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Len Brown censured; Brewer wants to take things further

After a five-hour meeting today Auckland councillors have agreed to censure Mayor Len Brown for his behaviour and the resulting embarrassment stemming from his extra-martial affair with Bevan Chuang.

Councillor Cameron Brewer says the council’s resolutions don’t go far enough. The saga will continue to tarnish the city’s reputation as long as Mr Brown remains mayor, he says in a statement.

“If he’s not going to step down, one suggestion I made was that he be asked to give up the all-powerful chairmanship of the budget committee as well as reimburse all of the identified costs in the EY review,” Mr Brewer says.

He also called for Mr Brown to pay back the legal costs incurred while he was reviewing a draft of the EY report.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse told the Herald a censure motion against the mayor would go to a public meeting of the governing body on Thursday.

Councillor Mike Lee says it’s not in Auckland's best interest for the mayor to resign.

Mr Brewer says it was clear from today’s meeting most of councillors believe the best thing for Auckland is for Mr Brown to remain as mayor.

“Along with a few others, I also argued for councillors to instruct the mayor to fully and finally disclose anything else of a related nature that may bring the council into further disrepute down the track. However this request was not agreed,” Mr Brewer says.

Mr Brown attended the first part of today's meeting where he offered an apology to councillors.

EARLIER: Brown won't resign

Comments and questions
53

Remember "hamgate" a few year ago, people lost jobs over it. Seems standard slip as the rank rises. A case of "do as I say not as I do". Like to see council get the next case of dismissal for none declaration through an employment court

MPs use their air points for personal (family) use. The auditor general is very clear that air points represent discounts on airfares and thus belong to the government. It's a more egregious use of freebies then getting upgrades on hotel rooms, since the upgrades can't be used to reduce future costs of hotel rooms. Why all the outrage at Brown? The MPs are far worse.

How about having a look at the moral position of those at Skycity that were happily giving away rooms for what one can only assume is greasing the palm. Next thing we will find that Skycity have been giving similar benefits to Government officials to get the convention centre and more pokies signed off. This type of thing is accepted in places like China but we don't want it in NZ. It is simply an inducement and this is a form of corruption.

Ask the GSK executives in China or Zespri if bribery is ok in China. They are trying to deal to it at a level. In NZ we just turn a blind eye.

I think you will already find half the Labour Party in the box at Eden Park!

Everyone has some personally harmful secrets. If we were to put everyone under the spotlight, wrench them all from out of the closet then no one could stand for Mayor.

Get over it.. Everyone seems to have High Morals but only when passing Judgement. Especially the Centre Right.

Vacancy...... Mayor of Super City....Salary....One of the best in the country.....Job Description....Confidence that you can do what you like and no one cares a hoot if you add a few extra perks of your own to your massive salary. We've all stuffed up so what the heck. There are some rules but hey you must be the one to makes sure everyone else keeps them. It's a tough job but you have a team to do the hard yards.
A cheezy smile is essential and the ability to talk your way out of a jam. A firm belief that the city will disintegrate without your contribution.
Perks.....You decide.
Applications close sometime soon.. Apply in writing or text at sometime suited to yourself. We don't mind waiting.

Difference here is that this guy committed his unsavory deeds while mayor of Auckland, get it?

So - retribution (or is it really vengeance?) for anyone in a prominent role who has an affair??

Sam, It's neither retribution nor vengeance but simply consequence for his actions. You know, it's the thing all of us face sooner or later... Over dramatizing with words like these weaken your argument and don't address the issue at all.

Linda, you are the one over-dramatising things. An affair is the business of him and his family, as bad as his behaviour has been. Hotel upgrades and personal calls on his mobile are not worth the consequences you are seeking for him. So what really prompts your call for accountability....?

Sam, I need to make about ....... only $300 worth of mobile calls. May I use your cell phone please.

So are you suggesting a public flogging, a day or two in the stocks...? All to satisfy your sense of outrage that seems to have some moral supremacy?

