Phil Goff's 2016 mayoral election war plan proved so successful it looks like he's dusted it off and is about to give it a rerun.
This week, in his first campaign pledge of the 2019 contest, he's promising a review into those universal whipping boys of Auckland local government, the council-controlled organisations.
An independent review no less, by four, no doubt prominent and undoubtedly, eye-wateringly expensive, experts.
Yet back in 2016, he was promising much the same, declaring "clear expectations will be established for all CCOs".
Once elected, he followed through, making himself chair of the appointments and performance review committee which oversees the CCOs. Then he took a sudden right turn and sacked the only two elected members on any of the boards.
Goff said removing the councillors would improve accountability, because having councillors on the board "creates too many compromises and conflicts".
In the new Super City of 2010, the various business functions of the council were hived off into "independent" silos, each to be controlled by separate boards, at arms length from elected politicians.
Such was the furore over this move that the National Government eventually conceded Aucklanders the right to at least have up to two politicians on the board of Auckland Transport. This in recognition that around half the city's income went through AT's books.
It was a concession hard fought for by the Labour Party Opposition, at the time, led by Goff. Yet on becoming mayor, he couldn't move quickly enough to dump the two.
Brian Rudman: Leave Israel Folau out of hate speech heat
Brian Rudman: Drums of disquiet beat in the new Goff Jungle
Brian Rudman: Too much at stake - Time to quit chases
Both were seasoned politicians with a deep institutional knowledge of the Auckland transport issues. Christine Fletcher, as mayor of Auckland City had been responsible for pushing through the building of the Britomart train station. Mike Lee, as chairman of Auckland Regional Council had led the fight for the electrification of the train network and the rebirth of Auckland public transport.
A few months later Goff rubbed their noses in it by replacing them as AT directors with his former Cabinet colleague, Sir Michael Cullen. Lee had had long battles with Minister of Finance Cullen over funding for rail electrification.
This week Goff said it was almost a decade since the Super City was established and "it's the right time to do a stocktake on what's working … and what's not".
This is almost word for word what he told my former colleague Tim Murphy back in April 2016. "We are six years in and we need to step back and say, 'What is working and what is not'."
In that interview he mused about a joint administrative service for the "back office" services of all the CCOs.
After nearly three years as mayor, Goff must by now have a good idea about what is and what isn't working without the need for an independent review.
If he were talking of a review of the whole Super City structure, including the mismatch between the presidential-style mayoralty, with its own budget and set of courtiers, awkwardly trying to co-exist with a rather disconnected group of elected councillors and even remoter group of local boards, I would agree.
But a review to muse on the current state of play in the universal struggle between bureaucrats and politicians is just time-wasting. What we need from Goff is some pre-election flexing of the political muscles provided for in the Super City legislation, that until now, both he and his predecessor, Len Brown, have been reluctant to exercise.
The most basic of these is the ability to appoint and to remove, directors. Yet the only time the power has been exercised in a "political" way as far as I can recollect, is in the own-goal dumping of the two elected politicians!
AT seems as good a place to start as any. It has riled up voters from St Heliers, through Quay St to Grey Lynn in recent times. Late last year, attempts by councillors to rein AT in by rewriting its 3-year Statement of Intent, faltered.
That leaves the nuclear option - removing chairman Lester Levy.
He's into his 7th year in the job anyway. What better way for the politicians to show who is boss and to "encourager les autres" both in AT and the wider CCO diaspora.