Phil Goff refuses to release legal advice he claims justifies hotel tax

The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance is seeking an urgent review of Auckland Mayor Phil Goff’s withholding of legal advice that he claims justifies the Council’s legal position in relation to its accommodation sector targeted rate.  

Phil Goff has been in the media for weeks claiming he has specific legal advice from Simpson Grierson, which states that the Council is acting lawfully.  Incredibly, despite having waived the privilege in the media by talking about its contents, the Mayor won’t let anyone else see it.

We understand that even Councillors aren’t allowed to see it, and the Mayor conceded in a confidential Council workshop that they were ‘pushing s 7(2)(g) [of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act], as far as it will go’.  That’s not what he’s been telling the public.

Ratepayers could be on the hook for millions if the accommodation sector choose to take the Council to Court.  Phil Goff is trying to reassure everyone by saying he has bullet proof advice. So why won’t he let anyone see it?