Cherie Howie

Cherie Howie is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Mayor's travel costs soar but still fall short of predictions

Brown's spokesman Glyn Jones said in a statement the mayoral budget was set by law and his office only spent what was needed to fulfil the mayor's leadership role. Photo / HOS
Brown's spokesman Glyn Jones said in a statement the mayoral budget was set by law and his office only spent what was needed to fulfil the mayor's leadership role. Photo / HOS

Jet-set Auckland mayor Len Brown and his office burned through $159,000 on travel in the year to November - five times more than the year before.

The 450 per cent increase is part of more than $3.5 million of ratepayers' money spent in its second year, equivalent to almost $10,000 a day. Travel costs did not include the cost of running the mayor's car.

Total costs were up 8.3 per cent from the $3.23m spent the year before and also did not include the mayor's own pay.

Other increases include $2m spent on paying the mayor's staff, up 15.4 per cent.

Councillor Cameron Brewer blasted Brown for "going around assuring people that he's supposedly prudent" when the cost of his own office was increasing.

"This is not any ordinary office. This is a ratepayer-funded campaign machine and people wonder why no one's prepared to stand against him and his army of advisers and consultants."

Brown's spokesman Glyn Jones said in a statement the mayoral budget was set by law and his office only spent what was needed to fulfil the mayor's leadership role.

So far the office had spent 10 to 20 per cent less than budgeted each year.

Travel costs increased because the mayor led three overseas trade missions, Jones said.

- Herald on Sunday

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