A newspaper “leaks” the worst kept secret: Phil Goff is standing for mayor

Apparently “two sources” have confirmed something the rest of New Zealand has been openly talking about for a while, even 22 November.

Labour MP Phil Goff will announce he is standing for the Auckland Mayoralty on November 22 at a function at Westhaven. …

Today at Parliament, Mr Goff said he had been saying for some time that he would be making an announcement before Christmas.

“I’ve stuck by that position for the last several months, and I anticipate that will happen in a few months’ time.”

Mr Goff hinted that his campaign platform could be based on improving transport and housing and minimising wasteful spending.

“I can’t talk about campaign plans before any announcement is made. But [Aucklanders] want to see real progress made towards the goals of the Super City, which was the elimination of waste and duplication. That has got to happen.”

It is understood that David Lewis, a former chief press secretary to Prime Minister Helen Clark and adviser to Mayor Len Brown at the last two elections, will be Mr Goff’s campaign manager.

People speak of Lewis and others having been “poached” by Goff, but the more likely explanation is that they stuck a finger in the wind and they know Len Brown has gone from a lame duck to a dead duck.  They’re not in the business of backing losers.  

So Phil Goff will be Auckland’s mayor.   Master strategist Michelle Boag and Mrs National Party Leader have been having meetings as well, suggesting that National are happy to let Goff make a run without National paying money to oppose.

Before you think that’s high treason, the real battle will be to hose the rest of the council and get a majority of centre right councillors in place.  It won’t matter if Phil Goff is mayor as long as he’s managed by a bunch of people that are neither left, green or plain loopy.

Word is that National’s backers will be funding the councillor campaigns while giving Phil a soft place to land.


– Isaac Davison, Bernard Orsman, A newspaper

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