Half of Auckland councillors send 'no confidence' letter to Mayor Goff

Almost half of Mayor Phil Goff’s councillors have said signed their names to a letter of "no confidence" in him.

Nine (of 19) councillors released the letter at midday Wednesday, expressing their apprehensions about his $923,000 given to Auckland Regional Facilities to spend on commissioning PwC reports on a proposed downtown stadium for Auckland.

The councillors write that a “significant sum” went into the reports, which far exceeded initial expectations.

"As we understand it the original quote was for a fee of 'up to $600k' for the work outlined. A further $355k in cost was then added when you [Mr Goff] personally requested more information on the funding options for a stadium.

"In light of both the cost and significance of this study, we are concerned that the two reports produced (the first of which was published in June 2017) have only just come to our attention. This in turn has only occurred in response to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act request from the media, which was subsequently appealed successfully to the Office of the Ombudsman."

In the letter, the councillors expressed frustration that Mr Goff didn't share copies of the reports to them for over a year. 

"We remind you we are duly elected members of the Auckland Council, just like you.

"You have had a copy for nearly a year but not us. Why is that?"

The councillors say after Mr Gofff was forced by the Office of the Ombudsman to release the report, the copies they received were “heavily redacted.” They say the censored form was “questionable to say the least.”

“In refusing to provide us with an unredacted copy on the same ground you have enjoyed yourself, you appear to be drawing little distinction between your elected colleagues and the public at large.”

The councillors assert if it the matter was an isolated incident they would have overlooked Mr Goff’s actions but say it is reflective of leadership style which has become “increasingly apparent” as his term has progressed.

The nine councillors who signed the letter are Mike Lee, Efeso Collins, John Watson, Wayne Walker, Greg Sayers, Cathy Casey, Daniel Newman, Sharon Stewart and Chris Fletcher.

Mr Goff will make a formal response shortly.

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