Mayor Len Brown: The other woman

By Jared Savage, NZ Herald staff

Auckland Mayor Len Brown with Bevan Chuang. Photo / Instagram
Auckland Mayor Len Brown with Bevan Chuang. Photo / Instagram

The woman alleged to have had an affair with Auckland mayor Len Brown is Bevan Chuang.

She stood in the recent elections in the Albert-Eden Local Board - Maungawhau Subdivision elections and is currently the chair of the Asian Women and family Trust and member of the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.

She came fifth in the competition for four seats and wasn't elected for the Maungawhau Subdivision of the Albert-Eden Local Board.

Ms Chuang spoke to the Herald last year about seeking a sperm donor to help her make a 'dragon baby'. She said at the time she was desperate to have a "dragon baby" - and determined not to let the fact that she didn't have a partner hinder her plans.

The Hong Kong-born woman was seeking a donor to give her a child through artificial insemination.

SEE THE STORY ABOUT MS CHUANG'S EFFORTS TO MAKE A 'DRAGON BABY' HERE

Ms Chuang posted a photograph on Instagram in July this year of her with Mr Brown. saying "I've known @MayorLrnBrown for years and attended numerous events together, this is our first photo, just the two of us together. #crazy"

Mr Brown was at his home, sick with the flu, when the story about his affair broke today.

His election media spokesman David Lewis is at the Brown residence providing advice.

On Campbell Live tonight Mr Brown said he had no intention of standing down, and questioned the timing of the scandal.

"I have been re-elected as the mayor, and a very, very strong majority of people, maybe half the people who voted, said they've wanted me as mayor. I've loved that job with a passion, and I love this city, and I want to stay in that job - so yes, it is my intention to stay as the mayor.

"The final count is not yet done. And in my view, is a clear will or determination to try and force a resignation, to try and in effect destroy me, and I'm here, in front of you tonight, one, to acknowledge the challenge that I've got in my own family, and, secondly, to affirm to the people that I accepted and received their mandate...and I maintain that commitment, as difficult as it is."

Mr Brown confirmed the extra-marital relationship this afternoon after a story by freelance journalist Stephen Cook on the Whaleoil blogsite reported that the newly elected mayor had a two-year affair with a woman 25 years his junior, including sex during office hours and on council premises.

In a statement released this afternoon, Mr Brown replied to the "highly personalised allegations" made on the blog site this afternoon.

See a YouTube video of Bevan Chuang talking about an Auckland night market here:

Video

He said he had a relationship with a woman that lasted about two years.

"I told my wife previously, and she and I are working through the issues privately. We are looking to protect our children as best we can.

"These are matters of an entirely personal nature and I ask that the media respect my family's privacy."

Mr Brown said the woman was not a council employee but served on a council advisory board and stood in this year's election for a local board.

The mayor has been married to his wife Shan Inglis for more than 20 years and the couple have three children.

Bevan Chuang. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Bevan Chuang. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Ms Chuang has sworn an affidavit and says she has text messages to back up her claims, according to the report on the site.

She said a security guard once found her naked with Mr Brown in the Ngati Whatua room in the Town Hall and she thought their relationship would become public.

The pair also had sex in Mr Brown's council office, according to the 32-year-old woman.

She also claimed to have been sent an anonymous text message warning her against going public with her story.

Council chief executive Doug McKay went to the mayoral office at the Auckland Town Hall about 3pm to meet senior staff in Mr Brown's office and deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

Talks took place in Mr Brown's personal office.

After the talks he told the NZ Herald he had spoken with the mayor's staff about the situation.

"My job is to go back and run the organization.

"He needs some space to deal with it. He has got some family and personal issues to work through and I think we should give him a bit of time to do that," said Mr McKay,

He said he had not spoken to Mr Brown about the matter.

Watch Bevan Chuang's video interview with Len Brown - conducted before the recent election - at TV9's website here.

Mr McKay said the mayor was not at the mayoral office. His mayoral car was not parked at its spot outside the town hall.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse arrived at the Town Hall at 2.45pm.

She and her personal advisor Claire Richardson left by a back door at 4.20pm.

Ms Hulse told the Herald that Mayor Brown has things to deal with: "I have a city to run".

She said she had not spoken to Mr Brown.

Local Government Minister Chris Tremain would not be drawn on whether an extramarital affair was acceptable behaviour by a mayor.

"I don't want to make any comment about mayors and their personal lives."

Asked whether an affair with a council staffer would reflect poorly on someone's fitness to be mayor, Mr Tremain said: "He was elected by the people of Auckland, it's up to the people of Auckland to make that decision."

- NZ Herald

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