Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Phil Goff's salary to go to charity after Auckland Mayor campaign

Mayoral candidate Phil Goff had pledged not to take his taxpayer-funded $156,000 annual salary while he was campaigning. Photo / Michael Craig.
Mayoral candidate Phil Goff had pledged not to take his taxpayer-funded $156,000 annual salary while he was campaigning. Photo / Michael Craig.

Mayoral candidate Phil Goff has been raking in donations from others to his campaign but is stockpiling his own salary to give to charity.

Goff had pledged not to take his taxpayer-funded $156,000 annual salary while he was campaigning in the last month before the local body elections.

A spokesman for Goff confirmed he had been on leave from Parliament since September 6 and since then his pay had gone into a trust account rather than his personal account.

It would be split between five charities of Goff's choosing once his campaign was over.

Goff said the charities were the Cancer Society, Ako Hiko Trust, Totara Hospice, Auckland City Mission and Auckland Medical Research Foundation.

Goff also said if he was elected Mayor on October 8 he would resign from Parliament the week after and would not get a salary until he was sworn in as Mayor on November 1.

Goff recently raised $250,000 at a fundraising dinner and auction in the Chinese community. The lion's share was an auction of a book signed by China's President Xi Jinping but the auction included the rather cheeky auction of a bottle of wine signed by PM John Key.

A spokesman said Goff's donations were put into a separate bank account and those worth more than $1500 would be disclosed after the elections as required under law.

It had not been possible to halt Goff's salary payments while he was still an MP, but he had opted to give it to charity instead to prevent accusations he was campaigning on taxpayer's money.

MPs who are absent without leave have their pay docked but Goff did have leave.

A spokesman for Labour leader Andrew Little said David Shearer and Jenny Salesa had taken on Goff's remaining portfolios of defence and ethnic affairs respectively.

Goff was still doing some constituency work.

- NZ Herald

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