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How it happened, blow-by-blow: Len Brown censured 15-5

UPDATE 10 2:10 The Auckland Council has agreed 15-5 to censure mayor Len Brown.

Those opposed were councillors Brewer, Cooper, Krum, Quax and Stewart. 

Mr Brown has been asked back into the meeting to respond.

He says he accepts the resolution. 

"Shame on you Len," a heckler yelled from the public gallery.

UPDATED 9 LUNCHTIME: Auckland councillors have delayed their premilinary vote on censuring mayor Len Brown. A first attempt  was tied on whether to censure him but continue to work with him or proceed to a "no confidence" motion.. The councillors are now taking a half hour break.

Cr Chris Fletcher and others had demanded clarity from the mayor on what he is willing to pay pertaining to the EY report and personal reimbursements before she votes.

The council had been debating the following motion: a “request that the mayor make full reimbursement of all remaining personal costs and also make an appropriate contribution to other costs incurred by the council.”

Councillor Cameron Brewer asked for legal costs to be added.

Councillor Dick Quax asked for clarity on the word “appropriate”.

There are legal grounds, deputy mayor Penny Hulse says, which is why the wording is vague.

“I’m treading very, very carefully,” she says.

Council will resume at 2 pm.

UPDATED 7 12:53: Councillor Dick Quax opened his comments by saying the council isn’t divided, but its opinions are. It’s no different from any other council issue, he says.

“Of course we can move forward. We can move forward as soon as Len Brown is gone,” he says.

Mr Quax agrees with Mr Lee the censure and no-confidence motion are unprecedented and says he will not vote for the censure because it doesn’t go far enough.

“Len Brown has been the architect of his own dilemma,” Mr Quax told council.

Mr Brown is compromised as a mayor and a leader, Mr Quax says, and can no longer do his job. Mr Brown acted “stupidly”, Mr Quax says.

It’s “imperative” the mayor pays the full costs of the EY report for the “crap” he has caused, Mr Quax says.

“The very poorest people are asking to clean up after the mayor,” Mr Quax says.

The mayoress is embarrassed and unable to do her job, Mr Quax says. More will be revealed in this “sordid affair”, he says.

He called the mayor’s office a “political rotting corpse” that can only be cleaned out when the mayor leaves and is replaced with someone with integrity.

His comments spurred councillors Cathy Casey and Cameron Brewer to throw jabs at each other .

“Councillor Brewer?” Ms Casey says, questioning who would run for mayor.

“What about SkyCity, Cathy?” Mr Brewer says.

“He has to go, and he has to go immediately,” Mr Quax concluded.

Deputy mayor Penny Hulse reminded the council they still have other business to tend to, such as the budget.

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UPDATED 6 12:40: Councillor Mike Lee told Auckland Council the issue surrounding Mayor Len Brown, the censure and no-confidence vote, is unprecedented in his decades of serving in local government.

A censure means the council has chastised the mayor, he says, while a no-confidence vote means “we can’t work with him.”

Many people think the mayor has to resign if council passes the no-confidence motion, he says, and that’s not true.

“It’s step one” a heckler yelled.

Further, it would send a message to Wellington and the rest of the country that Auckland is too dysfunctional to function, Mr Lee says. Political stability is “absolutely vital” for the people of Auckland, he says.

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UPDATE FIVE 12:25:  Cr Cameron Brewer told his fellow councillors to think about today’s meeting when they hear about more Len Brown scandals a few years from now.

Some councillors are supporting the mayor and not prepared for a confidence or no-confidence vote now, he says. That doesn’t send a good message to the people of Auckland, he says.

Mr Brewer called for the Attorney General to investigate the hotel issue, which he says was only "glazed over" by the EY report.

He also called for full and final disclosure by the mayor: other perks, other girlfriends, other hotels, he says. He was disappointed by his fellow councillors who would not ask the mayor for final disclosure in today’s motions.

Brown should not sit in any meetings or be involved in any dealings with SkyCity or the convention centre, Mr Brewer says.

“The mayor should now stand down,” Mr Brewer says.

The council is subjecting more sleaze, scandal and damage to the organisation by not asking more from the mayor, he says.

Mr Brewer was only supposed to speak for five minutes but was granted an extension of time of two minutes.

