Pat Booth cam­paign­ing un­til the last col­umn

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE -

In­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Pat Booth is step­ping down from his role as long-time colum­nist for the Auck­land City Har­bour News.

Booth is the au­thor of Off Pat – the weekly re­gional col­umn that has en­ter­tained and in­formed read­ers since the mid-1990s. The 85-yearold first penned it while em­ployed as edi­tor-in-chief of Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers - the par­ent com­pany of the Auck­land City Har­bour News and its 11 sis­ter pub­li­ca­tions in Auck­land.

He was hired into that po­si­tion af­ter spend­ing nearly four decades on the now de­funct Auck­land Star.

There he steered a num­ber of ma­jor sto­ries, most no­tably those re­lat­ing to the Mr Asia drug syn­di­cate of the 1970s and the se­ries that helped gain Arthur Al­lan Thomas – the man wrongly im­pris­oned on a dou­ble mur­der charge – a royal par­don.

‘‘Pat started his ca­reer as a re­porter on the Haw­era Star in 1947,’’ Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers head of con­tent Matthew Gray says.

‘‘It is in­cred­i­ble to think that he’s still fil­ing copy 68 years later and it will feel strange to pro­duce pa­pers that no longer carry his by­line.

‘‘Weekly feed­back from our read­ers shows his work con­tin­ues to hit the mark – we are sorry to lose his ser­vices.’’

Booth’s last three col­umns fo­cused on an Auck­land Coun­cil plan to ban open fire­places and older style wood burn­ers. The pro­posal was this month put on hold af­ter wide­spread con­dem­na­tion.

Booth, who lives in Kumeu, is cur­rently on an ex­tended pe­riod of leave as a Waitem­ata Dis­trict Health Board mem­ber.

Photo: FAIR­FAX ME­DIA

Pat Booth be­gan his jour­nal­is­tic ca­reer in 1947.

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