SST on Andrew Williams

The SST editorial is one I agree with:

Some say the revelation of the mayor’s exploits is part of an Act Party plot against him. Certainly Act’s leader, Rodney Hide, doesn’t like Williams and wants him to go. Some of the mayor’s local opponents are also Act people. But Act didn’t force the mayor to spend a lengthy period in two bars in one day and then to urinate in public. Nor did Act tip off this newspaper about what the mayor was doing, despite vague accusations to that effect. Our reporter happened to notice Williams in a bar. There was no stalking, despite what the mayor’s wife, Jane Williams, has claimed. The reporter observed the politician. He saw him urinate in a public place and then drive the mayoral car home. He put the facts to the man himself. In other words, he did his job. The newspaper duly published the story, and the arguments began.

And a point often overlooked, is this was not a case of being caught short. This was a deliberate decision to take a piss outside the Council building, rather than go inside.

The Sunday Star-Times did not join Rodney Hide in calling for Williams to resign and it is not doing so now.

And neither have I, for what it is worth. Pissing in public is not a sackable offence.Hell, one former Minister even got away with pissing on a waiter in a hotel corridor.

They will also remember that this is not the first time that Williams has behaved in a peculiar fashion. The prime minister says Williams sent him obnoxious texts in the middle of the night. Williams is of course free to disagree with the PM. He is free to text him. But doing so in the small hours is dopey, unpleasant and even a mild form of harassment.

And doing so to the PM is especially stupid. Most people can turn their phones off at night. The PM is one of the few people who does have to be contactable at all hours. Having is cellphone number is a privilege that should not be abused.

The mayor’s supporters will say all this is just colourful and eccentric and nothing to really worry about. And it’s true that there have been plenty of eccentric mayors in New Zealand, although not so many from the rather staid and respectable North Shore.

Williams reminds me of Tim Shadbolt, but with a key difference being Tim can laugh at himself.

A readers’ poll on the Stuff website last week showed an overwhelming majority thought he should go. Williams, who is becoming adept at managing the crises he inflicts upon himself, called a special press conference last week to announce that he would stand for some unspecified post in the elections this year. So – Andrew Williams for the Auckland super city council? Heaven forbid.

I think it will be hilarious if Williams stands, as that will probably encourage Whale Oil to stand in the same ward as him. The meet the candidate meetings should become pay per view events!