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Hamish Coleman-Ross: Palino, Auckland must hear you

John Palino, Luigi Wewege and Hamish Coleman-Ross

By Hamish Coleman-Ross, Night Time Talk Producer

Dear John,

I’ve tried to call you, but your message says you might be a while overseas, so I’m going to take this approach in the hope that it somehow reaches you, while at the same time addressing some important points.

First of all, I want to say that I consider you a friend. You’ve done nothing but support and encourage me over the years and your advice was something that I always valued. That’s why I volunteered my services to help on your mayoral campaign. I know making the videos wasn’t the easiest undertaking, but we persisted and what we did produce I was proud of and I hope you were too. I also know it was a frustration for you that I wasn’t more available, but a full time job and looking to buy our first house made it difficult. That said, I happily gave well over 100 hours for no other reason than helping out a mate. You're not the easiest person to work with sometimes, but neither am I and whatever issues might have arisen between us I always respected that we were both mature enough to put them aside and get on with the task at hand - a true sign of friendship.

Over the last few days people have started to accuse you of some pretty questionable things. I’ve read your written statement that you issued and you repeatedly talk about how none of this makes sense, but what really doesn’t make sense to me is that you won’t front to the media about the accusations made by Bevan Chuang. She made accusations against Len Brown and he fronted for better or worse. One week later and he’s all but back to work, pending an inquiry of course, so why, with accusations against you, won’t you front?

I’m asking as someone who openly supported you and I would like you to think of all those who did. The people who told you on the street they believed in you, the folks who invited you into their communities, those who let you use their fences for your signs or encouraged people at their work to trust you with their vote. Over 100,000 people ticked your name and, despite not being the victor on the day, you earned that. Those people believed in you as a leader, now they're left wondering what really happened and who you really are. John, its not too late, the story isn’t over, the book hasn’t been written, you can make this right.

At the moment, you're facing accusations of blackmail, corruption and being the face and name of the dirtiest political scandal this country has ever seen. Anything you did previous is tarnished by these accusations, so please, come home, face the music and give us your side of the story. I would like to know, your supporters would like to you, Auckland wants to know... do you still hear us?

I really hope you do.

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