Who is running Phil Goff?

It’s about time the covers are pulled off the people secretly working away pulling the strings of Auckland Mayoral candidate and Labour MP Phil Goff.

These people would prefer to stay in the shadows, but I’m sure Nicky Hagar would be supportive of more sunlight on the activities of the left.

Let’s have a look at his chief spin merchant and campaign manager for starters.

David Lewis is his name.

Many will know he ran Len Brown’s hit squad when Lenny’s little dalliances with Bevan Chuang became public. Len’s other political operatives like Phil Wilson, Glyn Jones, James Bews-Hair and Conor Roberts all battled between themselves about how to spin the Mayor’s rooting.

Lewis was brought in to tidy up the splattered mess, but by then it was too late, the Mayor was spent. He even sent an abusive text to Radio Live’s Duncan Garner: “Kckn hell Duncan. You’re feeding utter fckn bullshit” in an attempt to kill media interest in Len’s affair.

Then there were the attacks and threatening texts to Bevan Chuang that had all the hallmarks of a dark-arts practitioner. Lewis denied the text was from him, but not the spin, nastiness or smearing that came out of the Mayoral office during this time.  

David Lewis

David Lewis

Before covering Len Brown’s backside, Lewis worked 12 long years for the Labour leader and Prime Minister Helen Clark in various roles including as her chief spin weasel and media manipulator.

Lewis is now running his own PR business, much like one of Goff’s competitors Mark Thomas.

So who does he work for and how might his clients ‘influence’ Phil Goff if he becomes Mayor?

He is currently the spin doctor for Pyne Gould Corporation, run by businessman George Kerr. Kerr and PGC are well known by the business media, the Shareholders’ Association and even the SFO and FMA.

The NBR has numerous articles about PGC, including one saying:

“PGC has a shaky track record as a public company, having been suspended twice after failing to provide audited accounts on time – most recently this month – and censured and fined three times for governance and other listing rule failures.

Last week, the NZ Shareholders Association asked NZX to consider delisting the Guernsey-based company to protect the integrity of the market.

“The situation has become farcical when a company that continually fails to meet its obligations is allowed to remain listed,” chairman John Hawkins says.”

David Lewis must be having fun managing media requests from the NBR over PGC chairman George Kerr, especially after positioning his client as the victim.

Some may ask where we’ve seen that before?

The question now is will the Media Party be asking Phil Goff questions about how his key campaign staff are involved in protecting a business that the Crown and ACC are taking legal action in the Cayman Islands for control over $250million?

As a Member of Parliament, Phil Goff is actually a representative of the Crown. You can see where this is going and it’s not going to look pretty.

It’s always the little distractions that gradually undermine a candidate.

And having your campaign manager running attack lines and spin for a client against the Crown is not a good look for Goff.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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