Goff’s office trough is deep and being filled right to the top

When you build a trough it pays to build big.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is dishing out big salaries for staff in his officeone of whom earns up to $295,000.

Goff has revealed that four staff in his office are being paid more than $150,000, but claimed in a statement he will have fewer staff than former Mayor Len Brown and spend less.

Of the 11 staff currently employed in the mayoral office, five have senior roles – chief of staff Fran Mold, finance and policy director David Wood, planning manager Rory Palmer, communications and external relations manager Mike Burgess and senior press secretary Nirupa George.

The four salary bands for staff earning more than $150,000 are:

• $275,000-$295,000
• $245,00-$265,000
• $148,00-$198,000
• $130,000-$180,000    Read more »

Did she leave the house without her husband’s permission?

In stark contrast to women in the West, Moroccan women did not get the right to divorce their husbands, to child custody, to child support or to own and inherit property until 2004.

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We just got rid of a tax & spend mayor, welcome to the new tax & spend mayor

phil goff like len brown zipper up

Phil Goff is spending up large with just five minutes in the job.

He’s promised light rail, and now a living wage for council workers. he needs to fund that somehow, and like all Labour politicians, there is only one way to fund things…with new taxes.

Limiting the annual increase in Auckland rates, raising $30 million from a visitor levy and introducing a fuel tax are among proposals being put forward by mayor Phil Goff.

So, he’s limiting rates so he doesn’t get hammered on that but wants you to all pay more with a fuel tax that would be way more than any rates increase. Hands up those in Auckland who want to pay more for petrol for Phil to spend on the living wage? Anyone? Anyone?

Mr Goff hopes the proposals can become key measures in Auckland Council’s 2017/18 annual budget to be adopted next June.

This included increasing rates for Auckland property owners by 2.5 per cent rather than the planned 3.5 per cent annual increase.   Read more »

Joyless, lemon-sucking, busy-bodies want all cars removed from volcanic cones

No just joyless, lemon-sucking, busy-bodies, but unelected Maori busy-bodies.

Driving and parking up to take in the Auckland vista from volcanic cones has been an Auckland Kiwi birthright.  Get ready for the liberals and Maori to ban and ban some more.


The Tūpuna Maunga Authority has decided five more ancestral mountains will have the same restrictions put in place next year.

The changes will affect the tihi, or top, of Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill, Maungarei/Mt Wellington, Ōwairaka/Mt Albert, Puketāpapa/Mt Roskill and Takarunga/Mt Victoria.

Mr Bowden, a land surveyor, has a good understanding of Auckland’s environment.

“We’ve actually done quite significant surveys all over Auckland picking up all of the topography, the kumara pits, so it’s very much about heritage, something that should be retained and I think any kind of vehicles off the mountain would be good.”

Two Papakura residents who were also up Ōwairaka today, however, disagreed with the ban, saying they wouldn’t have half an hour free in their lunch break to walk up to the summit.

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Phil Goff is a tin-eared effwit

You really have to wonder about the social skills of a wanker like Phil Goff.

During a live chat on Wednesday, Phil Goff said Auckland shouldn’t take a back seat on Government spending despite Kaikoura’s 7.8 quake which has caused devastating damage including closing State Highway 1.

When a live chat viewer asked about Kaikoura taking funding priority, Goff conceded that would likely be “partly right” – the Government would have “less money to play with” funding infrastructure.

But Goff cited figures to argue Auckland’s case, saying the city loses up to $3 billion per year in lost productivity from underdeveloped transport infrastructure.

“That’s more in congestion in one year than the entire Kaikoura [earthquake] cost. Can we afford to say ‘no, we’re looking at somewhere else now ignoring Auckland?'”

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Hooton on Goff

Matthew Hooton writes for Metro magazine about Phil Goff:

There are many Phil Goffs. There’s the long-haired student radical protesting the Vietnam War and paying his way working at the freezing works. There’s the short-back-and-sides 30-something Rogernome of the 1980s, introducing student fees and explaining why unemployed freezing workers were just part of the necessary reform process.

