Goff’s War­riors and Blues heart break

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - SAMHEWAT

Auck­land mayor Phil Goff de­scribes his re­la­tion­ship with the Blues and War­riors like mar­riage - to­gether in sick­ness and in health.

Like many Auck­lan­ders, Goff con­stantly bat­tles the love he has for his city’s team with the pain of their ab­sent suc­cess.

‘‘They break my heart from time to time,’’ he said.

And even in his own mar­riage, there’s sport­ing con­flict.

‘‘There’s war­fare in my fam­ily when the Chiefs are play­ing the Blues,’’ he said.

‘‘My wife is a Waikato girl from Man­gakino and a strong Chiefs sup­porter while I’m out there de­fend­ing the Blues.’’

Goff of­ten shows his face at Mt Smart Sta­dium and Eden Park in sup­port.

How­ever, even he ad­mits that crowd num­bers at games in Auck­land can be a ma­jor prob­lem and a hin­der­ance to at­mos­phere.

‘‘When your team’s do­ing bet­ter, ob­vi­ously you get more peo­ple com­ing along and help­ing fill the sta­dium,’’ Goff said.

‘‘The prob­lem with Eden Park is hav­ing a park that’s de­signed for the Rugby World Cup but al­ways feels rel­a­tively empty when you’ve got 15,000 or 20,000 peo­ple there.

‘‘And that’s the big dilemma we face in what we might do for the fu­ture. You get a lot more at­mos­phere if you have a lot of peo­ple in the stands.’’

De­spite this, Goff would love to see the Rugby World Cup back in Auck­land,

‘‘Hav­ing the Rugby World Cup here again would be ter­rific,’’ he said.

‘‘With any­thing that is in­ter­na­tional, you’re see­ing your side out there play­ing their hearts out and that gives it at­mos­phere and ex­cite­ment around the game.’’

Goff has been an ad­vo­cate for a new wa­ter­front sta­dium in Auck­land, how­ever is weary of the bur­den on tax­pay­ers and thinks al­ter­na­tive fund­ing is the so­lu­tion. And while he has an affin­ity for the Blues and War­riors, he also takes pride in some of the lo­cal and more mi­nor clubs.

‘‘I used to go along quite of­ten to the school net­ball games in my old elec­torate,’’ Goff said.

‘‘We’ve also got th­ese mod­est lit­tle clubs, like Auck­land City Foot­ball Club, with hardly any land, with scaf­fold­ing around the seats, but still pro­duc­ing bril­liant re­sults.’’

Goff be­lieves sport is a mas­sive part of not just Auck­land life, but Kiwi cul­ture as well.

SAM HEWAT/FAIRFAX NZ

Auck­land mayor Phil Goff says his re­la­tion­ship with the Blues and War­riors is one of both pain and joy.

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