Not fronting

Bernard Orsman at NZ Herald reported:

Blogger David Farrar has questioned whether ratepayers are funding Mr Brown’s re-election campaign.

In a post on his Kiwiblog site titled “Len’s gaggle of spin doctors”, Mr Farrar said Mr Brown’s hiring of Dan Lambert took his tally of spin doctors to six – more than the entire parliamentary Labour Party.

Labour has five parliamentary press secretaries and a part-time speech writer for 34 MPs. Prime Minister John Key has four press secretaries and one media assistant.

Mr Brown refused to answer questions about communications staffing under his leadership.

Mr Lambert blocked repeated requests by the Herald to speak to the mayor, saying: “I think it’s reasonable the mayor wouldn’t want to go on record on a matter like this.”

I don’t think it is unreasonable for the Mayor to front on why he needs six communications staff. I do think it is unreasonable for those staff to block access to the Mayor.

In Parliament leaders can’t do that. They have weekly press conferences or run the media gauntlet when the House is sitting. A Mayor should be more open to the media, not less open.

Maybe there really is a need for six staff. But it would be good to hear what it is.

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