Mr Brown does not have the credibility to represent Auckland in Wellington to ask for billions of dollars in transportation funding.

“He now needs to go. That is what the people are calling for and that is what I’m asking for,” he says.

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UPDATE 4 12:10: Councillor Cathy Casey told the council she has never supported the mayor and she does not think he will last in office.

A no-confidence or censure motion does not remove the mayor, she says.

The mayor has breached the council’s code of conduct and needs to pay for at least part of the EY report, she says.

“I know the mayor doesn’t like it but I don’t like what the mayor has done to us,” she says.

The council will be “moving into shark-infested waters” if it tries to remove the mayor. He must step down himself, she says.

She says she is dsappointed by councillors who are polarising the council and pointed to Cameron Brewer and his comments in the media.

“I’m going to buy you a tutu and ballet slippers for Christmas,” she says.

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UPDATE 3: Auckland councillors are arguing over the words "contrition" and "accept" in the following motion, which many councillors are saying was changed since yesterday. Some would like to change "accept" to "note."

“Accept the mayor’s apology and expression of contrition for his actions and mindful of the importance of maintaining political stability in the governance of Auckland, signals its willingness to work with the mayor in the best interests of the people of Auckland.”

At the moment, the amendment by Mr Quax will not be considered, Ms Hulse says:

The governing body notes that Len Brown lacks the essential leadership credentials of judgement, honesty, integrity, and credibility and, as a result, councillors have lost confidence in his ability to carry out his duties as mayor of Auckland.”

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UPDATED 2: There was never a requirement for mayor Len Brown to pay for all or part of the EY report, departing Auckland chief executive Doug McKay told the council at this morning’s meeting.

This is Mr McKay’s last meeting and he was grilled by councillors on the report that looked into Mr Brown’s use of council resources during his extra-marital affair. Several hecklers in the audience chimed in while he spoke.

"Why was the report not signed?" one asked.

Mr McKay does not know the final cost of the report but says it will be more than $100,000. The report took longer than expected and the scope widened during the investigation. EY combed through more than one million council emails.

Councillors asked Mr McKay if anything was removed from the report after Mr Brown reviewed it. Mr McKay says under principles of natural justice, Mr Brown was allowed to review it and some items were changed.

Mr Brown was booed by a crowded room when he entered this morning’s Auckland Council meeting.

The meeting was standing-room only and included community members making submissions on the Auckland Harbour Bridge SkyPath project and Living Wage Aotearoa on the wage debate.

At the start of the discussion over the EY report, deputy mayor Penny Hulse said the council needed punishment to fit the crime.

Yesterday, a quarter of Auckland councillors said they planned to debate and vote for a no-confidence motion at today’s meeting at the Auckland Town Hall. Those five councillors, Dick Quax, Linda Cooper, Cameron Brewer, Sharon Stewart and Denise Krum.

They have not voted as of 11:30am.

The motion says: “The governing body notes that Len Brown lacks the essential leadership credentials of judgement, honesty, integrity, and credibility and, as a result, councillors have lost confidence in his ability to carry out his duties as mayor of Auckland.”

The statement is an amendment to the agenda and will be moved by Mr Quax and seconded by Ms Cooper.

In an interview yesterday with TVNZ, Mr Brown was vague when questioned on resignation. He was also chased down the street by a dozen protesters who heckled and called for his resignation.

This week a NZ Herald editorial called for Mr Brown to step down as mayor, reversing the paper's original position.

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UPDATED 1: Former mayoral candidate Lisa Prager has asked the Serious Fraud Office to investigate Mayor Len Brown for bribery and corruption, she told Auckland Council at today’s meeting.

The SFO originally rejected the case but now say it’s advancing the investigation, she says. The penalty carries maximum of seven years.

“Len, your time is over,” she says.

“We want you gone. We want you out of that seat,” yelled hecklers.

She told Mr Brown he should step down as mayor and called for a mayoral by-election.

“Oh what wicked webs we weave,”* she said as she began to address the council. She said she was extremely disappointment lack of transparency since the formation of the super city.

The council has more than a moral obligation to censure Mr Brown and call for his resignation, she says. She called for them to grow some “ethical spines”.

The meeting continues.