The Moral of the story is use better discretion when choosing a woman to have an affair with and pay for your Personal Phone Calls and Txt's. Its not hard. Get over it.

So "where" you conduct the intimate nature of the affair doesn't matter to you. i.e. On work premises?

Had the Mayor been of the so called "centre-right" persuasion, the left would have been apoplectic and would be calling for his resignation along with that of John Key and anyone else who might be considered of similar views.

Actually the left would never bother to make such a fuss over someone's personal behaviour. he is accountable only to his wife and family for that.

And to the Auckland ratepayer for use of public funds and what he does in work time for which he is extremely well paid.

Free Accommodation upgrades equate to no material value in regards to rate-payers and as Far as the Calls and Texts go the media seem to have combined the figure? What is the actual break down? 1300 calls, Now that sounds extravagant, 1300 Texts now thats what teenagers send in a Week, Thats just over half a monthly text limit on your average Vodafone Plan.

These things are miniscule.

I have not had any reply from Sam re may I use his cell phone to make a few calls to family and friends. Perhaps you would consider letting me use yours. I promise they will be only miniscule .....

Sorry Linda, I posted one but it doesn't seem to have appeared. You are most welcome to use my free minutes. Like all high users on a monthly fee plan, I have a large amount of free minutes and so your calls will cost me nothing. The same situation would apply to Brown for his personal calls (and hence why most organisations don't bother to distinguish between personal and business calls).

Now Sara thats a deliberate lie, the left are forever demanding for people to resign over any issue. Len is a fool who should never have been elected let alone survive this drama.

Linda/Steve - it appears your political petticoats are showing....

Sara, This blog is about Len Browns abuse of is power.... Nothing at all about political petticoats.

If you really think that Sara, then you dont know the left very well at all.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Don't hide behind that argument. Not everyone acts like this, his moral comapss is severely out of wack.

Goodness gracious Auckland you are becoming an embarrassing joke. Brown's behaviour was bad enough but for goodness sake move on, stop playing politics and get on with running Auckland! The behaviour of all involved is tacky, selfish and childish. You're meant to look after New Zealand's largest city - do so!

Absolutely agree Fred. I'm tired of watching the sharks circle the water here, it's time for everyone to move on.

So your happy for our country and Auckland so descend into a state like the Americans & Aussie have were it is expected that the politicians are corrupt.
Well I guess it takes people like you with a very lose set of morals to allow Brown to get away with it.
Personally I think he is totally accountable and needs to resign, he is now a public joke.

Also I do wonder what the position is re Perks tax, I guess this needs to be added and since most is overdue I wonder what the penalties are? and whose paying for them - again.

Your comment says more about you than anything - accusing me of having "a very lose set of morals" when you don't even know me.

My comment was that Auckland had to move on and not allow itself to be used by people like you seeking your own ends. As I said, Brown's behaviour has been bad enough, but to accuse him of corruption when he has simply accepted the same upgrades that are offered to a wide range of people and used his mobile for personal use as everyone does, is little short of ridiculous.

Meanwhile Auckland has many problems that this council needs to address. Why are moral crusaders like you so determined to keep distracting the council from doing its job?

Exactly what is Len Brown supposed to do when he checks into the hotel which he or one of his staff has booked?

In my experience the hotel staff do not say you have been upgraded. So, does Len ask if he has been upgraded. If they say he has what is he supposed to do?

Does he get them to write note advising of the difference in price which he can give to Doug McKay or does he get a staff member to ring up the next day. Well the hotel will not do that because it has not recorded the increase as income.

But what should he do if the hotel says he has not been upgraded, because regular clients are not "upgraded" they are given the rooms as valued customers. Len being in a big room or little room does not cost them any more

Who knows what he does. But what should he have done on the 9 freebies. He should have said no because it is not a good look. He is a government official who if not bribed has potentially given that impression.

