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UPDATED: Hotel stays at heart of delays in releasing Len Brown report

The hold up continues for the release of the Ernst & Young report investigating whether any council resources were used during the Auckland mayor's extra-marital affair with Bevan Chuang.

The use of hotel rooms by Mayor Len Brown is at the heart of the delay, the Herald reports. He sometimes used hotel rooms when he had early morning or late-night commitments in the city.

Mr Brown reportedly has held a draft of the report since last week and is seeking legal advice. The report’s findings was supposed to take four weeks, but it’s now in week seven.

He’s expected to give feedback to council chief executive Doug McKay, who asked for the report in October. Mr McKay has not given Mr Brown a deadline.

Councillor Cameron Brewer says he is surprised the inquiry is taking so long and Mr Brown is "seemingly becoming so obstructive" since his promise to Aucklanders saying he has nothing more to hide.

“The CEO needs to know he has many elected representatives behind him and the support of the people of Auckland to rise above any political pressure from the mayor’s office and just keep doing what’s required. The sooner he can release the report, the sooner the organisation and Auckland Council can start moving forward again,” Mr Brewer told NBR ONLINE.

Mr McKay is expected to make the findings of the report public. He is receiving legal advice from Queen’s counsel Simon Moore, a crown solicitor.

The EY report is investigating use of council resources in respect of the mayor's relationship with Ms Chuang that violated council policies, whether she was given preferential treatment, and any other issues the reviewers or chief executive considers to relate to these matters.

It’s unclear who is advising Mr Brown and who is paying for it.

This morning NBR ONLINE asked the mayor's office how long he intends to review the draft report. His spokesman Glyn Jones told NBR ONLINE all inquiries to the report should be directed to Mr McKay's office.

Mr McKay's media adviser has not returned a call from NBR ONLINE this morning.

Comments and questions
37

Whichever way you look at it the reason for the free room was because he is the Mayor
If Anybody else went in and asked for a free room from a hotel I wonder what the answer would be ????

We all know that nothing in life is free - there is always a cost.

In this instance, free hotel rooms could come with strings attached?

Given his position of power in Auckland to influence certain outcomes, Mr Brown has been very very very foolish.

Now the investigation needs to move further to which hotels, who owns the hotels and if they have received any favors or treatment from the mayor or council.

No whitewash here, please.

If the hotels are US or UK owned those governments might take action. Brides by companies in foreign jurisdictions can still be prosecuted ask GSK about China.

Coulda slept on my berm. Would just need an old council garbage bag for cover....'cos the grass is so high he would be very comfortable. But no hot-and-cold running......Bevan in with him. This is not a 'swinging' neighbourhood like the CBD.

So if Mr Brown had a late night commitment in the city and stayed in a hotel room and then, invited Bevan Chuang to sleep with him - is that council business or hanky panky business?

So the more late night commitments, the better?

why do you need to stay in an auckland hotel if you live in auckland and work in auckland??????

ask his mistress, Bevan Chuang, SHE has the answer to this question!

Does Mr Brown not realise that he lives 20 minutes from the centre of Auckland? And with a ratepayer funded driver and car it isn't like he has to drive there and back himself.

Would be interesting to know the difference between desk to door on a late evening between going home and checking into the hotel - I can't see it being that much of a time saving so that excuse won't cut it!

Free hotels rooms, you're compromised, especially if you're a politician.

He has to go. He has proven that he is a liar and cannot be trusted. Does Auckland really want a bully and above the law individual like him, giving himself more powers by the month, leading their future?

Don't know who to trust less with my rates now - McKay or Brown

Maybe his enthusiasm for improving the Auckland infrastructure is driven by the potential distractions of not making it home.

Delays while Brown & co review the report only proves his guilt - Mr Brown man up and move on...

Well at least we're not quite as bad off as the poor people of Toronto and their intrepid mayor Mr Ford. We deserve the government we get.

In Toronto at least they have stripped Ford of any power. Even locked him out we still have Brown making decisions.

The longer the delay in publishing the report, the more nails in the coffin. How many nails do you need for a coffin?

I'm imagining the outcries if EY got things wrong and Len Brown sued... what would the cost of that be?

Make haste slowly... the truth will come out eventually, although we already know from previous comments by the mistress that rooms were often provided free of charge. I doubt he asked for a free room... it's more likely the room was offered free of charge due to his status.

If the Mayor has lied to his wife, then what makes him think that we, the general public, should believe ANYthing he tells us. Thanks to the National Business Review for allowing us to voice our opinion. This column is about the only public way to voice our opinion since no one else seems to be listening. As usual though, the problems with our so-called leader are once again being swept under the rug. Len Brown is no longer a viable leader. He should be stood down!

