Phil Goff

Phil Goff’s gum flapping task force

Mayor Phil Goff today convened the first meeting of the Auckland Mayoral Taskforce on Auckland Housing Supply.

The Mayoral Taskforce will comprise of Auckland Council, central government officials and the private sector. The objectives of the Mayoral Taskforce are to:

1. Identify barriers and constraints to building more homes in Auckland at a pace and scale which meets the demand created by population growth.

2. Identify options and make recommendations to overcome those barriers and constraints.

“Growing by around 900 people a week, Auckland faces severe housing difficulties as the supply of housing fails to keep pace with demand,” Mayor Phil Goff said. Read more »

“Alternative-innovative financing options”

The latest phrase to disguise people wanting to stick their hands in your pocket to get money out of it is “alternative-innovative financing options”.

Finance and Infrastructure Minister, Steven Joyce’s, first major announcement since taking up the portfolio was exactly the tonic Auckland business needed to hear.

Noting the Government announcement saying “no” to a regional fuel tax, Chairman of the Auckland Business Forum, Michael Barnett, agreed the tax had potential to distort the market, administratively difficult, and badly targeted and unfair. Read more »

Simon and Steve say NO! to Goff’s plans

Phil Goff wanted to get the government to tax Aucklanders for using the roads they’ve already paid for along with a specific fuel tax to fund his inherited transport pipe dreams.

That has now reached the logical conclusion it was always going to reach in an election year.

NBR reports:

Auckland mayor Phil Goff’s major platform for funding the yearly $400 million shortfall for transport projects has been run off the road.

The government has ruled out a regional fuel tax, Mr Goff’s main hope for bridging the shortfall gap.

Finance Minister Stephen Joyce said a regional fuel tax will not be introduced as “they are administratively difficult, prone to leakage and cost-spreading, and blur the accountabilities between central and local government.

Instead, Mr Joyce says the government will explore options with the council such as tolls and congestion pricing. Speaking to NBR after his first formal speech as the finance minister, Mr Joyce says Auckland is running out of room to extend the roading network after current projects are completed.    Read more »

Phil Goff’s fun police start cutting down swings

Phil Goff has started the new year by rolling out the fun police and tasking them with cutting down kid’s swings.

Kiwis’ DIY resourcefulness is under threat from the Auckland Council, which is demanding the removal of children’s swings on street trees, in the name of safety and tree health.

Parents in Calgary St, Sandringham, are shocked to have been slapped with notices ordering them to dismantle swings – loved by children – outside their homes

But the council says it is responding to a complaint rather than running a city-wide crackdown on street swings.

Peter Lord was told by a card left by a council official last month that the replacement swing he had erected only weeks early for his three daughters, aged 8, 11 and 12, was in breach of the Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw.

Read more »

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.   Read more »

The Diary of Commissar Cashmore

Bloody tough day at the office, only saved by having a beer and a singalong with the Comrade Mayor, who was as pissed off at me at the capitalist scumbags on council who forced us to consult on 2% rates rises. Bloody capitalists. Don’t they understand that a 2% rates rise means we will have to end the salary increases for our good, hard working staff who are earning only $100,000 a year?

The bloody ratepayers will probably tell us that they want a 2% rates rise, and we will have to find some reason to fudge the numbers. Comrade Clow put in a good effort with a bait and switch, saying overall rates rises were only 2% because residential rates and business rates would net out at 2% but these capitalists are smarter than we thought when the Comrade Mayor and I jacked up the council last summer over a few beers and some good rousing union music.   Read more »

Goff’s office trough is deep and being filled right to the top

When you build a trough it pays to build big.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is dishing out big salaries for staff in his officeone of whom earns up to $295,000.

Goff has revealed that four staff in his office are being paid more than $150,000, but claimed in a statement he will have fewer staff than former Mayor Len Brown and spend less.

Of the 11 staff currently employed in the mayoral office, five have senior roles – chief of staff Fran Mold, finance and policy director David Wood, planning manager Rory Palmer, communications and external relations manager Mike Burgess and senior press secretary Nirupa George.

The four salary bands for staff earning more than $150,000 are:

• $275,000-$295,000
• $245,00-$265,000
• $148,00-$198,000
• $130,000-$180,000    Read more »

Goff backs out of another election promise. Same as it ever was

No surprises here, a weasel politician breaks his election promise just one month into the job.

Just one month into the new Phil Goff mayoralty and already he will be disappointing his followers with what appears to be a back down on his strong position on the hustings that he would force the Ports of Auckland to stop using the wharf for motor vehicle importation and relocate that business to North Port.

In his Letter of Expectation to the Chair and Board of Auckland Investments Limited, the Council Controlled Organisation which owns and manages the Councils investment in the Ports of Auckland, he directs ACIL to “investigate with the Ports and any other relevant parties on how the adverse impact of motor vehicles stored on the wharves can be reduced or eliminated.”   Read more »

Well now, this is refreshing. Now all Phil Goff has to do is match the rhetoric with deeds

Phil Goff is playing the tough guy.

He’s ordered council officers to do what they are told.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is laying down the law with council bodies, telling their highly paid bosses to be more open and accountable and instructing Auckland Transport to lift its game on public transport.

Goff has also told the council’s investment arm to ensure Ports of Auckland are clear there will be no further reclamation or wharf extensions into the Waitemata and the time has come to look at reducing or removing cars altogether from the waterfront wharves.

The messages to the six council-controlled organisations (CCOs), and copied to council chief executive Stephen Town, are contained in draft letters of expectation. The letters, much tougher than in the past, will be discussed by councillors at Thursday’s finance committee before being finalised.

Last night, the new mayor told the Herald that a clear message he heard on the election hustings was the term ”council-controlled organisations” was a misnomer.   Read more »

Dopey Vic Crone couldn’t even file her donation returns on time

The Mayoral donations returns have been filed…except for Vic Crones.

Phil Goff bagged a reasonable slice of cash and donations from Helen Clark and Eric Watson.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark and rich lister Eric Watson were among the donors to Phil Goff’s successful Auckland mayoral campaign, which raised more than $700,000.

Clark and Watson each donated $5000 to Goff, who spent $410,814 on his campaign, leaving him with a “good little war chest” for another run in 2019, according to his campaign manager David Lewis.

Goff said his team worked hard at fundraising, putting the big bounty down to a lot of confidence in him and an expectation he was likely to win the election.

Read more »