I’m worried that Rodney has Early-onset Dementia

Apparently everyone loves Phil Goff.

Phil Goff has the potential to be an excellent mayor. He is capable and personable.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like him. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t think him able.

He knows Auckland well having represented Mt Roskill since before most Aucklanders were born.

He also knows Wellington having been an MP since 1981, bar a one-term break, and has served as a senior Minister in the Lange and Clark-led governments. He is tribal Labour but is respected across Parliament.

That will be important. For Auckland to succeed the mayor needs a good working relationship with central government and MPs across Parliament. Understanding the workings of government and Parliament will be a huge boon.

Over his parliamentary career Goff has travelled left to right and back again and so has represented, at one time or another, the breadth of the New Zealand political spectrum.

He is more broadly representative than anyone else I know.

Well Rodney, you know me. ?And I think?he is a lying, duplicitous weasel. ?So you do know someone that doesn’t like him. ?He has a history of tax-and-spend, of bait and switch, of bold-faced lies and of delivering process rather than results.

But I guess that after Len Brown, we can’t go further backwards. ? Or can we? ?

He has lived most of his adult life in the public eye. There should be nothing in his private life that should shock or offend even the prissiest among us. He knows the scrutiny that comes with high public office.

If I were writing a spec for Auckland’s top job, Goff’s CV would prove a perfect match – apart from him being white, middle-aged and male, but we can hardly hold that against him.

The challenge for Goff will be to step up to the leadership role. Auckland is a huge region with big challenges. The Mayor of Auckland is a tough job. The position lacks the systems and structures for support that, for example, the Prime Minister enjoys.

The Mayor has no party for support, no cabinet to call on, and no competing advice from a range of departments.

Auckland is a millstone. ?A hospital pass. ?It is already over committed on debt, and it has a number of projects on the go that are literally holes in the ground we’re pouring money into.

Auckland Council is a sentient entity of its own. ?Any attempt by Goff and the executive to reduce its power, spend and footprint will be met with a level of inertia that will slow the planet enough to have to adjust the clocks a second at the turn of the year.

He’s got no money to spend, unless he charges for more things, increases rates, and somehow gets National to commit electoral suicide by allowing Phil to tax, rate, toll and levy Aucklanders even more.

Auckland is a perpetual court case waiting to happen as people driving zoning, unitary plans and little fiefdoms battle it out for supremacy while the city is suffocated by its own weight.

Rodney, Phil’s first act as mayor was to introduce a living wage for all council staff. ?He didn’t campaign on that. ?He did campaign on cutting council waste. ?On keeping rated increases under control. ?I never expected anything different, but the fact people think Goff can be good for Auckland was seriously undermined before he even left the starting gate.

It?shows exactly how he will run the city. ?Through deception, pandering to interest groups, and doing what he does best: ?staying at the trough.

Same as it ever was.


– Rodney Hide, NZ Herald