* Ms Prager was misquoting Sir Walter Scott's line: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”

A quarter of Auckland councillors have signalled they will try to pass a no-confidence motion about the mayor at tomorrow’s 10 am governing body meeting at the Auckland Town Hall, according to a just released statement by councillor Cameron Brewer.

LATEST: For first time, Brown does not rule out resignation

They are expected to debate and vote on a motion that says: “The governing body notes that Len Brown lacks the essential leadership credentials of judgement, honesty, integrity, and credibility and, as a result, councillors have lost confidence in his ability to carry out his duties as mayor of Auckland.”

The five councillors, Dick Quax, Linda Cooper, Mr Brewer, Sharon Stewart and Denise Krum have told other councillors of their intentions. They want more councillors to join them tomorrow in supporting the stronger motion, according to Mr Brewer’s statement.

Today, a Herald editorial called for Mr Brown to step down as mayor  reversing the paper's original position.

This afternoon TVNZ reported the mayor had been chased down the street by a dozen protesters who called for his resignation.

At tomorrow’s council meeting, councillors are expected to censure the mayor and ask him to pay at least part of the EY report which investigated the use of council resources during his extra-marital affair.

The most recent saga has eclipsed other council business on tomorrow’s agenda, such as the adoption of the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015, details of the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Project (SkyPath), and public input from Living Wage Aotearoa on the wage debate.

Former mayoral candidate Lisa Prager is also scheduled to have the floor at tomorrow’s council meeting, according to the agenda.

On her Facebook page, she says she will demand Len Brown step down as mayor. She plans to call for a mayoral by-election.

“At the heart of our concerns is the bribery and corruption involving SkyCity and Len Brown. A lame duck mayor, Mr Brown is now hopelessly compromised,” she says on Facebook.

Comments and questions
87

The Councillors along with the general public have no confidence in Brown. Anyone behaving like this in the private sector would have been biffed out by now. Brown's credibility for this role is right up there with the mayor of Toronto. He needs to man up and understand that the majority dont wont him as mayor and would never have voted for him if this issue had come to light prior to the election.

The comparison to the Toronto guy is insane. People in corporate land get free stuff & upgrades all the time. Who cares? They're ... free! A little bit different to getting jacked up on crack. And if it's the extra marital thing that you're suggesting corporate people get fired for, that's simply laughable. I know. I've seen it, it's ugly, and the only people getting fired were the victims whose very existence made their sexual predator's lives uncomfortable.

The Bevan thing (which, after all, is all anyone cares about) is ugly and all the rest of it, but the only political embarrassment is the degree to which Quax and Fletcher et. are going for it like Pat Bartlett over a skin flick.

Len Brown needs to man up and resign his only trouble is that he won't get a job because he has lost all trust from Auckland rate payers

New CEO and new mayor at the same time. Might as well twiddle their fingers this term. The current CEO backs Len Brown's performance so does credit agencies and awards given to the planning and finance departments. Sure resign if their is someone who can do better and is ready in all aspects.

I'm sure if someone did something similar to one of his daughters - somehow I don't think he'd be saying - that's ok - you said sorry - lets all move on...

Come off it. Bevan Chaung was an adult woman making her own decisions.

Just like the Tea Party in the US, these councillors and their supporters will do anything to try achieve the result they couldn't get with the public at the elections. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and get on with the real business of Auckland.

Absolute rubbish
All the rest of the councillors are showing up as spineless. If they dither over a matter so bleeding obvious, I have no faith in anything they might decide on in the future. Maybe that's a given anyway.
Get on with it and vote an overwhelming no confidence and force the government to dump him and lets have a new election.

Brilliant! You have just arrogantly proven my point!

It is Mr Brown who should be ashamed of himself and move on.
The councillors wish to get on with the real business of managing Auckland,with a replacement mayor.

So why haven't they then instead of all this muckraking? What is their real agenda?

Unfortunately for Brown supporters, the Mayor is hopelessly compromised by the EY report and if he had even a skerrick of honour left, he would tender his resignation to the 90% plus of Aucklanders who are now calling for it.

Brown has clearly flouted Council guidelines and standards - and the hole is getting deeper.

