If Phil Goff is independent, I’m a female Green Party MP

phil goff like len brown zipper up


Ex Herald editor Tim Murphy lays on thick layers of BS

The front runner for Auckland’s top job has been a Labour politician for three decades, but now he’s embracing independence. And the ticker is good for another 20 years of toil, he tells Tim Murphy

Phil Goff is shedding his tribal Labour Party skin. He is starting to like his new look and feel as an independent candidate for mayor of Auckland.

He’s feeling strangely liberated. Odd things are happening.

Lately Goff has found himself addressing a branch meeting of, wait for it, the New Zealand National Party in the Botany electorate. To a turnout of 150 people, which the local National MP, Jami Lee-Ross, career-limitingly tells him is “much more than Judith Collins” got.

He’s been hosted to a “clinic” in Wellsford by NZ First MP Tracy Martin.

He says people tell him, often, “We do not vote for your party but we are going to vote for you as mayor.”

Try not to throw up.  There’s more.

“It’s cross-sectional,” the 30-year MP says, sitting in his very Labour Party Mt Roskill electorate office looking out towards the last of the Three Kings hills and over to Maungawhau Mt Eden.

“I’ve always been able to get cross party support. The main reason for running as an independent is that you’ve got to deal with governments of any political shade. It is a much more individual-focused vote, then.”

The main reason for running as an independent is that you’ve got to deal with governments of any political shade…
…so Phil, because Tim Murphy missed the obvious question, how many Nats are on your campaign team?

Or Act members?

If Goff is truly independent then why does his entire campaign team consist of Labour back room operators and Len Brown staffers?


– Tim Murphy


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  • Wayne Hodge

    Phil Goff, hypocrite

  • zotaccore

    Goof as Mayor? The man who spat on Vietnam soldiers returning that paraded down Queen St? I don’t think so. 30 yrs in politics has made him even more dense. Good luck Auckland – enjoy the experience.

  • Ghost

    What a great country of opportunity New Zealand is, truly, a place were you have the opportunity to become mayor of a city were you once stood, as a long haired hippy, and spat on returned servicemen.

    • contractor

      A great country for sure but not for examples like this!

  • Doc45

    My concern with Goff relates to his lack of commercial experience and business nous, his ability to hunt with the hares and the hounds, is lack of a genuine deep rooted philosophy on anything and any evidence of the intestinal fortitude to handle the tough decisions. Being an entrenched leftie is a worry but further down my list.

    • HunuaRanger

      I’m 100% certain Goofy has a genuinely deeply rooted philosophy.

  • Cadwallader

    Goff reminds ,me of the Who’s number “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” Has Len identified a new trough to replace his Auckland spot with? Could he get a List MP’s slot with Labour? Maybe the front bench in the Shadow Cabinet? Another thought: Is there any reason why Cunnliffe didn’t take a shot at the Auckland mayoralty? Is he expecting another round as Labour’s leader?

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Answer to your last question. Because they come sheeply (ops typo) mean cheaply.

  • Fairnz

    The sad thing is, he’s going to get in by default.

  • Drhill

    Funny how he is an independent and still getting a wage for being a labour MP

    • biscuit barrel

      Because he will have his own policy not that of the labour party

      • BR

        So Goff has a policy of reducing council debt, as opposed to increasing it? So Goff has a policy of decreasing the level of bureaucracy instead of expanding it? You believe that?

        • Graham Pilgrim

          Those were in fact two of the policies he presented to the Botany audience.

          • BR

            Of course he did. No surprises there. The problem is his credibility. He is after all a big government socialist. I don’t believe that Goff has had any sort of epiphany.


          • Graham Pilgrim

            I didn’t say I believed him, but to be honest, I’m not sure I believe John Palino when he says the same things.

          • BR

            I’m more inclined to believe Palino than a veteran socialist of 30+ years.


          • XCIA

            Did he say, or did anyone ask how he was going to achieve this?

  • Sally

    Wonder if he persuaded any of Botany Branch of the National Party he is independent.

    • Graham Pilgrim

      I was present, and expect not, but as is becoming of senior National supporters, Mr Goff was listened to attentively and respectfully. There was no jeering or heckling that one may have expected should a National MP have addressed a room full of Labour supporters.

