Several months ago, Tony Marryatt left his job as CEO of Christchurch City Council, following a falling out with Mayor Bob Parker (now Sir Bob) and others. As part his severance deal, it appears that Marryatt agreed to resign also from the board of Civic Assurance (more correctly, of the parent, Local Government Insurance Corporation Limited), the Council's insurer (yes, that sounds like a conflict of interest to me as well).
Marryatt did fufill his commitment to resign from the LGIC board as required. However, he was reappointed immediately. Wow, this sounds like a highly unusual decision process, to say the least. Some serious questions need to be asked. Two that spring to mind are:
The matter raises many more questions as well, mostly about the quality of governance practice and decision-making at LGIC. LGIC is owned by several local councils, a sector that has endured a few failures of governance in recent times. Transparency and accountability are crucial if the confidence of the public is to be maintained. Hopefully the LGIC board will put its collective ego (and political motivations?) to one side and commission an independent evaluation, of its appointment process and its overall performance.
I'm confused. The New Years honours list has just been announced, and it appears some odd choices have been made. Two recipients of high honour are Dame Alison Paterson and Sir Robert (Bob) Parker, both of whom are well-known in governance circles. When one looks at the credentials of Dame Alison, it's easy to see why she was nominated and supported. However with Sir Bob, the picture is less clear.
On the surface, one recipient has served consistently, with distinction, over a long period. In contrast, the other has been a mediocre contributor, save a high-profile media role following a natural disaster. The credibility of the honours system, particularly the bestowing of knighthoods, is dependent on the consistent application of demanding criteria, lest it be reduced to 'gongs for mates'.
Have I missed something, or are there a few inconsistencies in play this time around?
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.