Phil Goff gets more sneaky and furtive

Auckland Councillors are not best pleased with the sneaky and furtive antics of Phil Goff in his attempt to hide a report into his stadium project that cost ratepayers nearly a million dollars.

The NZ Herald reports: Quote:

A member of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s inner circle says councillors should have open access to a $1 million pre-feasibility report on a potential $1.5 billion downtown stadium.

Councillor Penny Hulse told the Herald today that councillors should be treated on an equal footing with the mayor when it comes to the report and respecting its confidential contents.

The pre-feasibility report by PwC found a stadium with a capacity of 55,000 spectators for rugby, rugby league and football and 65,000 for concerts could be built in the central city for between $1.1b and $1.5b.

Goff, who said greater transparency and accountability would be a feature of his mayoralty, has imposed strict conditions on councillors viewing the report, sparking three councillors to lodge complaints with the Ombudsman. End quote.

What has he got to hide? Why so sneaky and furtive?

If Penny Hulse is upset then Goff has problems. She’s not the only one scratching her head either: Quote:

In a further development, a former political adviser to the mayor when he was in Parliament, James Bews-Hair, has criticised Goff’s behaviour over the report and “his peculiar obsession with a waterfront stadium monument to his leadership”.

In the monthly news sheet “Town Hall”, Bews-Hair said the decision of Goff to only allow councillors to see an unredacted version of the PwC report under the supervision of his staff “is an affront to the character and honesty of councillors, downright insulting”.

The matter, Bews-Hair said, had become “messy, unnecessary and completely avoidable”. End quote.

James is a good political operator and even he can’t spin this as a positive for Phil Goff. Other councillors are far from happy: Quote:

[John] Watson told the Herald that Goff was assuming the role of elected representative and chief executive in limiting councillors easily accessing something of interest to the public.

“The mayor … is just an elected representative.

It is getting in the realm of ridiculous. It is become like a KGB spy flick.

“In the scheme of correct protocol, it should be dealt under the oversight of the chief executive not the mayor.

Despite an unredacted version of the report being offered to councillors, none were yet to read it because of the conditions being demanded, he said.

Councillors had outlined their concerns to Goff on numerous occasions but that had fallen on “deaf ears”, he said.

He has been caught out. He has known about this report for nearly a year, we only heard about it because the media put in a LGOIMA [Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request].

This report has cost $1 million and has been out for nearly a year. It’s to do with a $1.5 billion stadium. It is very much in the interest of the public.

Councillors Cathy Casey and Efeso Collins made complaints to the Ombudsman about the mayor’s behaviour.

Casey said she, Collins and Watson did not accept the latest imposed restrictions.

“We are elected representatives, just like the mayor.

He has no more right of access than we have. In our three wards alone we represent nearly 500,000 Aucklanders,” Casey said.

Collins said he was totally dismayed by the “heavy handed behaviour”.

“You’d think this report put our national security at risk with all these caveats in place.”

The three councillors confirmed they would formally contact the Ombudsman tomorrow to discuss the unnecessary set of restrictions.

Goff has been contacted for comment. End quote.

Goff is in lock-down wondering just how he got into all this mess. Maybe he should get back the staff who have left and get rid of the silly tart advising him now?

The councillors who are annoyed the most are left-wing councillors and Goff supporters. If he is pissing them off then he has got real problems.

Just like Clare Curran, Phil Goff is sneaky and furtive, the very opposite of what he promised voters.

As each day rolls on with this debacle Phil Goff is looking more and more like a clown.

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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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