5 Jan 2012

Priest calls for 'out of touch' council boss to resign

12:59 pm on 5 January 2012

An Anglican priest who works with hundreds of red-zoned residents in Christchurch says the city council's chief executive has no idea what ordinary Cantabrians are experiencing.

Tony Marryatt has defended his controversial $68,000 pay rise for the first time in a rare newspaper interview with The Press.

In December last year, councillors voted to increase Mr Marryatt's pay by 14% to $538,529. He has been chief executive since 2007.

In the interview published by Fairfax newspapers on Thursday, Mr Marryatt says he should be paid the market remuneration for his job and is not refusing the pay rise or giving it to charity.

Mr Marryatt also defended not returning from his Gold Coast holiday following strong aftershocks on 23 December, saying he had never worked as hard in his life as he did last year and needed a break.

But Reverend Mike Coleman told Radio New Zealand on Thursday the article shows Mr Marryatt has never had to shovel liquefaction and deal with having no sewerage all on a much smaller salary with no pay rise.

Mr Coleman says the wording he uses is arrogant, shows he is out of touch.

"The arrogance that's portrayed in the kind of wording that he's using just shows that he's on a different kind of level than most of us. And we don't want someone on that kind of level being our CEO of the city council.

"He really does need to resign, I think."

Tony Marryatt was not available for comment on Thursday.