He has no answers outside the carefully crafted spin that his bevy of well paid obsequious minions churn out on his behalf, all in a lame effort to deflect attention from the damaging findings in the review.

Please Len, do the right thing by Auckland - RESIGN.

Despite all your hyperbole, the EY report cleared Brown of wrongdoing except for the minor matter of not declaring upgrades (as someone says here, who ever knows the value of them?) and personal use of mobiles (which we all do and it is accepted). You are clearly fixated about some sort of vengrance path that I suspect will do nothing for Auckland.

I'm sorry Karen, but to say 'the EY report cleared Brown of wrongdoing', shows that like most Brown sycophants, you have a very blinkered view of the true situation.

The Mayor of Auckland obtained special benefits for himself by virtue of his position, especially the $6100 plus of freebie hotel rooms disclosed in the EY report, not to mention the more than $32,000 worth of free hotel upgrades also revealed in the report. Plus there is the excessive number of private calls and texts to Ms. Chuang, all at ratepayers expense . You may find this acceptable to charge to your employer, I do not.. There is also the use of the mayoral car to squire his mistress about town for his own sexually nefarious purposes. And yes, this really does grind my gears.

Brown is now a complete laughing stock and an embarrassment to this city. Given the 'coup d' grace' delivered by the NZH editorial this morning, do you not see this is the beginning of the end for this lame duck Mayor?

Oh dear oh dear. There are hundreds,neah thousands of all sorts of freebies and upgrades given to people every day all around the place. Most are a thank you for having done business with people and are quite normal customer loyalty business practice. I would suggest that none of us have any idea at any time what they are worth. Brown probably should have been more aware but it is puritanical to the extreme to demand his head for it.

Most businesses allow personal calls, simply because it is impossible often to separate the quantity of one versus the other. And all high user mobile plans allocate hundreds of free minutes as part of the monthly fee,. so separating makes no difference to the cost anyway.

You are seeking to impose your extreme puritanical views to usurp a democratic election result, and I object strenuously to you doing so - what you are trying to do is what is really immoral.

Puritanical views? I doubt it. Unlike some, just able to appreciate right from wrong - as opposed to your own stance of 'right vs left'

There is a lot the EY report did not cover.....eg. the sexual relationship between Brown and Chuang in return for employment favors, his behaviour against the council Code of Conduct, the use of hotels outside of Auckland, nor did it make a judgement on whether Brown's time spent engaging in sexual relations with Ms Chuang during working hours and on Council premises was appropriate. These are issues his 20 Councillors should be investigating.

Quite simply, the Mayor has crossed the line, and just like his predecessor, he now needs to be held to account.

No. Unlike his predecessor, he has not been accused by anyone of any criminal behaviour.

And so far as we know he never wiped out anybody on his jet-ski with un-lifejacketed children on board whilst breaking the legal inshore speed limit.

You continue to gloss over the free hotel rooms. Most people in Browns position would havr an idea what they cost. He took free gifts from Sky City at a time when there was a lot of debate around the convention Centre. Anyone with half a brain would have realized that was a bad look. Add to that a need to declare these things are now standard in most larger organisations. It dors not meanyou can not accept them but people want Iit recorded.

The fact is sky city mau have been offering him a reward for backing them. In some countries that is illegal. What is your response soley on sky city freebies.

I'm sorry but most people in any position do not know (and aren't told) the value of upgrades rewarding them for their business loyalty. You could in fact make a case that that the upgrades saved the council money!

My comment focused on the free rooms. As some who obviously stayed in hotels often he would have had an idea of the cost. Focus on free rooms not upgrades and respond.

I doubt whether he would know the cost of a room any better than the value of an upgrade. He wouldn't book the rooms (as I don't) and I pay them with my business card (as I assume he does). These days though I do expect customer loyalty rewards and free rooms, rental cars, flights are just a part of customer loyalty programmes.

What a joke. Most people even using a business card will check the bill. Maybe not in detail. Or do you not give a dam if your business is overcharged. Get real.

This is becoming tedious. I will check that I am not charged for something I have not used. But the room rate -no. That will be checked by someone back in the office who has done the bookings.

