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A big THANK YOU to Roger Sutton

What is really annoying me is the reaction from some quarters to any praise for Roger Sutton’s work during his time at CERA and for his dedication to the rebuild of Christchurch.

The petty-skirt brigade would have Sutton strung higher than the engineer responsible for the collapse of the CTV building; the comparative media coverage particularly on ‘Stuffed News’ points to the total loss of objectivity that can be suffered by journalists and web editors when women’s stories hit the political arena.

The condemnation even extends to the Christchurch City Council for penning a letter of appreciation, which is rather ironic given the current mayor is a former Labour MP. (The condemnation from the remnants of her former party and the little man they now have leading it are discussed in the previous post)

Following the February 2011 earthquake, Christchurch was in a state of total disruption. Many of those people who previously held executive positions were landed in foreign territory, with their job roles altering overnight.

Tensions were strained, tempers flared, arguments arose – there were confrontations over what direction the rebuild should head in. Who, in their right mind would take a $200,000 pay cut to step into that mess.

Someone who believed in themselves? Someone who was willing to take a risk? Someone who was dedicated to their community? Someone who felt they could make a difference?
Not to mention, someone who had the temperament and skillset along with the foresight that might bring cohesion to the chaos and deliver results.

Big ask!

It was a brave move by Roger Sutton to put his hand up for this job. He, like many other men have worked so hard and made sacrifices – sacrifices that have taken a toll on their family life and their health.

State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie is likewise being condemned for holding a press conference for Sutton’s resignation.
(He apparently ignored communications advice)
No, let’s not do anything – anything that would inconvenience our feminist politicians, putting them in a position where they might have to show support for a man condemned by railing feminists.

If Rennie hadn’t held the ‘now infamous’ press conference, minds would have speculated, tongues wagged, rumours emerged, and Sutton would have been quietly condemned for crimes he didn’t commit.

Andrew Kibblewhite, chief executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, who will take responsibility for CERA from February, is condemned for being present at the press conference.

Why did he sit next to Sutton’s wife? Why did he hug Sutton in front of assembled media?

John Key describes Kibblewhite’s decision to travel to Christchurch for the press conference as a “miscalculation and a mistake” saying “it wasn’t a good look”.

How pathetic can you get – our Prime Minister suggesting Kibblewhite’s behaviour and support was inappropriate – what feminism does to the human mind is what, isn’t a good look.

Thanks, Ian Rennie for having the courage to put a decent end to some petty office politics, and thanks, Andrew Kibblewhite for not being afraid to be human.

The political condemnations are a joke.

Most importantly, THANK YOU, Roger Sutton, for investing yourself in this job, and in your city. You’ve been a major factor in returning Christchurch to a working, economic and viable city – some of us do appreciate that Christchurch was a major disaster putting a huge strain on our country’s economy – your contribution should not be underestimated, undervalued and must not go unacknowledged.

Roger Sutton in 2009 was chief executive of Christchurch lines company Orion and chair of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

In May 2011 he was appointed chief executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) a new government agency to lead and coordinate the on-going recovery effort following the September 2010 and February 2011 quakes.

The total cost of the Christchurch rebuild has been estimated at between $20 billion and $30 billion. Finance Minister Bill English said in his 2012 Budget speech, “it is without doubt the largest – and most complex – economic project in New Zealand’s history”.