The many faces of Goulden

As readers of this blog will have noticed, there have been many times where councillors, council staff and members of the public have left comments voicing their own opinion, adding additional facts or to simply point or errors or omissions where we get things wrong. We think that is a healthy part of the democratic process, and has really added something to the race this year. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.

However over the last few days the tone of things has changed somewhat. This mainly started when Johnny did a post regarding the attendance records of councillors. This is all publicly available information, and he provided it without any real commentary.

Councillor Rob Goulden took issue with this, as he has a very valid reason for his absence. This is of course fair enough, and Johnny acknowledged so – and made a suggestion that this information should perhaps be presented with the council’s statistics.

But things rapidly went down hill. A shouting match errupted between several commenters, spearheaded by Rob and Johnny. When I checked the blog comments this evening, it seemed quite a few people had chimed in heaping praise on Rob Goulden. Or so it seemed.

The thing is, it turns out the people supporting Rob Goulden… are Rob Goulden…

We never intended to point out the email addresses or IP addresses that people use when commenting on this blog. Some people work in sensitive jobs (as we can see from some of the email or IP addresses) and we respect that. However, we think that when a sitting councillor is going out and deliberately trying to decieve the voting public, exposing that is a pretty reasonable thing to do.

Rob, we feel for your loss and think your lack of attendance at council meetings is more than justified. But your behavour certainly isn’t.

[Update: Heh, we can feel a complaint to the police coming on…]

57 responses to “The many faces of Goulden

  1. Pingback: Councillor complains about Kiwiblog | Kiwiblog·

  2. … and how do we know that all other commentators on this blog do not have multiple personalities?

    We don’t – futhermore how do we know that this is not someone masquerading as Councillor Goulden – we don’t.

    Tells us who writes the articles authored by WCC Watch – I dare you – have you got the balls to do that?

    I would suggest that until you can prove categorically that this is Goulden that you withdraw your allegation masquerading as a fact.

    This confirms what I have long suspected that this blog is attached to Kiwiblog.

    Or are we just going to crucify existing councillors from behind the mask of your little blog with little or no proof.

  3. This is right off the kiwiblog site:

    WCC Watch

    Wellingtonians may wish to subscribe to WCC Watch. It provides detailed analysis of who is standing for Council, and related issues. Every local body should have a blog like this.

    My only criticism is that the site is anonymous. I trust people – I don’t trust URLs. For all we know, one of the candidates runs it. It leans left, but seems pretty fair with their comments.

    No TweetBacks yet. (Be the first to Tweet this post)
    Tags: Blogosphere, Wellington City Council

    Coincidence? I think not!

    Again I challenge whoever wrote the Goulden article to fess up – or have you not got the balls to do so?

  4. Goulden is unhinged and its up to the people of the Eastern Ward to get rid of him.

    What sort of idiot would start commenting under different names and still log in using his own email? What a fool.

  5. @v So Tom Cranney is complaining about not trusting websites yet he is not revealing who he is. Double standards methinks. And yes a well known Goulden supporter.

    • So, I see we are now attempting to out everyone this evening!

      How are things going for you spiderman? – that is your real name is it not?

      I am not complaining about anything – merely asking questions.

      I note you have not revealed who you are to date – but rather you masquerade as the actor who plays spiderman – Peter Parker

      Double standards methinks

      Post your IP and we will check if it matches WCC Watch

      Are you up for it?

  6. lol Im sure DPF will be just stoked to be linked to this site given he was slagging it off last week!

    What losers – Goulden has been caught red handed acting like a fool. Don’t attack the messenger for pointing out that Goulden is an embarassment.

  7. v :
    Christopher Kiwiblog runs both sites – in my humble opinion

    See, here’s the thing:

    Calm. Down.

    There is absolutely no way that DPF could be involved in this site in any way, shape or form. It has consistently raised concerns with (particularly) Kerry Prendergast, but also John Bishop and others.

      • Clearly that link was made to demonstrate exactly how irrationally you are acting.


        There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to believe that DPF would write a blog that directly attacks his political interests

        I got to this blog from NoRightTurn. Does that mean that Idiot-Savant also writes for it?

