Once a trougher always a trougher.
Phil Goff started his political career in 1981 and for all of the ensuing years bar three of them has lived in a publicly funded trough.
Now he is going to spend the next year campaigning to be Mayor of Auckland and you and I are going to pay for it all…except for the last 4 weeks.
Auckland mayoralty candidate Phil Goff is standing on a platform of eliminating wasteful spending and says he will take leave from Parliament without pay to campaign during the last month of the local body elections.
MPs continue to be paid during general election campaigns and if they are away from Parliament with the leave of party whips, but Mr Goff said that would not be right given he would be focussing on the campaign and would offload much of his Parliamentary work to colleagues. He would ask Parliamentary Service to halt his pay for that period of up to a month before the elections.
“If I’m not doing my Parliamentary business, then I’d feel more comfortable if it was leave without pay if they can do that.”
He joked he could put in a claim for lieu days, given the amount he had worked over his Parliamentary career. “But it’s about perception and it would be better if I could get leave without pay.”
Mr Goff has also invested in a separate cell phone to make phone calls related to the campaign and said he had driven himself round Auckland to media interviews rather than take taxis funded by taxpayer. “I’ve got to be pretty scrupulous about separating the two roles, which is a challenge.” He conceded he could pay for taxis out of his own pocket rather than drive “but you know me, I don’t have a Scots background but I should.”