Can Len Brown be Super City mayor?

By Michael Dickison

Len Brown during his emotional speech. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Len Brown during his emotional speech. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Manukau Mayor Len Brown's credit card breaches and emotional mea culpa have some questioning his chances at winning the Super City mayoralty, but many of his Manukau constituents were standing by him today.

Mr Brown has admitted to putting some personal expenses on his ratepayer-funded credit card, and fronted up to Manukau City councillors earlier this week.

"Either you give me a break and let me have the opportunity of a fair hearing to get some justice, equity and fairness, or sink into a cesspit of political expedience. I'll leave it up to you," he said.

nzherald.co.nz today spoke to Brown's constituency in Manukau and found many continued to have strong support for Mr Brown.

Tim Bakshi said Mr Brown "should never have done it in the first place" and he should know his responsibilities.

A Manukau City Council worker, who said she could not have her name printed, said "it was appalling" and, referring to Mr Brown and other politicians, "they knew what they were doing".

Hine Pihema voiced similar sentiments, saying the mayor should not have been given a credit card. "When you deal with credit cards, that's standing on the devil's ground," she said.

But others said Mr Brown was a good mayor and now that he had apologised, it was time to move on.

"If he has made a mistake, we can pardon it. It's not a big deal. Everybody makes a mistake. We should give a chance to everybody," said Rajish Mani.

"I just got my citizenship and he was there presenting it and his personality is very good. Not everyone is so friendly in this world."

Another resident, Nelly, said: "If he apologised, well that's alright. That's fair enough. To me, it's the right thing to do to apologise to the public. Let's go ahead and look forward to the future."

Katherine said the issue was "minute, considering the kind of guy he is".

"He's out there supporting the people. If he's going out to be seen supporting the people, that's part of his job," she said.

Lorraine Walker not only said she continued to support Brown, but the whole issue was "tacky" and "pathetic".

"That's so tacky. Why don't they let the man get on with his business?" Ms Walker asked.

"If that's the question you're asking me, about all the silly 'tackiness' over their cards, I think it's pathetic. Who cares that he's been spending on a cup of coffee. The guy does a good job. It's ridiculous, I think."

On nzherald.co.nz's Your Views, opinions have ranged from those without any sympathy for Mr Brown because he is a well-paid politician, to those who said the news story was a politically-motivated beat up.

"I think Mr Brown earns enough to buy his own lunch and snacks. And charity dinners. As an Auckland ratepayer, I don't think it should be my job to subsidise his already handsome salary. There is no difference here to what the MPs have done with their credit cards," wrote FW.

Meanwhile, Tejopala Rawls, from Ponsonby, supported Mr Brown and blamed the media: "The right wing media should be more careful than to jump on board a right wing smear campaign. A sad day for NZ journalism."

Your views

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n3 at 27 Jul 2014 03:57:57 Processing Time: 621ms