  8. Farrar – that’s so clever. They’re like parodies of what a real left wing blog might be like. You’ve done for the left what Richard Curtis did for climate change.

  9. Pingback: Never pick a fight with someone who buys bandwidth by the terabyte « The Dim-Post·

  10. oh dear. i suppose there are now many people in eastern ward wishing they could recall their ballot papers.

    and there will be several candidates praying that they don’t have to work with Rob Goulden on the new council.

    if Rob Goulden had a clear mind he might have seen this blogsite as a potential ally — but people under a lot of stress see enemies and conspiracies everywhere. they go around burning bridges and destroying friendships needlessly.

    If i were in Rob Goulden’s shoes i’d book a long holiday out of town and drop in to the GP’s to get my blood pressure checked.

  11. I suspect V and Rob are not actually Councillor Goulden or his allies. It’s much more likely that they are nasty rightwingers. Look at the tone of their comments – they’re aggressive and personal – just like some of the worst commentators at kiwiblog.
    The commentators on this site have heaped scorn on Adam Cunningham (who Johnny consistently refers to as ‘pub man’) and the (soon-to-be former) Mayor without any such retaliation – because serious candidates for public office do not get into fights with anonymous bloggers. Councillor Goulden is a long standing servant of this city. There’s no way he’d behave in the disgraceful way “Rob” or “v” have.
    They are clearly trying to discredit him.

    • That would be a waste of effort on their part. Remember, we’re talking about this guy:
      Getting an interview with Rob Goulden was not simple. First he wanted his lawyer present “so there is no misunderstanding [and] no misreporting”.

      Then he wanted an assurance that his critics would not be given space in the story. Then he changed his mind about who would accompany him to the interview. Then he wanted the questions in advance. Then he wanted to know, in advance, what others had said about him.

    • You do by your tone.
      Though having seen that the Mayor (or more likely Rex) has rolled out her ratepayer funded spokesman to defend her, I guess we could say she has retaliated.
      But v it is clear from the tone of your comments that you are trying to discredit Councillor Goulden who is one of the few councillors who stands up for the ratepayers against Mayor Kerry Rex. If you are going to keep trying to discredit him, at least give your real name!

      • Matt the question “who says” was directed to Thomas Eckley, not you.

        Go back and read all the traffic on this matter.

        The question that should be addressed on this blog is how many personalities does each blogger have.

        In other words are you really Matt or someone else?

  12. Don’t worry ‘Matt’ Goulden has consistently discredited himself.

    Goulden is a clown and the Eastern Ward need to take this opportunity to vote him out.

    • Abe – that’s your opinion and your welcome to it. I disagree and think Councillor Goulden has been a good servant of the Eastern Ward. But at least you’re putting forward your opinion in a polite way. What really upsets me is that “Rob” and “v” are pretending to support, or in the case of “Rob” pretending to be, Councillor Goulden and then conducting themselves in away that discredits the Councillor. This is unfair.

  13. I think a guy from the Labour Party runs it? I went to the Alternative Welfare Working Group meeting in Wellington – heaps of Labour Party people turned up and pretended they cared about beneficiaries. A chap sitting with Mrs King’s group mentioned he ran two websites, I am sure WCC watch was one of them. I sent emails around this morning to other advocates there to see whether they know – I’ll report back asap.

    • well that would surprise me given that there has been little coverage of labour candidates in the blog and quite generous support for people like McKinnon, Celia thingy-Brown and Iona Pannett. Does it really matter who runs it — what matters is the quality of the content and debate, which was quite good until Rob and v started interceding.

