The worst kept secret in New Zealand politics has now been confirmed, Phil Goff is running for Auckland Super City Mayor.
The formal announcement was made yesterday. He is clearly well prepared and rightfully has front runner status at this stage.
His speech was carefully crafted and obviously designed to reach across party lines. He ruled out asset sales and talked about the importance of the environment. He also pledged to be fiscally prudent. This latter statement is one the left has let the right monopolise for too long.
The right is exercising its attack lines. Claims that he is double dipping have been made on social media. Of course he is only receiving his MP’s salary at this stage so the claims are rather bizarre.
Leading contender on the right, Mark Thomas has joined in the claims that Goff will be double dipping. Thomas somehow believes that it is appropriate for him to receive a Local Board salary and income from his consultancy and campaign for the Mayoral office but not for Goff.
If Thomas needs to understand what double dipping then National Cabinet Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga provides a perfect example. He was elected to Parliament in 2008 while also being on the Auckland City Council. Rather than resign his seat he stayed on as a City Councillor. He waited until October 2009 before resigning and the significance of this is that the Council were then able to vote not to have a by election. This option was not available to the Council if he had resigned more than a year before the next election.
Knowing Phil Goff and his capacity for work I am sure that he can manage to perform his role effectively and campaign in his spare time.
For further information on his campaign and if you want to assist his campaign website is here.