Phil Goff

Which Unions Give What to Labour?

Not enough union cash is coming in

Not enough union cash is coming in

Continuing on from our series on Union funding of Labour, or more correctly union non funding of Labour, it is worth looking at which unions give to Labour and when. Since the MMP era began Labour’s donations from unions have been less than $700,000.

Somewhat surprisingly there is only one donation from a union that does not have a vote in the Labour Party leadership election and that was a long, long time ago before Unions had a vote in the Labour leadership race.  Read more »

Comment of the Day

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George nails it again:

With the comments today reflecting on the possibility of Phil Goff standing for Auckland Mayor, there needs to be consideration of why he is not being snapped up by the private sector.

I believe the private sector wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole nor would they do so with the encumbered (sic).

The only way these career politicians can wield power is through being elected to office where qualified merit is not a requisite. Socialists’ support comes from those who are generally not involved in generating their own income thus relying on the endeavours of others to either provide employment or State benefits.   Read more »

Phil Goff as good as announces he is running for Auckland Mayor

Phil Goff is still not officially saying he is running for Auckland’s mayoralty, but he sure is talking a great deal about it all.

Auckland mayoral prospect Phil Goff says he would run the city differently from the current “presidential” style of leadership.

In a local television interview the Mt Roskill Labour MP has reiterated that he’s seriously considering standing for mayor, but claims he still hasn’t made the final decision.

The longtime Auckland politician has clearly been putting in the legwork,however, meeting with a wide range of interest groups in the city including youth environment movement Generation Zero and Transport Blog commentators.

Phil’s only problem, stopping him from formally announcing his bid, is his missus. It is understood from my Labour sources that she wants nothing of it, and was hoping that after 34 years as a Labour MP he was finally going to retire. The word is she isn’t at all happy about the latest developments.    Read more »

It is hard to know if Frances O’Sullivan is serious

Frances O’Sullivan has a frankly strange and meandering column in today’s ‘newspaper’.

In her column she makes this bizarre statement:

Increasingly there is also talk of a coalition of like-minded politicians to get Auckland moving.

Under this scenario, Labour MP Phil Goff is being touted as a mayoral candidate with the right-of-centre faction being led by Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson.

Goff – who has been gallivanting in Rome this week with close friends former Labour political colleague Darren Hughes, Australian Ambassador Mike Rann (also a Kiwi) and Waitemata Local Board chairman Shale Chambers – has been part of the Auckland political scene for decades.

He is supposedly cut from Labour’s cloth.

But Goff is from the blue jeans brigade that made up the “Vietnam era” generation of politicians. The university lecturers, lawyers, and urban professionals who joined Labour in the 1970s and early 1980s with a clear aim to overthrow the spendthrift prime minister Sir Robert Muldoon, liberalise the New Zealand economy and get the nation focused on “paying its way”.   Read more »

Hooton continues his Saudi sheep crusade

Matthew Hooton continues his Saudi sheep crusade in the NBR:

To protect his own reputation, the prime minister needs someone somewhere to be sacked for the Saudi farm fiasco.

More than two weeks ago, forced to defend Murray McCully’s unsubstantiated and self-evidently absurd suggestion that the government was at risk of being sued for $30 million by Hmood Al-Khalaf, John Key decided to turn the tables on Labour leader Andrew Little.

The cocky prime minister told Parliament that Mr Little was being “set up” by Phil Goff and Annette King. According to Mr Key, the breakdown in good relations with Saudi Arabia was not the fault of his own staff and former agriculture minister David Carter but, as Mr McCully had earlier claimed, it was the previous Labour government that had “poisoned” relations in 2007. The prime minister hinted that secret cabinet papers would prove it.

This was always preposterous given negotiations on a free-trade agreement with Saudi Arabia began that very year and were successfully completed in 2009.

Mr Key’s ministers then spent more than two weeks trying to block the release of the very cabinet papers the prime minister said would prove him right. Frustrated, Labour’s former attorney-general David Parker issued them himself, albeit with redactions ordered by Mr Key’s cabinet office.

The papers reveal – how does one put this gently enough to keep NBR’s lawyers and the Speaker’s Office happy? – an insurmountable epistemological problem in reconciling what the prime minister told Parliament with the known facts.

Even now, Mr Key continues to argue the redacted bits would prove him right. But, alas, the prime minister told NewstalkZB’s Barry Soper: “The redactions are made by the officials and I can’t override them.”

Read more »

Is this a precursor to the Mayoral battle next year?

Both Phil Goff and Maurice Williamson have had a crack at Simon Bridges in the Transport Select Committee in what could be the precursor to next year’s mayoral battle.

And from the headlines you’d have to say Williamson won…because he is the headlines and Goff is a few lines further down the articles.

