Mixed re­sponses to Goff’s first 100 days

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - SI­MON MAUDE

In Oc­to­ber po­lit­i­cal vet­eran Phil Goff swept into the Auck­land may­oralty.

Goff, for­mer Labour leader and long­time MP, sound­ing the right noises for most Auck­land vot­ers, built his cam­paign poli­cies around para­graph long tru­isms.

Auck­land’s trans­port in­fras­truc­ture needs more money via cen­tral gov­ern­ment, wa­ter­ways need pro­tect­ing and some­thing must be done about hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity, his cam­paign web­page read. Now it’s March, it’s more than 100 days on from Goff be­com­ing Mayor - how do Auck­land com­men­ta­tors think Goff’s done?

Spinoff writer Si­mon Wil­son gives Goff a mixed score­card.

‘‘My view of Goff is that he is fac­ing the right way but seems cu­ri­ously re­luc­tant to take bold steps for­ward - and some­times he runs away.’’ As a man­ager Goff has ’’ex­er­cised con­sid­er­able po­lit­i­cal skill in con­struct­ing his coun­cil, bring­ing po­ten­tial op­po­nents that mat­ter into his team, al­though he man­aged to alien­ate a po­ten­tial friend,’’ dumped Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, Wil­son said.

‘‘He’s re­mark­ably risk averse, nat­u­rally cau­tious and more in­clined to man­age than lead.

‘‘He also seems, strangely, in­tent on do­ing things on his own rather than build­ing on good work that’s gone be­fore.’’

Wil­son cites Goff’s Hous­ing Task­force rolled-out last week as go­ing ‘‘be­hind the backs of ev­ery­one work­ing in the field’’.

Lo­cal and cen­tral gov­ern­ment agen­cies, devel­op­ers and banks be­long to the task­force but com­mu­nity agen­cies and work­ers with proven track records are miss­ing, Wil­son said.

One of Goff’s biggest tasks is to find a way to fund bil­lions in trans­port in­fras­truc­ture but try­ing to use Auck­land’s An­nual Plan to find some of that money is mis­placed, Wil­son said. In­stead, Goff needs to shame cen­tral gov­ern­ment into cough­ing-up dol­lars for Auck­land. For­mer long-term Manukau City Mayor Sir Barry Cur­tis said he’s ‘‘very, very im­pressed’’ with Goff’s first 100 days.

‘‘He’s do­ing an ex­cel­lent job, his grasp of is­sues, I’m very im­pressed with the way he re­lates to com­mu­ni­ties mul­ti­cul­tural such as they are. I’d give him a 10 out of 10 quite frankly.’’ Cur­tis, Manukau’s Mayor for 24 years, be­lieves Goff has done well get­ting Auck­land Coun­cil ex­pen­di­ture un­der con­trol while Goff has started to re­store staff morale, some­thing Auck­land re­gion’s super city merger eroded.

DAVID WHITE/FAIR­FAX NZ

Phil Goff be­came Auck­land Mayor in 2016, fol­low­ing more than 35 years in cen­tral gov­ern­ment pol­i­tics.

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