Tamihere slams Goff over council-controlled organisation appointments

The gloves are off in the race for Auckland.

Mayor Phil Goff swore in nine new directors this week to run the city's council-controlled organisations, just three weeks before the election.

"I am impressed by the calibre of each of these new directors," Goff said on Friday, saying the new appointees "bring significant expertise from a range of backgrounds and will be a valuable addition to the boards".

But if rival John Tamihere wins the mayoralty, their positions might be short-lived. 

"This week, in spite of the fact we are 20 days away from a result in the election he's appointed nine new directors. I think it's a disgrace," he told Newshub.

"What it shows is just a cavalier approach, a lack of acknowledgement that the citizens are yet to speak."

Watercare, Regional Facilities Auckland, Panuku and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development all received new directors. Eight of them will begin their roles in November, and one is already in the job.

Tamihere says all directors appointed within the last three months will become temporary, if he is elected.

"I am vigorously opposing the way in which a number of those council-controlled organisations operate. That's on the record in the campaign. That is why you don't make these appointments."

Auckland Council began the process of hiring new directors in February, with "some existing directors reaching the end of their board tenures" during 2019. They were chosen between May and August.

Goff has promised to review how the leadership of council-controlled organisations is decided.

"Public entities must act in the public good and must be accountable to the public  it's as simple as that," he said in May.

"There is much that the CCOs have accomplished which is good and they deserve credit for that.

"CCOs have not always understood that they need to carry communities with them and engage fully with them, in order to be successful."

Tamihere has run an aggressive campaign against his former Labour Party colleague Goff, who is favoured to win a second term. 

Tamihere's promises have included a rates freeze, a new harbour bridge and the cancellation of the regional fuel tax. But his campaigning has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority, which ruled an ad he ran about Auckland Transport cutting speed limits misleading.