      Jami-Lee Ross is now attempting to organise a talk from the main “right of centre” Mayoral candidate, whoever that will be!

  • Bluemanning

    Phil Goff, still a labour MP and entrenched lefty. Everyone knows it, the Media making fools of themselves again.

    • OneTrack

      Except the media are entrenched lefties as well, and they are following the agreed script.

  • Auckland, you have been warned!

  • Korau

    Angry won’t be pleased!

    “He’s feeling strangely liberated.”

    That’s not a message that will be welcomed in the red halls. Labour expects all their MP’s to march in lock step, and any suggestion that “independence” is a desirable or enjoyable state will be strongly resisted.

    • Graham Pilgrim

      The impression he gave me at the Botany gathering was that he was frustrated with the constant negativity emanating from “his” Party, and he was particularly vocal about his support for the TPPA.

      I’m not siding with Goff. Just telling it as I saw it.

    • Little is powerless when it comes to Goff. Goofy knows it is a foregone conclusion he will win Aucklands mayoralty and Little does too.

      If Little even thinks about stepping on Goffs toes he can simply resign and play the by election card.
      This is a card Labour cannot afford to have played. Their war chest won’t be able to buy a round of beers at the RSA never mind fund a by election.
      The changing demographics of the Mt Roskil electorate, John Keys popularity and the fact that Labour are now polling at 27% mean they could well be toast in one of their strongholds.

      National is not going to forgive Northland easily.

  • Big_Al

    As a Labour MP, and collecting a handsome salary from the NZ taxpayer for doing so, i am assuming that he is following in “squeeky clean” Andy’s footsteps and no longer accepting his salary, as he is campaigning for a mayoralty position and not carrying out his parliamentary duties??

  • biscuit barrel

    Auckland has had two previous National cabinet ministers who ran as Independents ( and admirably so)

    Why is it a problem then when a former labour minister does the same.

    • Mav E Rick

      They may have ran as independents but they would still have been very biased towards National Party policy. A leopard cant change his spots.

      • Nermal

        Goff has principles. And if you don’t like them, well, he has others

    • Graham Pilgrim

      I don’t think being a former Labour minister is the problem. Not as I see it. The problem is that Auckland is likely to end up with more of the same.

      • OneTrack

        Len. Without the Ngati Whatua Room.

    • BR

      I think the problem is the media and other lackeys pretending otherwise.


      • Seriously?


        I’d rather he stood up and said, “I am a Labour man and have been for over 30 years. It is who I am, and who I will be. But if elected mayor you can be assured that I will not be taking direction from the Labour Party. I agree with them on the vast majority of things, but if I disagree with them I will not shy away from doing so, and the TPPA is a recent example of where I do that.”

        If that is what he means by independent, then fair enough. But it is not what I’d call independent.

        • biscuit barrel

          Well thats the way its been for quite a while.
          There was a mayor of Queenstown who was a national MP at the same time
          . We have had a Auckland City councillor who was an MP at the same time. No one said they were lap dogs, just that could they do both jobs.

  • Seriously?

    I find it strange that someone who has committed their 30 year career to furthering the principles of the Labour Party can purport to abandon them so abruptly merely to seek a new job.

    To me that says one of three things:
    – He has been lying for 30 years and never really believe the stuff;
    – He thinks the current Labour Party doesn’t believe the real stuff; or
    – He isn’t abandoning those principles at all, and his claim of neutrality is a sham.

    I’m fairly sure it is the last of those things, but the other two alternatives are not that impressive either.

    • InnerCityDweller

      What, a Labour politician abandoning principles in a heart beat? Never….

    • Orca

      I think you are missing one option: He sees how Labour are doing in the polls at the moment, and doesn’t want to be seen publicly standing with them at the moment. That doesn’t for one moment mean that he doesn’t totally agree with them privately.

  • one for the road

    “Phil Goff is shedding his tribal Labour Party skin”.. Isn’t that what snakes do? What a slippery slimy individual..

  • Hard1

    Good Goff, the Switzerland of NZ politics. He’s given me an idea….let Labour now be called “The Independent Party”, just so we can tell the difference.

  • Toby

    So all you have to do to become politically neutral is go an speak at a national party branch.

    Cos that undoes 30 years of union hugging.

    • OneTrack

      Does that undo the spitting at returned servicemen?

      • Sailor Sam