Don't be naive. Having worked in both private and public sectors, I can assure you that everyone operates gift registers and codes of conduct nowadays. Scrutiny over use of stakeholder resources (be they ratepayers', taxpayers' or shareholders') is very acute now, ethical conduct is mandatory (not an option) and it defines individuals and organisations. This is even enshrined in UN guidelines that most countries and major corporations are signatories to. The days of "freebies" are long gone and all senior employees, particularly public leaders, know this. I can only suspect you have been out of employment for a while now.

None of the major corporations I've had anything to do with. I didn't know corporations of any kind could sign up to the UN?

Still, sorry to hear that freebies are long gone in your neck o the woods.

I'm sorry but you are naive or deliberately screwing with reality. There are registers for gifts in many companies and public organisations but they do concern themselves with only things above a minimum value. They don't concern themselves with upgrades or the like. They don't concern themselves with personal use of mobiles because it isn't worth distinguishing calls that are free on their plans anyway. So how about you starting to get real.

I agree the phone call cost issue is trivial and in any case lex non curat de minimus. However, $40,000 worth of free rooms and upgrades goes way beyond rewarding business loyalty. Given the context of the Sky City negotiations, this stinks of corruption no matter which way you look at it (or whether you are left- or right- leaning). The Mayor is hopelessly compromised. Sorry Len, you have to go.

No, anyone with a brain would go "sweet", help themselves to a drink, then promptly forget about it, and get on with life.

Although if you've never done much traveling, you might not know what it's like to get upgrades. They're common.

If it was policy as it is for ACC tjat you report gifts yes you say thanks but you also register it. The lack of disclosure either says he does not give a dam or he knew he should not be taking freebies especially from sky city when the pokie debate was on.

Yes I have upgrades and appreciate them. I have not reported them because I own the business but if someone employed me and required me to notify of these things I would show them the courtesy they are due.

No, Karen's right. The hotel thing and the phone thing and the car thing are minor. They're just weeds on which you and The Herald are trying to hang the sex thing.

Don't know what world you inhabit, but if corporates fired people because of over-use of their cell phone, there'd be no bankers left. HEY! Now there's a thought ...

As for the hotel upgrades, when I was a corporate, I would have more likely been fired for forcing accounts to reconcile them than if I kept quiet.

I disagree and look where the US is currently, they will NEVER get rid of their debt and they look to continue to print their way out. Len should resign just based on the debt he's putting Auckland into.

You also show your agenda. You have no right to ask him to resign over a matter that should (and was) appropriately dealt with at the elections.

Since no one knew about this til after the election please explain your logic.

So on your logic, if anyone does anything we don't like at any stage, we can say an election must be null and void? Save your accountability for the ballot box.

Of course it is all politics.

But really - irrespective of your political views surely everyone can see by now time is up. The whole situation has no integrity and respect.

I wasn't clear, i didn't know. Mate you were living a lie - you couldn't disclose the upgrades because of what you were doing.

Even in Wellington we want Auckland to be respected. Auckland is a joke.

So Stuart, do you keep a note of all your flight, hotel, rental car etc upgrades? Do you know the value of them and declare them under FBT?

Not sure what Stuart does but standard practice in many multi nationals and I believe in government departments. The CEO of government departments publish this I believe every quarter.

Absolute rubbish - more unsubstantiated allegations that look good but have no basis in fact. And the reason why they don't is that the sheer amount of time to do so is wasteful and meaningless.

Sorry Pru I was wrong. It is every six months. Search

Disclosure of Chief Executive Expenses State Services Commission.

Requires disclosure of gifts also.

Maybe you should join the real world.

And where in the SSC policy doesn it require disclosure of upgrades or define an upgrade as a gift? Note also the minimum value.

What about 9 freebies ay $6k average cost $700. Is that covered yes or no.

ACC require anything over $300.

So again should they have been disclosed. Yes or no.

Thanks to Rodney he doesn't have to go, the issue at hand is a moral one and therefore outside the scope of his ability to manage this city, the only person that has any right to judge him and make demands on where his future lies is his wife

Rubbish Xanthee!
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he". If his personal character is compromised by immorality, he cannot but bring that compromised character into all his dealings and perspectives, whether personal or public.

Well I guess that rules most of us out of everything!