How absurd permitting Len the lover to review the draft. Where else would this happen? Perhaps Ernst and Young can't quantify the hotel rooms and/or their cost? So they now rely on Len's honesty to settle the numbers(including guests)?
Yeah, Right ! Another Tui beauty.

You gotta be joking! Staying in a city hotel overnight at ratepayers expense when you live in Auckland! Get Real! We all live and work here and drive home (not with a chauffeur driven vehicle) for early and late meetings! This waste has to stop. He would only stay over if he had "other" things he wanted to do on ratepayers money. Do the honourable thing Len - resign! Call it health reasons - just stop this sham! We have supported you to date - now do the right thing and resign.

The fact that Mr Brown has lawyered up in response to the report from EY proves he's scared, he's been caught out in the act (literally) and is doing everything to delay, play down or use legal loop holes to cover what is clearly an abuse of power and misuse of ratepayer funds. My only hope is the media go for the juglar when this report is released, Mr Brown needs to go.

Brown must go...the silence is deafening. We all live by a moral code whether we likeit or not.
To those who maintain his private life does not affect his ability to do the job...you are deluded.
If the dishonesty and disdain shown to his wife and daughters is the measure of the man, then he is not a man to be trusted with anything......period.

Free rooms at Sky City. $5M of council money to upgrade an already perfectly fine part of Federal St that Sky City regards as its own, yet no money to upgrade Franklin Rd which looks like it's out of the third world.
Go figure.

It's only $4m of council money, Sky City are paying for some of their landscaping themselves, and so far as I know Len doesn't have any girlfriends in Franklin Rd so why would he want to fix up that old wreck of a road.

Len, as a friend, the time has come - resign now and try to salvage a bit of your reputation. The longer this takes, the worse it is going to get for you.

The fact is the enquiry was not mandated to look at all aspects of Brown's spending. To suddenly switch from "did he spend ratepayer money on is affair with Ms Chuang, or give her preferential treatment?" to "did he unnecessarily stay in hotels completely unrelated to his affiar with Ms Chuang?" seems like a miniature version of re-justifying the Iraq war from "He has WMD", to "He's a bad guy who mistreats his people."

This seems like people coming to the conclusion that they can't stick Mr Brown for spending or preferential treatment violations wrt Ms Chuang, so now they are scratching around for other reasons to demand his resignation. Witch hunt much?

And why shouldn't Mr Brown have a chance to review the report and seek legal advice on any parts he thinks fall outside of scope? Natural justice suggests that the accused person has a right to challenge the public release of information that falls outside the scope of the ToR of an enquiry. If Brown's political opponents want these other expenditures to be raised int he report they should apply to have the scope of the enquiry widened.

First to agree one should not legislate on taste, but even taking all you say on board surely there are better examples of leadership for our children to aspire to rather than "I'm here, and now I will do as I please, and everyone just suck eggs"?

Maybe you should read the terms of reference of the inquiry and then comment.

And yet we hear nothing from any of his political colleagues all cosy in their well moneyed committee or chair positions, all waiting for the first one to sniff blood and the Caesar like assassination frenzy to gain public acclaim will begin. Get on with it and send Brown down.

How many individuals standing in the 'dock of justice' get the chance to preview their sentence, AND comment upon it.?

None... but they do get the chance to cross examine... in any case where there is a third party investigation, natural justice dictates the process of review of the draft report. There is nothing sinister here.

You have to ask for a free room, the receptionist does not have the authority to give a free room. Someone had to call and ask. The Manager Sales Manager etc. don’t check each reservation to see who is booked in and then go Oh that’s free!
Up town Brown time to move downtown or perhaps better still out of town

Stalling it until Xmas so it'll be lost

Pity no morals here or with Banks - both should resign. Moral for kids is lie, lie & lie again!

I am friends with people who do HR for the council and who have fired staff for having sex on the job. We know Mayor Brown used council offices for this affair as well as the hotel.

Makes it pretty clear there is one rule for the mayor and one rule for the rest doesn't it.

Not nails for a coffin ... SCREWS!! Either way Brown is screwed
Now do everyone ,yourself and family a favour and quietly depart with a scrap of ego-free dignity

What I want to know is why did we Aucklanders return our Lennie.this last time ??? We have been moaning about him ever since he was elected as Mayor of our Super City THE FIRST TIME. Could we not have come up with a viable alternative from the other side prior to the latest election? What's up with us Aucklanders??

Because the media reporting mislead the unthinking public, once again!