    • Thanks Sean. I note that when you asked this question before, you were ignored.
      I have followed this site but have chosen not to interact with it because of the anonymous status of the people running it.
      When I first visited the site I found I was written off as not being a serious candidate. I also found a claim that Paul Eagle’s door-knocking was “almost unheard of in Wellington local body politics”. Pah! It’s the lies I hate.
      But the final straw for me was to see him held up as the bastion of all knowledge when it comes to STV voting as he gets a plug on the “how to vote STV page” which has a permanent link from the front page.
      I have no problem with Paul and consider him an excellent candidate and am sure he will make a fine councillor if elected but, as an independent I cannot compete resource wise. I have had to fund my own campaign ($500), deliver 90% of my pamphlets myself and do my own door knocking while holding down a fulltime job and sharing the responsibility of looking after my young daughter (Whoops, sorry Maia).
      So this website looked to me like a party political broadcast on behalf of the Labour party. David Farrar was also uncomfortable with the anonymity of the site’s hosts and the first comment he received was also from someone who also thought it looked like a Labour Party site. The response that drew here was “go figure” which to me means “duh, that’s, like, so obvious”. It certainly didn’t elicit any soul-searching to indicate the web hosts were uncomfortable with that claim.
      So that’s it from me. I won’t be back unless the hosts climb out from their anonymity so that we can all judge whether they are truly unbiased. I think this site has great potential and would love to see it continue if the hosts have the courage of their convictions and out themselves.

      And yes Thomas, I think it does matter. David Farrar is open about who he is and what he stands for but also gives credit where it is due and is able to recognise good ideas wherever they come from. The people running this site appear equally capable of doing this but unless we know who they are their motives remain inscrutable and that is not healthy in the democratic process.

      • Rex – as an endorsed Labour Candidate I’m not aware of any links between this site and the Labour Party.
        If there were links between the site and Labour I’d be pretty disappointed that a Labour affiliated site had all but endorsed Ian McKinnon and Iona Pannett for Lambton (which is not to say that they aren’t both very hard working councillors, they are and I have great respect for both).
        I’m interested in your comment “I have had to fund my own campaign “. As an endorsed Labour candidate, I have not received any funding from the Labour Party for my campaign. I’m sure it is the same with the other Labour candidates.

      • Actually I’ll withdraw the comment about the site ‘all but endorsing’ Ian and Ioana. Johnny has indicated his support but WCCWatch hasn’t as such.

    • That would have been me, Seann. The sites were/are and (I’m pretty sure I gave the names at the meeting — maybe Welfare Watch sounded like WCC Watch . . . ) Since then I’ve also set up in association with my candidacy for election to the Capital & Coast DHB. (Yes, I have a penchant for alliteration.)

      I wish I could take credit for wccwatch — I think it’s a really worthwhile endeavour and I hope the author(s) keep it going post-election to keep an eye on the new Council. (And maybe branch into GWRC and CCDHB for 2013.)

      • Hi David, thanks. Welfare watch that’s probably it. I don’t think WCC watch is very sophisticated – by that I mean, its obviously quite bias. Not to get me wrong – I’m all for left bias but I’m also for engaging with varieties of people on a serious level, while I think most people here are serious people, there does seem to be a few stupid digs now and then. I am all for critique and challenging policies, ideas, actions etc but not just corny/low-brow gossip and lots of that is around here – that is not a politically serious effort.

  14. It is interesting to me that the more modest or limited income candidates such as e.g. Rex and I are not considered serious candidates. I’m sure Rex is serious and I know I am very serious. Politically I am a left-libertarian candidate. My family are mainly old-style LP and a few rich ones have been addicted to the GNats for years. Rex, most of us are well-intentioned battlers (and regular people know that too). But democracy doesn’t work properly when there is literally no level playing field as there is no lpf in this case – I can’t afford the $20,000 I would be able to spend if I had it.