Unfortunately, yes. The sad story of humanity - we all have skeletons in the closet. The difference is, if '"most of us" includes yourself, that sounds like a fairly honest, prompt and open admission of your own frailties - which is more than can be said for Mayor Len who needed 2 years and a $100,000 investigation before he came clean - and may never have done so if his own honesty was to be the trigger. We all have options to make choices for right or wrong. Len chose not to make right choices in both his public and private life ...which means he chose to take wrong ones. And hid them until they were revealed. A character with no character.

If we all came clean all of the time, society would be in chaos. Even then, while I don't approve of what Brown did, it is not a hanging offence (unless you are trying to exploit it as such).

That is fairly illogical reasoning. There would be no need for anybody to come clean about anything, Tom, if they did it right the first time. That, again, is the choice we can each make. And isn't 'honesty' the platform whereon budding politicians like Brown usually attempt to garner votes? So we look to them as our leaders to set the standard...and when they fail, is it surprising the country is by degrees the loser?
Lets assume nobody decided to 'come clean' about anything...what would be the inevitable consequences? Social chaos! How much better would society be if people could do business on a handshake again, where their word was trustworthy and underpinned by integrity, instead of having screeds of contracts to cover every base and butt in an effort to avoid the chaos you described consequent upon people choosing to exploit each other?

All nice in theory but even religion has given up on this approach as they know it is unrealistic and rejected by society

Xanthee that is an incredibly naïve attitude. Any form of moral failure on the Mayor's part, one of THE most powerful politicians in the country, brings into question Len's ability to be honest and forthright in ANY dealings. Have you read the report? A number of the upgrades were from Sky City who were lobbying for an extension to their licence and permission to expand their pokie machine numbers in return for a convention centre. No surprise then that he was supporting the deal - he was significantly compromised just on that never mind his girlfriend. The whole thing REEKS of corruption and it's too big to sweep under the carpet. He's championing an intensified Auckland in the Unitary Plan even though intensified cities the world over rank as some of the worst not the best to live in - one has to wonder which developers' pockets he is in as well. He absolutely HAS to go, it's just a matter of time. Now woukd be better than in three years - who knows how much additional damage he would do! If he stays AND get reelected at the next election then we might as well view all of Auckland as having been flushed down the sewer with him as far as our individual morality and ethics are concerned.

I try and inject some realism to offset some of the more pious views and posts, his affair was conducted whilst serving his position in a manner that saw him re-elected and while one could argue favours were courted indirectly these are in the same realm as John Key employing his childhood chum as head of the GCSB, politics is all about relationships and i expect every facet of our government nationally and internationally to be managed on this basis, especially when dealing with Chinese delegations, where this is referred to as Guanxi,indeed to expect relationships and favours not to be present in any business or political agreements and transactions is completely unrealistic and naive

The fact that this matter will dominate the meeting, ahead of such key matters as adoption of the draft Annual Plan, surely indicates that his continuance in office will be to the ongoing detriment of the Council's proper functioning.

Or alternatively that some councillors don't have Auckland's best interests at heart?

Isn't it great to see the Labour trolls out in force? Nothing to see here......
Scott, Pru, Xanthee et al - so Len hasn't done enough to be forced out (makes you wonder what you people think IS enough)?
I bet in your small minds Palino is a dirtbag, Banks is dishonest etc etc ?

There are many issues here and the important one is that there is no other worthy contender for the Mayors role. If there was he would not have been re elected.
Time to move on, be proactive and demand results from a Mayor and council that seem happy to spend our ratepayers money without feeling a need to justify their expenditure. These vocal councillors and the CEO have their part to play in this.

He would not have been re-elected if all his cards were on the table.

As for other contenders, that is not the point. Why do we have to live with the lowest common denominator just because a better contender is still in the wings? And until that person is identified the govt. can appoint a Commissioner to run the city until the politik-electoral dichotomies that led to this hamstringing of democracy in the first place are sorted out.

I cant think of any other mayor/public servant leader who could have sex during office hours at work, get freebies from a corporate company while promoting its commerical interests (convention centre) and write references for work/contractor while banging them getting away with this.

Time to go and hopefully get a mayor who will cull down the massive debt!

There you go. Another one showing that they are really trying to over-rule the elction result to achieve their policy ends.

