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Auckland mayor to pony up for EY report

Auckland Council has confirmed Mayor Len Brown will personally contribute $40,000 towards EY’s bill and $20,000 of his own legal costs, stemming from a report which investigated the use of council resources during his extramarital affair with staffer Bevan Chuang.

Auckland Council Chief Executive Stephen Town has confirmed the cost of the EY report and legal work was about $250,000.

When councillors censured the mayor at the December meeting, they also passed a resolution requiring the mayor to “make an appropriate contribution” to costs incurred by the council.

A small working group of councillors were to enter “into confidential, but binding negotiations with the mayor as to the contribution amount,” according to council records of the meeting.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and councillors Christine Fletcher, George Wood, Dick Quax and Penny Webster comprised the working group.

Up until the censure, Mr Brown made no indication he would pay for any of the report. 

Jordan Williams, executive director of New Zealand Taxpayers' Union, says ratepayers would be insulted by a $40,000 payment.

“If that figure is correct, it is pathetic, and an insult to Auckland ratepayers. Len Brown cost Auckland ratepayers reportedly over a quarter-million, and now only expected to pay a fraction,” he says.

In a statement released to media, the mayor says he does not plan to make any further comment on the matter, except for the following.

"I have agreed to make this payment out of respect to my fellow councillors and to acknowledge the upset this issue has caused. I continue to be totally focussed on the issues that matter to Aucklanders," he says in a statement.

The EY report did not find use of council resources during the affair, However, it opened another discussion of Mr Brown’s use of free hotel upgrades which he did not declare, including from SkyCity.

Comments and questions

I would hardly describe Len's 15% contribution to EY's bill as "pony up"; it's more like a token gesture. And a grudging one, at that.

Agreed. Len's arrogance is once again coming to the fore. He is taking the mickey out of the council and all ratepayers. Time to go Len.

Let's follow Beige's lead. Pay 15% of our rates until he departs. C'mon Auckland. He and his spin-doctors have the council and its full-time goons pegged.

What?! Another corrupt freemason. Wake up please.

Only $40K !? - Why is he not stumping up for the full $250K !!??
Media suggests the cost is more than expected because Len chose not to co-operate with the investigation. Yet again, ratepayers are picking up the tab for Mr Brown's affair !

Len should front up with his Statement of Position so we can fairly judge what, and what he cannot afford .

This really is a disgrace. A better headline might be "Auckland ratepayers pony up 84% of Brown's EY report".

We here at SkyCity have happily agreed to pay the Mayor's contribution and also to keep his rooms open so long as he continues to support us. Thanks Len! That's called corruption in most countries but in NZ, it's a 'personal matter.' Move along, thanks.

Well,.... I guess it will be tax deductible for Len.

Cant see why he should pay anything.

Why would it be tax deductible ?

So, the Mayor thinks a pathetic 40k reimbursement out of quarter-of-a- mill is fair on the city ratepayers? Mind you, he is a proven is evidenced by this extract from the Affidavit sworn by Bevan Chuang:

13) ...I celebrated my 30th birthday and Mr Brown bought me some cheap black underwear as a gift.......this was among a number of inexpensive gifts Mr Brown bought me over the course of our two year affair.

How much of this comes from the Mayor's own pockets, and how much will come from his SuperCity Trust election slush fund that he has used to fund previous election campaigns? Beating Sarah Palino didn't take much effort, he must have lots of money left over in the kitty....

He's a disgraceful weasel of a man.Unsurprising that he has chosen to pay such a minimal amount. Shame on him and the weak councillors for letting him get away with this ...and staying on. Shonky city we live in.

The real issue for ratepayers is $250k spent on some of the most expensive accountants and lawyers, perhaps delivering a gold plated service so that Council can't be criticised. I can think of plenty of competent lawyers and accountants who - if instructed to identify just the key issues - would have done an excellent job at a fraction of the cost. I don't care much for, or against, Len Brown, but maybe the $40k is a reasonable contribution to what should have been done. If Council decided to pay way over the odds in a public sector exercise in butt covering, it hardly seems fair to expect others to buy into it, or be forced to stump up for over the top spending. Nor is it EY's fault - they were probably told to lift every stone, and didn't have the heart to say it's not really necessary. If I was an Auckland ratepayer, I'd be far more concerned by a council prepared to spend any amount of ratepayers money to cover parts of their anatomy than take some criticism and do the right thing by ratepayers. $250k, really??!....

Ratepayers money. "Cost is no object.", they would have said to E&Y.

You have a council of socialists. This is what they do - spend other peoples money. Time to harden up Auckland, they are only getting started.

Unfortunately, these types of side-show type stories distract the sheeple from the real issues that get rushed past us under the radar.

Do yourselves a favour - Look up Agenda 21 - you'll find it in the United Nations website. See where flunkies like Len and the two Johns are taking our nation. I say it again. Wake up.

Sweet, I look forward to paying only 1/6th of my rates bill this year. Thanks Len, what a precedent!