There’s the 90s version, certain Labour turning left was a mistake and working to undermine Helen Clark. There’s the 2000s Phil Goff, who loyally carried out her foreign policy, signed the free-trade deal with China and launched the negotiations with the United States for the Trans Pacific Partnership. And then of course there’s the version of the 2010s: first being pushed by the Labour left to front the most left-wing Labour policy programme since Norman Kirk and then — despairing of Labour’s further march to the left under David Cunliffe and Andrew Little — winning the Auckland mayoralty wearing National Party blue (while holding on to his seat in Parliament in the meantime, just in case).

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Latest book available now – Secrets of Len Brown affair revealed

At 0900 this morning our new book was released.

Simon Lusk and I have written the book to catalogue the failure of the centre-right in Auckland in the recent local body elections.

We name names and hold people to account.

We also tell the previously untold story behind the Len Brown affair with never before revealed information

Those of you who already have an INCITE: Politics subscription will have received a discount offer in the latest edition. Use the code and link provided in INCITE to obtain your discount while you order.

Simon and I are going to extend INCITE: Politics as well for the coming election, offering a re-designed website and additional information and analysis. There will still be exclusive content and of course our exclusive polling by New Zealand’s best pollster, David Farrar’s Curia.


Duco’s Lonergan is picking fights he can’t win

Dean Lonergan seems to be displaying all the traits of someone who has taken too many blows to the head.

Now he is taking on a senior Councillor at Auckland Council.

The Joseph Parker heavyweight world title fight is veering into a slugfest between promoter Dean Lonergan and Olympian Dick Quax.

Quax, who won silver over 5000m at the 1976 Olympics, and Lonergan, a former rugby league second-rower, have been trading blows over ratepayer money for the on-again, off-again, on-again Joseph Parker v Any Ruiz boxing fight in Auckland.

The latest round has seen Quax – an Auckland councillor these days – welcoming the prospect of sky high pay-per-view prices of between $70 and $100 as the “market price, not a price subsidised by the Auckland ratepayers”.

“That’s a problem?”, said the pro-market and Act Party member.

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Guest Post: Christine Fletcher – Take note Mr Key, ‘Auckland is precious and worth fighting for’

Freed from responsibilities of Auckland Transport, chairing Parks and other committees, I have had time to reflect on the queries received around accountability and CCOs and also the confusion around the centre-right during local elections. Richard Harman in the Listener and Bernard Orsman in the Herald have outlined a reasonably accurate account of the drama leading up to the election. Certainly, it wasn’t pleasant. Not because of a clever campaign from the left but rather the drive for power and the cannibalization of the vote within the centre-right. All without a coherent set of policies to an extremely confused voter base who knew that neither National or Labour over many decades have kept pace with the infrastructure Auckland requires to grow.

This election was distorted by a cunning plan hatched by a few in Wellington to gain control of local government in Auckland. It was clumsy and doomed from the start because it lacked integrity in terms of a genuine vision for Auckland. It was a simple grab for power from the right without an intelligent response to the many challenges facing Auckland. There was little understanding that Auckland is not a MMP type campaign, where a ‘brand’ based campaign may be effective. Elections in Auckland are won ward by ward, board by board, across the many villages that make up Auckland in much the same way that First Past the post campaigns used to be run right across the country. Underlying this fiasco was the uncomfortable relationship the right have with long overdue investment in Auckland infrastructure, in particular public transport. You have to wonder why the right allowed Phil Goff to have the absolute gift of the Auckland mayoralty. Without backing a strong right candidate there was little interrogation of Goff’s policies or his suitability for the role. Auckland is precious and worth fighting for.    Read more »

Greedy Goff wants taxpayers to pay for Labour’s light rail promise

Phil Goff doesn’t agree with Labour’s pork barrel promise for light rail to Mt Roskill. It isn’t that he doesn’t want it…because he really, really does…he just wants the taxpayers of Invercargill and Palmerston North to fund it.

The Labour Party cannot rely on Auckland Council to pay half of the cost of its light rail proposal for Auckland, with mayor Phil Goff questioning whether the council should have to pay anything.

Do Labour and Goff even talk anymore?

The city’s new mayor Phil Goff agreed, but questioned whether the council should have to put anything toward the network, as it could be treated as a road of national significance, and be fully funded by central government.

“It will be carrying far more passengers than many other roads around New Zealand that are funded 100 percent, so we’d want to negotiate between the Labour Party position of 50 percent funding and what would currently be paid for a road of national significance by central government, which is 100 percent,” he said.

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