Paul Little at large
Paul Little is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Paul Little: How to care for your mayor - a user's guide

Auckland's new mayor Phil Goff with his wife Mary. Photo / Getty Images
Auckland's new mayor Phil Goff with his wife Mary. Photo / Getty Images

So you've got a new mayor. Congratulations! We're sure you'll be happy with your choice. Please take a few moments to read these guidelines to ensure trouble-free operation of your mayor. With just a few sensible precautions your mayor should provide you with years of reliable service.

ASSEMBLY: Although your mayor is supplied fully assembled and in working order you may find it occasionally needs propping up or oiling. Remember also that your mayor will function best in public. In fact, the more widely your mayor is exposed, the more alert, energetic and responsive it will be.

KEY FUNCTIONS: Your mayor will attend just about any function to which an invitation is received.

POWER SOURCE: Your mayor comes fully equipped with its own supply of hot air which is sufficient for all its standard power needs. If, despite this, your mayor should show signs of becoming run down, time in the sun or spotlight should be sufficient to reverse this effect.

Note: Never attempt to leave your mayor in the shade or out in the cold as this can lead to meltdown.

TRANSPORTATION: Please take care when moving your mayor from place to place. Although your mayor will respond well to overseas travel, anything other than business or first class seats may trigger a meltdown that will take several bottles of fine wine to repair.

EXERCISE:Your mayor will benefit from regular exercise, particularly of the privileges that come with the job. Frequent massaging of your mayor's ego may also be essential to maintain healthy functioning. Please note that swelling of the head is normal in all models and does not require any special action on your part. Please note that swelling is not reversible.

USES: Your mayor can be used for a wide variety of functions and occasions. Your mayor makes an excellent scapegoat for decisions made by the national Government and council officers, the two entities that control what actually happens in your city. Do not expect your mayor to have any impact on issues affecting you or your community.

EXTRAS: You have chosen the Mayor with Libido model, which was included in the now-discontinued Len Brown model, and which still has a substantial cult following among collectors. Recent modifications to mayoral libido in response to consumer feedback mean that this should cause no difficulties with your new mayor. However, it is better to err on the side of caution and when dealing with your new mayor we recommend you keep hands away from moving parts at all times.

MAINTENANCE: The annual cost of running your mayor is currently $269,500. We strongly advise against attempting to reduce this due to the risk of meltdown (see Power Source and Transportation).

GUARANTEE: Under the terms of the Consumer Protection Act it is not practicable to provide a guarantee with mayors. However, they may be traded in with no questions asked after three years. Please note that early trade-ins can be accepted only in the most extreme circumstances, and given what you've put up with in recent years it's hard to imagine just what these could be.

- Herald on Sunday

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