How Peter Goodfellow helped Phil Goff get his bed tax through

As readers will know Phil Goff managed to get his bed tax passed with the help of several hard-core National party members, including the wife of party president Peter Goodfellow, Desley Simpson, and National Party candidate for Maungakiekie, Denise Lee.

Desley Simpson was for the bed tax proposal all along as part of her ultimate strategy to first become Deputy Mayor then ultimately the Mayor. This proved somewhat embarrassing for Peter Goodfellow because National was implacably opposed to the idea yet his missus was a poster child for the proposal. She tried to hide her support after Phil Goff’s video of her supporting it mysteriously disappeared from Facebook. I thought that might happen and so I obtained a copy.

But it was Denise Lee who turned turtle on the bed rate vote much to the chagrin of the lobbyists and planners behind the campaign to oppose the bed tax. They thought they had the numbers but unforeseen circumstances with a couple of councillors reduced their vote.  

The industry had been told by Paula Bennett to lay off lobbying Denise Lee (which was underway with every National person they could find to exert pressure) because Bennett stated that she had “sorted her, and she would vote against it”.

Denise Lee was also getting that message from the PM’s office sources have told us. As far as the hotel/motel lobby was concerned the fix was in and Phil Goff was going to lose his vote.

They have no idea why Denise Lee turned but it turns out though on the Wednesday night ahead of the vote she had Peter Goodfellow all over her. He was effectively putting saving his foolish wife’s political butt ahead of what was in the obvious political interests of the National Party (making the Labour Mayor look like a fool in the run-up to the election).

If you look at Denise Lee’s face during the vote on the measure, after she has spoken and during the speech of Desley Simpson, she looks unwell, as though she is contemplating just precisely what has been done to her.

How awkward, she had to sit next Desley Simpson, while her husband was staring her down from the public gallery making sure she supported the very woman she had to sit next to, against the wishes of the National Party of which he is president.

That’s right, Goodfellow actually went to the meeting to stare down Denise Lee to make sure she did what she was told. What on earth was he going to do if she showed a smidgeon of spine? Revert to type?

If I was Bill English I’d be pretty angry with the actions of my president.

To recap, Denise Lee had told Paula Bennett she would vote against it. Peter Goodfellow then heavied her into voting for it (as was Simpson, who had invested heavily in it winning). He then turned up to make sure she did as he had told her to do. And in so doing Denise Lee went against the commitment she had given to Deputy PM and a lot of other National party people who she will have to sit next to in caucus for the next three years. Paula Bennett had told the industry that she had sorted Lee’s vote and that we could lay off her with their lobbying.

I’m not sure whether Peter Goodfellow will be gulping in fear at Bill English finding this out or fear of the good hard thrashing he will receive from Paula Bennett who isn’t known for her subtlety.


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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

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