Len Brown: Building up for a battle

By Kathryn Powley

Len Brown is back as Auckland’s mayor and is ready to take on Wellington. The role, he says, is like being Prime Minister.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Doug Sherring
Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Doug Sherring

Upstairs in the Kingslander pub, a jubilant Len Brown hugs and kisses his wife Shan Inglis and three daughters. There are balloons, bubbly and a happy crowd of loyal supporters.

Brown is back for another term as mayor. Only a third of voters bothered to return their ballot papers in Auckland, but that doesn't matter - he beat his nearest rival John Palino by about 50,000. It's a mandate and he'll take it.

"Obviously the role for the Mayor of Auckland is a role of advocacy not dissimilar to the role of the Prime Minister," he says, explaining his assertive stance on what has been a thorny issue.

Brown is preparing to march down to Wellington over a looming problem for Auckland - that new home loan restrictions will almost certainly lock first-time home-buyers out of the Kiwi dream.

And unless something drastic is done, the Reserve Bank's new rules, requiring a 20 per cent deposit, will also lock those first-timers out of hundreds of so-called affordable homes to be built under the much-trumpeted Housing Accord.

Although Brown says he's going to wait and see how the Reserve Bank Rules affect Aucklanders, he's already promising to take it up with the Governor next month.

He's talking exemptions for first time Auckland home-buyers, and exemptions for Housing Accord developments. Sohe's back, and he means business.

But for a few hours yesterday Brown basked in the afterglow of a campaign over, and election won.

- Herald on Sunday

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