Policy ends are not the issue. Accepting favours and failing to declare conflicted interests when voting on proposals at the Council is nothing less that corruption. If there was zero tolerance of corruption Len would have been history by now.

Scott, pull your head in will you, or rather take your blinkers off. People like you who are prepared to accept the low standards LB seems to set for himself are a good part of the reasons for this country's various failings. We actually deserve better than LB (and frankly a good number of the other politicians around the country).

Personally I don't really give two hoots about LBs extracurricular activities - and I don't care that he gets upgrades. I do care that he seems to think it's not that important, in his privileged position, to demonstrate transparency and accountability. If we as ratepayers, and as a nation, are not serious about people we put in positions of responsibility and 'power' having real accountability, and if we are not that interested in holding them to high standards, then we as a nation will continue to lower our standards to the detriment of all of us at the end of the day.

And don't label me as 'having an agenda' and all that bull... this is about unacceptable behaviour, pure and simple, and our expectations of any individual elected into a position of power and influence, not about the individual concerned.

be accountablert6ant to have what concerns me is You seriously think we don't deserve better than a 'leader' who struggles to actually accept what he has dfone genuinely admit his wrong doings then

So you are not concerned about his affair or his upgrades but you are because Brown isn't! Strange position. And how many people do you know who keep detailed records of their upgrades and their value? Have you accepted it for air travel, rental cars etc? Do you accept Fly Buy rewards? Are there double standards going on here...?

If it is corporate policy to keep details then one can expect it is done. One or two errors ok but systematic ti the level of Brown would in most cases lead to people being fired in my view.

If not corporate policy then who cares. But Len Brown was subject to a policy he ignored.

I'm watching the council debate live and councillors are admitting that they haven't made declarations about upgrades etc because they didn't understand/interpret the code of conduct in that way! I don't know a corporate that considers upgrades etc to be declarable - can you specify one?

What about freebies. Plenty of firms require that. Upgrades are not the major issue in my mind. Interesting everyone supporting brown talk about upgrades and ignore freebies. Perhaps they acceptable that is not justifiable.

You probably won't ever be satisfied with anything but most places still have a reasonably high minimum value for gift declaratons so that huge amounts of time aren't tied up with minutae that are meaningless.

ACC required disclosure above $300 from memory. The 9 free hotels at $6k say $700 should have been disclosed and were not. Why is it acceptable for him no to comply.

My concern is LB seems to think that clear and standard and commonplace requirements of people who may be perceived to have conflicts of interest don't apply to him.

In answer to your question, yes actually I do keep record of certain matters along the lines of those in your question. Most people have no need to and therefore wont. However I and many other people for that matter (obviously including LB) am required to make certain dislosures and declarations periodically, covering things like gifts received etc. One of the difference between me and LB is that I take these things seriously and actually give a toss about being and being seen to be transparent re these matters. LB on the other hand seems to think it's all a bit below him.

With power has to come accountability. LB likes the former but clearly has an issue with the latter.

We could perhaps forgive Mr Brown for his affair - these things happen. What cannot be excused is that these judgement lapses have happened before in the Manakau days. He does not seem to have learnt his lesson then. This reeks of arrogance and a disrespect for the office and people of Auckland. I am sure that if the CEO's investigation had had a wider brief then the NZH's call today would have come as no surprise.

off the top of my head - JFK, Eisenhower, Clinton, Roosevelt, Berlusconi, Jakob Zuma, John Perfumo

This is an open shut case, despite allegations of conspiracy and the findings of the EY report. Brown lied, deceived and mislead all in the name of pure personal pleasure. In this deception you can count family, friends and the people of Auckland. The smoke screen of immorality, political leanings, who knew what when, how and why, whether he gained and the council / people of Auckland lost, etc. are irrelevant in the face of simple fact - Brown is an incompetent liar of dubious moral standards who has lost the trust of the people of Auckland as their mayor. Its irrelevant whether you voted for him or not, the office and dignity of the position has been besmirched and all credibility destroyed. Go now so the whole slate can be cleaned for the next incumbent.

In the register of interests Len brown does not mention being the beneficiary of a trust , yet over two elections he has received some 3/4 million dollars from the new Auckland council trust , which is not visible or identifiable in any manner.. If Mr Brown accepts free hotel rooms he is also prone to other things. so who is hiding behind this trust.. watch this space I have made a complaint to the electoral officer, the CEO of council and the SFO

Might the Police also be interested Grace?

