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Auckland mayoral candidate Leo Molloy and his campaign chair part ways

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Mayoralty hopeful Leo Molloy’s outrageous interview with Guy Williams.
Video / Three

Auckland mayoral hopeful Leo Molloy lost a key figure of his campaign team the day before an expletive-laden television appearance that led a rival to call on him to withdraw from the race.

Businesswoman June McCabe told the Weekend Herald tonight she stepped aside as the campaign chair by mutual agreement on Wednesday but remained a friend and supporter of Molloy.

She said this week’s Ratepayers’ Alliance Curia poll which had Molloy on 23 per cent, four points behind Efeso Collins and ahead of Viv Beck and Wayne Brown, was the right time to move on after three months heading the campaign.

“I thought he was doing really well, but he needed to find a go-forward position to help him go to the finish line,” McCabe said.

Businesswoman June McCabe has stood down as chair of Leo Molloy's campaign. Photo / File
Businesswoman June McCabe has stood down as chair of Leo Molloy’s campaign. Photo / File

She said Molloy’s Thursday appearance in TV3’s New Zealand Today comedy show hosted by Guy Williams played no part in her leaving the campaign, saying she only saw it when it screened.

McCabe declined to comment on the appearance, described as “bizarre antics, short-temper and foul-mouthed rants” by rival candidate Wayne Brown, who said Molloy was not a suitable person to hold the office of the Mayor of Auckland.

McCabe said she had known Molloy for about six years, saying he would always be a mate – “He is a good guy and wants what is best for Auckland”.

Molloy said he still considered McCabe a strong supporter and a very astute adviser.

“The team is morphing … We haven’t had the discussion about specific replacements [for McCabe] yet, but we are definitely looking at options,” he said.

In his television appearance Molloy hit out at people he deemed “woke” and claimed Auckland had been hampered by a succession of “soft-****” mayors during the interview with Williams.

Brown told Newstalk ZB’s Simon Barnett that Molloy should stand down because his behaviour and language was inappropriate and the city had already had a mayor who had embarrassed the city, referring to Len Brown and his well-publicised affair with junior staffer Bevan Chuang.

Comedian and TV host Guy Williams was roasted by Leo Molloy in his satirical current affairs show. Photo / Supplied
Comedian and TV host Guy Williams was roasted by Leo Molloy in his satirical current affairs show. Photo / Supplied

“If your judgment is such that you’ll go and do that sort of stuff publicly then you’ve got no judgment.

“We’ve already had one mayor who’s embarrassed Auckland with his behaviour, we don’t need another one.”

Brown said while he wasn’t a prude there was a time and place for everything and the television appearance showed a lack of judgment.

“Penises and erections, it’s disgusting. It’s got no place at all. In a council the mayor has to lead a group of sometimes disparate people and so you have to have some ability to lead people and lead a conversation without losing your rag. You can’t just get up and go and punch someone because they voted against your proposal. It’s completely unacceptable.

“If they’re wanting to have someone who’s a comedian, have a comedian, but I think people pay a lot of rates in order to receive good value for it.

“Just at the moment he’s not trying to be a comedian, he’s trying to be a mayor,” Brown said.

Molloy laughed off Brown’s call, describing his rival as “a dead man walking” and said it was Brown who should hold up a “white flag” and surrender from the race.

“Does he understand what comedy is?” Molloy asked.

Auckland mayoral hopeful Wayne Brown is appalled at rival Leo Molloy's judgement, saying the city needs a leader not a comedian. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland mayoral hopeful Wayne Brown is appalled at rival Leo Molloy’s judgement, saying the city needs a leader not a comedian. Photo / Dean Purcell

“I have [a] thing called charisma … which he isn’t blessed with.”

Later on Newstalk ZB, Molloy denied making disparaging comments about Brown: “I quite like the old fella. When he doesn’t bring his notes he loses his way a bit and I help him find his way again.

“Efeso, with the support of the Labour Party and Green Party, cannot compete with me on a toe-to-toe basis. The others are irrelevant. They are just chaff blowing in the wind.

“Old Brownie is trying to get a bit of oxygen today. He has not had any publicity for a while, the old fella,” Molloy said.

Fellow mayoral candidate Efeso Collins did not wish to comment about Molloy’s interview when approached by the Herald.



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