Posted on November 22, 2015
Former Labour Party Leader Phil Goff should resign from Parliament if he is serious about contesting the Auckland mayoralty says mayoral candidate Mark Thomas.
“Aucklanders rightly expect anyone serious about the mayoralty will be fully committed to it.”
“Any plans Goff has to have his mayoral campaign funded by taxpayers will be seen for the double-dipping it is.”
“I am funding my campaign from donations already received. There will be no taxpayer or ratepayer subsidy to my campaign and Goff can’t make the same statement unless he resigns from Parliament.”
Thomas, the only other serious mayoral candidate in the field, has been campaigning full time since he announced he was standing on 24 September.
“Having been part of Auckland Council for five years, I have a very good sense of the demands the mayoral campaign will take and someone with a full time job cannot commit to it.”
“This is even more important for Goff as having never been involved in local government he has a lot to learn about it.”
“Aucklanders don’t want to hear Goff just describe Auckland’s rates and transport problems, they want specific plans to fix them.”
Thomas said he is talking about his plans at the dozens of meetings he has already attended around the region. Including his proposal to rewrite the Auckland Plan to better focus Auckland Council, implement a fairer rating policy and consider using existing council investments to fund much needed local transport projects.
Thomas had reorganised his consulting business prior to launching his campaign. He had been working more than 40 hours a week on the mayoral campaign and expected this to increase.
“Having a full time job based in Wellington just doesn’t cut it.”
Goff’s Labour colleague Lianne Dalziel did not resign from Parliament until the week before the 2013 election.
Yet Auckland is four times the size of Christchurch and, with more significant affordability, transport and growth challenges, will require a much greater effort from any serious mayoral candidate..
Thomas said the former Labour Party Leader should resign from Parliament now if he wanted Aucklanders to take his mayoral bid seriously and to avoid taxpayers funding his campaign.