Auckland Mayor and former Labour MP Phil Goff, in a grand coalition, has promoted a senior National Party figure to chair the powerful finance committee.
Orakei councillor Desley Simpson, who is married to National Party president Peter Goodfellow, is chair of the finance committee in Goff's new line-up for a second term, according to multiple sources.
Goff has declined to comment on the new committee structure he is responsible for setting up until it is announced on Monday, but a spokeswoman said Bill Cashmore has been reappointed deputy mayor.
Simpson was the deputy chair of the finance committee last term and replaces Ross Clow, who lost the seat of Whau at last month's local body elections.
It's a big call on Goff's part to give Simpson the finance role.
In the last term, she opposed the mayor's regional fuel tax, abstained on the Living Wage for council staff and voted with the "B team" to keep speedway at Western Springs and a bailout of Eden Park. She did support's Goff's bed tax and worked to find savings at council.
Simpson is also a member of the right-leaning Communities and Residents (C&R) ticket, which campaigned at the local body elections to "stop the Mayor's higher rates agenda".
Goff has promised average rates increases of 3.5 per cent over the next three years and it's not known if Simpson will support these rises or not.
The Herald understands Goff has expanded the number of major committees all councillors sit on from three to four.
As well as the finance committee and planning committee, which Chris Darby will continue to chair, the environment and community committee has been split into two.
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It is believed a new environment and parks committee will be chaired by Richard Hills and a new community and safety committee will be chaired by Alf Filipaina.
All of the plum jobs have been given to members of the so-called "A Team" of Goff loyalists. Other Goff loyalists from the last term, Linda Cooper and Cathy Casey, have missed out on a top job.
Goff's opponents, known as the "B Team", have missed out on any significant roles, setting the scene for another divided council over the next three years.
One councillor on the B team said the new committee structure concentrated power in the hands of a small number of councillors aligned to the mayor.
"The much-vaunted reaching out is not evident on the ground," said the councillor.