Phill Goff

Once Goff opens Len’s books, the only answer will be higher rates, extra levies and more taxes

Matthew Hooton dares write what most Aucklanders really hoped wasn’t true

The former Labour leader, who is expected to win the mayoralty wearing National Party colours, will next week take the helm of another despised institution. According to Auckland Council?s own Citizens? Insights Monitor, just 17% of Aucklanders trust the council to make the right decision on any given issue.

Worse, Mr Goff has won the position based on four fiscal promises that he knows perfectly well do not add up.

First, he has promised another $17-20 billion of infrastructure spending on top of the council?s existing estimate of $18.7 billion, for which it plans to borrow.

Second, Mr Goff has vowed not to jeopardise the council?s AA credit rating, which is under threat as debt to revenue reaches 200%, interest to revenue touches 15% and interest to rates approaches 25%. In practice, Mr Goff?s credit-rating commitment rules out any further increase in debt.

Third, Mr Goff has promised not to fund new infrastructure by selling ?strategic? assets, including the $9 billion Watercare, the 22% stake the council still has in the mainly privately owned airport, and the waterfront land being used wastefully by council-owned Ports of Auckland.

Fourth and finally, Mr Goff has pledged that rates ? which currently bring in just $1.5 billion a year anyway, less than half of the council?s revenue ? will not rise by more than an average of 2.5% a year.

To some degree Auckland’s mayoralty is a bit of a hospital pass. ?Len Brown has shackled the city to a sufficient number of long term money draining black holes that any new mayor is going to need central government help to get around the rules that are hemming any kind of creative consolidation in. ? Read more »

Is Goff the right man for the job? History has the answer

With Len Brown down, and no credible alternative candidates on the horizon, it seems like Phil Goff is going to have an easy run into the office with the stains under the desk.

But arts, lifestyle and fitness blogger Pinko Farrar has taken some time away from his hectic schedule to produce a post that would normally have come from Ede, bless his running socks.

via Kiwiblog

via Kiwiblog

As Goff lines up to try and become the leader of Auckland, it is worth looking at how he did as the leader of Labour. The graph?above is the data from the TV3 Reid Research poll which asks if people approve or disapprove of the job party leaders are doing.

As you can see Goff started with a positive public response. He had 43% approving and just 27% disapproving for a net of +16%. Read more »

National cabinet to approve troops for Iraq today

The controversial issue has split Parliament – and even some of the Prime Minister’s allies are vehemently opposed to intervening in the Middle East.

A deployment would conclude months of increasingly bellicose rhetoric since the general election as John Key ramped up talk of New Zealand’s need to intervene.

Labour defence spokesman Phil Goff said it seemed Mr Key had privately decided months ago to deploy troops to fight Isis.

He said New Zealand’s Western allies, rather than the Iraqi government, were driving the push to send Kiwi troops to the Middle East.

“My problem, and the Labour Party’s problem, is the avenue Key has chosen is likely to be the least effective way of dealing with the problem.”

He said that was because the Iraqi army was corrupt, had a “pathetic” leadership and was itself a cause of sectarian tensions and subsequent grievances Isis used to win support.

Mr Goff said Isis needed to be contained and isolated, starved of funds, weapons and personnel, and its victims given help.

I don’t know about you, but I think we should send Phil Goff to sort this out. ?He seems to know exactly what to do. ? Read more »

Things are falling apart in Labour

When something happens that isn’t going the way a political party particularly wants, they need to get together, work out a strategy, and communicate that coherently.

What you don’t do, is have all sorts of MPs going on Twitter and doing a Clive Dunn impression (“Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring! ?Don’t paaaniiiiic!!)

Senior Labour Party MPs have used social media to attack the alliance struck between Mana and the Internet Party.

Since this isn’t a coordinated or planned response, we can safely assume these MPs have gone rogue. ?It reflects the fact the Labour Party is out of control, and people are doing their own thing.

Former leaders Phil Goff and David Shearer, and Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins, are among those who have objected to the deal. It could see MPs from Kim Dotcom?s fledging political vehicle enter Parliament on the ??coat-tails?? of a victory for Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau.

The strong opposition from within Labour could make post-election coalition talks tricky.

Goff says he feel strongly about Dotcom?s ??pure political opportunism??, citing his previous donations to ACT MP John Banks, now the subject of a court case. ??He wants to be able to influence and control politicians.??

Goff says he was previously ??very critical?? of National for exploiting MMP and failing to implement recommendations from the Electoral Commission to abolish the provision.

??I?m scarcely likely to endorse another rort …I?m being entirely consistent,?? he said.

This is totally delicious. ?Labour is damned if it does, and damned if it doesn’t. ?And no matter what they decide to do, the mere existence of the Internet Mana Party is going to hurt Labour’s chances. ? Read more »

Goff feels the love as Epsom threatened to implode

Claire Trevett brings us?this hilarious expose of Phil Goff’s feelings being hurt

Snobbery and a false rumour that a boundary change would take some homes out of the Auckland Grammar zone and affect property values are believed to be factors in the strong opposition by voters in the well-heeled Epsom electorate to being moved into the more working class Labour electorate of Mt Roskill.

Mr Goff said there had been “a degree of moral panic” that it would affect the Grammar zone and property prices, “both of which are nonsense”.

He suspected there was a degree of snobbery about the proposed change. “If people felt being associated with Mt Roskill was going to affect their social class, that’s tough. People are proud to live in Mt Roskill and if the people of Epsom felt that was somehow beneath them, that’s a real pity.”

Phil, there was a genuine panic at the thought of being taken from a safe blue seat and being lumped in with a safe red seat. ? This isn’t snobbery, it is just plain realism they don’t like your sort up in Epsom.

He was not taking the opposition of the Epsom residents personally. “The fact they vote nine to one for National and have opted out of coming into Mt Roskill probably isn’t a huge disappointment for me. Not being arrogant, but I would like to think that perhaps I could not simply match John Banks, Richard Worth and Rodney Hide, but I could perhaps do a better job.”

Ooooooooooooooh.. BURN! ? Read more »