Pat Booth campaigning until the last column
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.
Pat Booth began his journalistic career in 1947.