    So if any of the LP candidates are elected then we all better make sure they push for policies that enhance and support the folk they say they support. For instance, I think Paul Eagle will be a good councilor if he gets on. However, Paul along with other candidates from the LP has stated on the hustings that the LP is a party for low income families, people on benefits, senior citzs and so on. Anyone that knows anything about the LP will know that is not true. I’m kinda sad about that because that is the LP I remember as a child and I get a bit irritated when comments like that are made off the cuff because it is spin [if the candidate was speaking for himself then I would be more trusting of that]. I do hope the LP candidates are serious and its not a case of being another Labour spun message. I worry, because, while there are serious, dedicated people who remain with the LP, the LP itself relies far too much on spinning messages, ‘branding’, pitching good feelings, being friends to all etc rather than actually being up front, clear, straight up about intentions. This is wrong, its dishonest and it must change if the LP is serious. The LP hasn’t been serious since before Bill Rolling. I have spoken with some left-wing LP mates of mine who want to get together after the election and discuss with other left leaning and/or socially progressive candidates experiences. I personally would like a cap of maybe $2000 in future campaigns. I think democracy is side-lined when candidates can spend thousands on slogans, coercion via media, heaps of Billboards etc. I think what would be radical but intensely democratic would be returning to polls – where people have to attend a station a make a vote AND reliance primarily on the little orange booklet [increase word limit] and have higher quality and more public meetings with serious engagement with all candidates and not just a couple of minutes to spout cliches. Real democracy would mean candidates would have to prove their competence, engage properly and be engaged with properly.

    • i don’t know about this, Sean. as someone pointed out in an earlier post in an earlier thread (in relation to Kris Price the non-candidate), it is important for the public to see evidence of commitment — if you are prepared to stand on a street corner waving your placard every day or door-knock around the electorate, then i’ll make the effort to read your candidate profile and consider voting for you. if you can persuade other supporters to stand with you, or door-knock for you, then even better because that shows me you can be taken seriously.

      If someone is going to grizzle about the fact that they haven’t got a public profile, then i’m going to wonder why they haven’t been able to attract the supporters to help them mount a campaign. it is important for people to see evidence of commitment, and it is important for people to expend effort campaigning — that is the thing that filters out the hopeless cases from the hopeful cases, like the guy Morgan who stands on the corner of Adelaide Rd with his home-made sign — good on him for making the effort. Or Greg McPhee the no bull candidate with his home-painted sign on the back of his trailer.

      i would agree that if the expenditure limit is set too high, this advantages those who can spend up to the limit because they can generate more campaign presence without having to put in the same amount of effort — eg Adam Cunningham who thought it was beneath him to door knock or wave placards but had the connections and wherewithal to get glossy brochures into pubs and huge banners on the side of buildings. i think we both agree that engagement is important in democracy, but i disagree that expenditure of funds or effort is a bad thing.

      by the way, i agree that polling stations are better than postal votes because they make voting a social and more engaged act. I don’t think returning to polls would be ‘radical’ as you put it.

      as for Labour Party candidates — one good thing about people campaigning on a ticket is that some of the cv-checking and filtering has probably already been done (although when I look at people like Paul Henry, Daljit Singh, and David Garrett, I have to admit that the system is fallible).

    • I disagree Sean. The Labour Party is it’s people. It’s not some huge machine, but a collective of individuals working together for a common goal.

      And people in Labour frequently disagree with each other. Just look over at Red Alert or the debate on exempting fruit and vegetables from GST on Policy Progress!

      • Yep, have to agree with Annie here Seann. As much as it may be easy for people to think of the Labour Party (or any other party for that matter) as well oiled monolithic machines, we’re just not.

        As one of the authors of the debate over GST exemptions at Policy Progress, and an active party member I can hand-on-heart say, we disagree about a lot of things, but all subscribe to the same basic view of the world. And that’s what matters most.

    • You guys are all nuts. I am nothing to do with the Labour Party, National Party, Act, United, Maori Party, Greens, or Jack Yan’s Alliance Party (got 1900 votes in 2008), or the Australian Labor party, Nationals, Liberals, the guy that has crocs on his roof, Tony Windsor, Rob Oakenshott, Andrew Wilkie, and Tony Crook or UK Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scottish Natonalists, UKIP, Sinn Fein, Democratic Unionist,Plaid Cymru, SDLP, BNP or United States parties like Tea Party, Republicans and Democrats. Although Sarah Palin makes me laugh. I just like reading stories and going behind them using the internet to its full extent. Obviously exercising freedom of speech must be a party conspiracy in your world.

  15. Pingback: First council candidates revealed, convicted blackmailer standing | WCC Watch·

  16. Pingback: Wellington City Council: Rob Goulden (opinion) | strathmorepark·

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