Simple really say no thanks or if you really thought it was ok declare it. He did neither.

All Brown had to do was declare what he has taken or been given. It's all exceedingly sordid and I'd like to see the back of him. There are plenty of used car salesman jobs around, but they may not pay $250,000 a year...plus expenses.

Sordid? For not declaring a room upgrade? Get over yourself.

Trust me, you absolutely KNOW when you have been upgraded, even when they don't say, in which case he needs to disclose.

Does it not bother you that the Brown family (supposedly) check in regularly into an expensive hotel that most Auckland residents would think twice about. Most property developers I know would blanch at paying out loot like that....and they are among the most easy-come-easy-go lot around.
Something really odd that ....even on his inflated salary....they would choose that hotel.
Suggest the NBR sleuths take that a little further than the accounting for the upgrades.

Wonder how our Mayor, Mr BROWN is going to front up to his friends and families over X'mas....

Everyone seems to concentrating on the hotel issues. They are part of it but what about the clear breaches of the Councils Code of Conduct. Others have been sacked in the past for the same behaviour. The Code applies to Len brown as well, whether he believes that or not.
Also the Mayor is also automatically a JP and they have their own Code of Conduct, which Brown has breached.
If all he has done is acceptable then those people who say " a law or rule some but not for others" are being proved correct.

Ross - please quote what part of the Code of Conduct has been breached and who exactly has been sacked for such breaches in the past.

Here is the link to the Code of Conduct

http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/governingbody/codeofconductelectedmembers.pdf

For example have a look at : 5.2 Honesty and Integrity
5.11 Leadership
7.8 Ethics

It was reported near the start of this issue that a council employee had been sacked within the last year or so for having sex on Council premises.

Good point.

Council employees should know it's a free for all now, with a censuring (verbal / first written warning) the only penalty for on-premise copulation.

In my considered opinion, Cameron Brewer is all talk.

Lisa Prager and myself have formally requested that the SFO investigate Mayor Len Brown and Sky City..

With the greatest lack of respect... no one considers your opinion... and at least Mr. Brewer is IN Council and can do something about it.

Have you paid your fair share yet and paid your Council Rates?

With the greatest lack of respect... no one considers your opinion. Have you paid your union dues yet?

No - I haven't paid rates, and won't until the RULE OF LAW is upheld and Auckland citizens and ratepayers are told exactly where rates monies are being spent.

I'm making a stand for genuine transparency which cannot be ignored, rather than just whining and 'howling at the moon', like so many other anonymous, gutless wonders?

he can have as much sex as he likes with as many people as he likes - it is up to his long-suffering wife and family to deal with that and I think that maybe they should.
BUT he is supposed to be the lead decision maker for New Zealands biggest city.
We need to trust that he is a good decision maker - his behaviour is not that of a great thinker and good decision maker so I want him out.
He is winning by everyone focusing on the luckless Ms Chaung, lets focus on his serial abuse of expenses, his use of public facilities to have sx in, the fact that various people out there have information which they can use for leverage and his inability to take responsibility and front up for his ridiculous and embarrassing behaviour and use all of that to tell the clown to go away and leave the city with some credibility and respect.

It's upgrades. No additional money was spent, ratepayers' or anyone's. Yes, he's a bounder and a cad for the affair. But this is the reddest herring in the business.

What most (all?) people seem to overlook in situations such as Brown's is that all the time he had these secrets he was open to exploitation - blackmail.
People such as Brown compromise themselves and risk being backed into a corner.

Exploitation? Blackmail? What planet do you live on? No one would get away with doing anything like that at this level.

Len Brown as mayor should be able to have top of the line accommodation when he is staying in town. That is standard practice with senior government ministers, CEO's and dignitaries.

If that were the case then Len Brown would be applauded for saving the council $32,000.

Um, no. This is local government. You should be expected to be able to accommodate yourself in the city you represent.

Or he could have taken the train home and saved the cost of the room completely.