Council being torn apart says Christchurch mayor

5:20 am on 24 January 2012

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the city council is being torn apart by a group of councillors intent on waging a campaign against its chief executive and the Government may be forced to replace the council with independent commissioners.

Mr Parker was commenting on the latest in a series of attacks on the chief executive, Tony Marryatt, who faced strong criticism late last year for accepting a $68,000 pay rise.

Mr Marryatt was also subject to fresh criticism when it was revealed last week that he had signed off on a decision to outsource Christchurch City Council call centre jobs to the North Island.

On Monday, Councillor Tim Carter called on Mr Marryatt to resign and that he be replaced by an independent commissioner.

Mr Parker says the ongoing attacks can only have a destructive outcome and the council is being torn apart.

He says the Government must be concerned about what it is seeing.

Another councillor, Sue Wells, has said chronic divisions, internal fighting and the way staff are being treated, has led to a council so severely broken she hopes the Government is questioning whether it can continue without intervention.

She told Checkpont says the situation has been "really bad" for some months and is "absolutely toxic".

A long-standing councillor, Ms Wells says she seen councils that have squabbled and fought and had huge arguments but there has never been a sustained campaign of leaking and destabilisation.