck said.
Parties might also include a clause agreeing "not to speak
ill of each other to any third party,'' such as the media.
On Wednesday The Star revealed the cost of the consents
bungle was $4.52 million over two years.
City councillor Jamie Gough said today the money was "at the
forefront of everybody's mind - including of course the
ratepayers,'' he said.
City councillor Helen Broughton
said she also hoped the price tag of the consents debacle
would be considered.
It was "inappropriate'' to comment further.
Cr Gough said he knew nothing about what was being discussed
today and said he had to be careful as he did not want to end
up ``costing the city a whole lot of money''.
Mr Marryatt took a personal grievance against some city
councillors last year after his controversial $68,000 pay
"The city council is 110 per cent committed that whatever
happens it should be at minimal cost to the ratepayer,'' said
- By Shelley Robinson and Cullen Smith