Crown Observer to assist ChCh City Council

Friday 27 January 2012, 6:26PM
By Nick Smith


Local Government Minister Nick Smith and the Christchurch City Council have met today and agreed to the appointment of a Crown Observer to assist the Council.

"The appointment of a Crown Observer onto the Christchurch City Council will help address any governance issues and work to rebuild the public confidence in the Council," Dr Smith says.

"Effective governance has never been so important in the city's 150 year history. I have emphasised to the Council that people have a choice whether to stay or invest and they are looking to the Council for effective leadership that will give them confidence in the future of Christchurch.

"The role of the Crown Observer will be to rebuild good professional relationships between the Mayor, Councillors and staff and to provide guidance on how they can effectively govern at this challenging time.

"The Crown Observer will help the Council address widely-held concerns that its decision making and governance roles are becoming dysfunctional.

"These failings cannot be left to undermine the valuable recovery work the Council is doing. I hope that by working with the Crown Observer, the Council will make any consideration of further Government intervention in the Council unnecessary," Dr Smith says.

Kerry Marshall, MBE, former President of Local Government New Zealand, former Mayor of both Nelson City and Tasman District, and a former Local Government Commissioner has been appointed as the Crown Observer and will attend his first Council meeting this Monday (30 January).

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