"I have agreed to make this payment out of respect to my fellow councillors and to acknowledge the upset this issue has caused. I continue to be totally focussed on the issues that matter to Aucklanders," he says in a statement."

The arrogance of the man. The only thing that matters to Auckland Mr. Brown, is that you resign.. and quickly.

Ditto that Mr Marsden!

quack quack

"...out of respect to my fellow councillors..."

That is absolutely disgusting Mr Brown. Do you have any comprehension of the respect you are obliged to give the people of Auckland? You know the ones who adore you?

Ratepayers can go to hell as long as my council mates are ok with me.

Every one of the committee that decided this, and the new CEO, now need to absolutely justify without delay their reasoning for this to those that employ them - the ratepayers of Auckland.

No excuses just front up.

The monkey wants to pay peanuts!

Well, the Clouncil ordered the investigation, and didn't find anything. OK, Len got some upgrades at SkyCity - I got an upgrade from a car hire firm in Frankfurt, very nice, but I didn't do anything for it, it was just their way of doling business. So what? Irrespective of his morals, why should Brown pay anything toward an inquiry ordered by someone else which found no fault?

Yes, but you didn't support their bid to expand did you? Len did.

He also got free rooms - not usual in my experience at a time when sky city was trying to get council and government accommodation. The standard is NOT corruption by the potential perception of corruption. So he did do wrong. Why do Len supporters only ever refer to the upgrades and not the freebies.

So lets investigate all the other Councillors. Im sure some of them will have got free upgrades or freebies elsewhere in the expectation of favour.

Good for the goose....good for the ganders

If there is suspicion then yes. Corruption is unacceptable. Easy way to do it is ask all hotels to confirm if they or have not. No councilors would object to that if they have nothing to hide. Would not cost 250k either.

That 39k was total rubbish. Free hotel room upgrades? How are those expenses???

The 250k was an outrageous price for an investigation someone else commissioned.

I think Len Brown is an atrocious politicial, but the guy pays 40k to help reimburse the council for someone else's mistakes after a witch hunt he was totally cooperative with.

He is actually a stand-up guy.

Dead right. As I said above, how do we know the other Councillors have not been at the same freebie trough?

We need a full on investigation into them all.

Cameron Brewer's junket is just the tip of the iceberg.

He declared it and that is the rules. We can see and judge him on that. Len lied and tried to hide his.

Len will never resign he is earning $300k plus why will he go? He has shown what high level corruption is all about and the nz laws protect such people see the local government act for super city.

If they cut his pay to 50k then maybe he will go- fod for thought councillors and Local Govt minister

$40,000 out of $250,000 ... What a joke Len Brown ...

This cost arose through your questionable behavior and propensity for economizing with the truth ... The "right" thing to do would be to pay the full cost ... But no .. You've "nickel and dimed" it ...

As a centre right voter I voted twice for you Len ... For a person I saw as a unifier ... How disappointed I am ...

You have and continue to treat the people of Auckland with contempt Len ... Full of lovely words ... That are totally as odds with your decisions and behavior ..

This was an opportunity to grasp the nettle ... To reclaim some credibility ... Some integrity and dignity ... Regretfully you have FAILED ... AGAIN Len ... Why should I expect more ??

Should you decide to run for a 3rd term in 2016 Len the voters of Auckland will have the final say ...

Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone who has had an affair resigned, goodness I suspect the unemployment would be at about 56%. Some people really don't have a lot of real issues going on.

The question here is bribery and corruption.

The councillors asked for the report. It found Mayor Brown had done nothing wrong. It should be the councillors who should pay for wasting ratepayers money.

errr... the PROCESS for an investigation into an alleged lack of compliance with the Auckland Council Code of Conduct is CLEARLY set out in s.8 'Compliance'.

The process should have been for the constitution of a "Conduct Review Independent Panel' by the GOVERNING BODY, from names of suitably qualified persons RECOMMENDED by the CEO.

Not for the CEO to make up his own process and pick his own people!

Don't believe a word I say?

Try reading it for yourself!

Penny Bright

When I applied for speaking rights to raise the failure of the Ernst and Young ‘Report’ to follow the process set out in s.8 ‘Compliance’ of the above-mentioned Auckland Council ‘Code of Conduct’, I was unlawfully denied, so I just took them……

‘Faint heart never won fair go!’ (as it were :)

Auckland Council Governing Body meeting 30 January 2014, Auckland Town Hall:

It appears that neither the former CEO Doug McKay, all elected Auckland Councillors, the 'conflicted' Auditor-General (Lyn Provost has SHARES in Sky City), or Crown Law had any idea that within the Auckland Council 'Code of Conduct' was a proper process for handling inquiries into alleged breaches of the 'Code of Conduct'???

Good grief.

File under 'You Couldn't Make This Sh*t up'?

But remember!

New Zealand is 'perceived' to be the 'least corrupt country in the world'!

Pity about the reality ......

Penny Bright

Solicitor-General expected to advise by 28 Feb 2014 if leave to be granted for private prosecution of Auckland Mayor Len Brown:

For more information -