Phil Goff’s own dirty politics team busted

The Auckland Ratepayers Alliance shows up a curious chain of events:

You might have noticed in yesterday?s Herald a story about the enormous pay salaries the staff in Phil Goff?s office are being paid. ?The article revealed that four staff in the Mayor’s office are being paid between $150,000 and $295,000.

Putting aside the question of whether ratepayers paying so much for the Mayor’s spin doctors and political operatives is consistent with?Mr Goff?s promise to cut wasteful spending, you might be surprised to learn that the Ratepayers? Alliance requested information about the costs of Mayoral Office salaries some four weeks ago.

Much to our surprise,?the story in the Herald appeared online only 90 minutes after the Council emailed us the information?(at 4:50pm), apparently in an attempt to avoid your humble advocates for prudent spending blowing the whistle. ?

Under Len Brown, the leaking (or ?briefing?) of bad stories to friendly media was common place. ?By bundling the information with the Council?s spin, the chance for groups the Council doesn’t approve of to comment is lost. ?In this case, we wanted to see how the big earners working for Mr Goff compared to those who work in the mayoral offices of Wellington and Christchurch (let?s just say Mr Goff?s payroll looks generous).

Inside the Council, the practice is called doing a ?David Lewis? ? named after Mayor Brown?s, now Mayor Goff?s, chief spin doctor.

This type of media manipulation directly contradicts Phil Goff?s promise earlier in the year to set a higher standard than Len Brown. ?Leaking to friendly media information requested via the Official Information Act, is one of the practises Nicky Hager labeled as “Dirty Politics? ? something Mr Goff slammed when he was an MP.

My old man used to tease Bernard Orsman everytime he rung him by asking how was enjoying being in the adjunct of the Mayor’s office…until Len Brown was caught with his pants down.

Now David Lewis is running the ship normal transmission direct to Orsman’s inbox has resumed.

Dirty politics? If it was a Nat doing it then sure, but when Labour men do it then it is business as usual…which it is. All politicians play favourites when wanting to front run bad news. David Lewis likes Orsman for that job.

All it is is politics as usual.


-Auckland Ratepayers Alliance