Transport Minster Simon Bridges has faced a grilling over Auckland’s transport woes – and has been forced to defend the Government’s performance on a major project to one of the Government’s own MPs.

During Parliament’s Transport Select Committee meeting, Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson heavily criticised Government handling of the Auckland Manukau Transport Initiative (Ameti), after Auckland Transport announced it was axing a major part of the project without NZTA’s knowledge.

“Earlier this year, a body called Auckland Transport… made an announcement, a public announcement, which was like a nuclear explosion in my electorate in the east,” Williamson said.

“That a massive project called Ameti, which had a massive thing called the Reeves Rd flyover, was now being canned and the voters in my electorate went up like a Roman candle.”

In February, Auckland Transport announced it would defer the $170 million flyover to next decade, to fund other public transport improvements.

The flyover was to reduce traffic on Pakuranga Rd by about 40 per cent during peak travel hours.

Williamson said that since then, he and other MPs had held meetings with Auckland Transport chair Lester Levy, in which they were told they were not initially briefed on the announcement because Levy “couldn’t brief every man and his dog on decisions they were taking”.

“What I also found was this dysfunctional dislocation between Auckland Transport and NZTA, and given (NZTA Chief Executive Geoff Dangerfield) is on the board of Auckland Transport, how the hell [is it that] one body didn’t know the other was making such an announcement where Ameti and the Reeves Rd Flyover were part of the National Party’s second priority for the last election…”

Read more »

Put up or shut up over Saudi claims

Phil Goff and Jim Anderton have come out swinging against John Key and Murray McCully.

Former ministers Phil Goff and Jim Anderton are challenging Prime Minister John Key to release any documents he has suggesting the Labour-Progressive Government considered settling a grievance with Saudi investor Hamood Al Ali Khalaf.

They say they would welcome such a release because they have no idea what Mr Key was hinting at in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Key launched a staunch defence of Foreign Minister Murray McCully, who got Cabinet approval in 2013 to spend $10 million to settle a grievance with Mr Al Khalaf, a businessman left out of pocket when live sheep shipments were banned on animal welfare grounds.

Answering questions from Labour leader Andrew Little, Mr Key said Mr McCully had done an outstanding job.   Read more »

What will be Len Brown’s legacy?

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Len Brown has a problem….his legacy.

Right now he looks to be washed up with nothing but problems besetting his moribund and frankly defunct mayoralty.

He should have quit when he was busted with his rooting. But the stubborn old goat still thought the public loved him, after all he’ just been re-elected.

Unfortunately they didn’t and still don’t.

But what will his legacy be?    Read more »

The benefits of foreign investment

There were campaigns trying to prevent Shanghai Pengxin from acquiring the Crafar farms. Politiciand from David Shearer and Phil Goff to Winston Peters interfered as well. Then there were the legal battles from people trying to prevent the sale of the decrepit Crafar farms to Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin.

Winston Peters also famously slurred their name in one presumably drunken rant in parliament.

But all the naysayers are being proved wrong as Shanghai Pengxin has literally plowed millions of dollars in to the farms to turn them from dogs to diamonds.

ONE OF the biggest achievements of the Shanghai Pengxin renovation of a former Crafar dairy farm near Hamilton is peace with the neighbours and community.

A while back, Jason Colebourn who manages the Collins Rd property for Pengxin’s sharemilker Landcorp, says he wondered if the local customary wave was a one-fingered salute, so often did he get one when working on the farm whose environmental calamities helped spur the collapse of the 16-farm Crafar dairying empire six years ago.

Colebourn moved onto the farm one year into the receivership of the Crafar farm estate and for two more years until the sale to the Chinese company was finalised, the Collins Rd property would remain an eyesore.

Pengxin has bankrolled the Collins Rd farm resurrection for $1.72 million and counting.

Colebourn and his five staff have supplied the brains and brawn to turn what was by all accounts a train wreck into an operation which this season will produce 365,000kg milk solids and is  turning a profit for its owner.

Read more »

Key will work with Goff if he’s Auckland mayor

Prime Minister John Key says he would be happy to work with Phil Goff as Auckland Mayor, should the veteran Labour MP throw his hat in the ring and win.

With the polls looking dire for incumbent left-leaning Mayor Len Brown, longtime Mt Roskill MP Mr Goff is seen by many as his natural successor. Last week he said on TV3’s Paul Henry programme there was a “better than average” chance he’d run for the top job at next year’s local body elections – but he hasn’t decided just yet.

“I want to spend the next six months or so thinking about the issues that are affecting Auckland,” he said last week. “I want to think about what difference I could make if I were to run for Mayor.”

This morning on the same show Mr Key didn’t give Mr Goff his endorsement, but had praise for his former Prime Ministerial opponent’s skills and experience.

“It was quite a combative relationship when he was leader of the Opposition. There’s no question he has a great work rate and was a very effective minister – no arguments about that.” Read more »