Grace - thank you very much.

All political fraud and corruption should be stomped out ASAP, where ever and when ever found.

Thank you. You rock!

he would not be a beneficiary, that sounds correct

Len should resign and run. Run, that is, for mayor, in the by-election. He would in that way answer all critics. If he again wins, it should silence those who are so sure Aucklanders do not want him as mayor. If no-one good enough comes out to run against him and win, that will confirm that he is the best man for the job.

While the by-election is happening, the Council can get on with the business of running the city. There should be no legislative reason that there be an hiatus during the by-election.

Would we re-elect him? I doubt his extra marital affair would make too much difference. I do think the free rooms and upgrades at Sky City would have an impact. But we'd need to see the field that is against him, first, to be able to predict the outcome.

Good suggestion Anon, what is stopping him might be a fear of more skeletons are rattling away in the closet?

So you would be happy to have all the expense and diversion of a by-election?

Yes it would be better than the long term expense of perceived corruption

Perceived corruption? He took undeclared gifts from a casino operator and lobbied on their behalf for the council to spend millions of dollars upgrading the street they are on; plus the addition of hundreds of new gaming machines. He also provided his mistress with a ratepayer funded job and used his ratepayer funded mayoral car to drive her around.

I would suggest that this is enough to get rid of the "perceived" and say it for what it is - utter corruption.

If this matter was to be heard in a court. How would the credibility of witness weigh up? How much of what has been said would be admissible. Everybody back to work please.

I absolutely agree.

i bet the terms of reference for the EY report were so tight it kept many things hidden

The council vote shows the spinelessness and small mindedness of the majority of the councillors. The issue is not who is going to pay EY's fee, that is chicken feed in the scheme of things, the issue is the Mayor of Auckland's appalling lack of integrity and judment.
Thanks Rodney Hide. Should have left him in Manukau. Auckland deserves better.

The council as an elected body selected their leader. It was their best choice. Why are they wasting time and money trying to discredit him. If he leaves, I cant see any of them taking his job or in fact being employed anywhere else. Rates are due again soon, many other issues need desperate attention while our local body politicians abandon their responsibilities to create publicity for matters already aired.

No. A large majority of AK voters selected the Mayor, quite independently of any elected councilors' wishes.

But I do sympathise with your rhetorical question. The answer is that they don't agree with his politics. Which is curious, because those who oppose him are intractable right wing curmudgeons, who you'd think would have been only too happy to watch Mayor Brown try to destroy the wharfies last year.

One can only assume they resent his plans to improve AK's public transport network, which will make it easier for people to travel in a way that uses less petrol and makes it more pleasant for people to walk around and cycle places.

What nonsense. Have you considered that the public might actually resent his devious non transparent behaviour? One can only assume your obvious political bent means you you can't grasp that.

This man has had his three strikes - first, Volare; secondly, his credit card at Manukau City Council, and now this. He is obviously suffering from a narcisstic personality disorder, in the way he refuses to accept his liability to Auckalnd ratepayers. Can we not have complete honesty and responsibility from one whose salary we pay? Not political - it's what is right in this world!

Furthur evidence that Auckland is a reactionary red neck provincial towns with the values of the 1950s. The Mayor was having an affair with an attractive Chinese women in her 30s. Some of Thatchers cabinet ministers married 16 yr olds ( ie Alan Clark), many had affairs and the variation of their sexual inclinations and tastes would have blown the mind of the Herald and auckland authorities.
The ludicrous protest of 50 year old matron complaining about the Mayors infidelities was pure Latin America. It always seems unfair to me that middle aged men are forced to honour wives, who are no longer attractive or interested in sex.
I doubt if Quax and his 4 amigos supporting him have any more credibility than Brown. The Auckland council is medocre in talent, and Quaxs supporting line up, who look like air hostesses hardly improves the situation.
Brown has the look of a Ken Livingstone type I always expected and I would think Cunliffe and little will be very tempted to follow Thatchers example and sack the council. Few of the councillors are up to the required standard to supervise and monitor Aucklands local government and development.