Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Len Brown: 'I'm just wanting to get on with my job'

Len Brown. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Len Brown. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Len Brown says the career of a mayor ebbs and flows, and the wave of negative publicity that has swamped him since news of his two-year extra-marital affair broke will pass.

"I'm just wanting to get on with my job," he said.

"I choose to put those matters where they belong and that's between myself, my wife and our family. Aucklanders have basically said 'that's something you need to deal with'. They want me to lead and that's what I'm going to do."

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In one of his few public appearances since it was revealed he had a two-year affair with aspiring politician Bevan Chuang, the Auckland mayor this morning drew the pools for the upcoming NRL Nines tournament taking place in the city in February.

The usually vivacious mayor appeared subdued as he mingled with the crowd, and spoke with special guests including rugby league star Willie Mason and Sir Peter Leitch.

Speaking to APNZ afterwards, Mr Brown would reveal little about the effect the scandal has had on his political career, but implied such things were par for the course in his line of work.

"Things ebb and flow. Ah crickey, during the last term when we were in the middle of the ports dispute things were ebbing. When we had protesters camped outside my office in the city things were ebbing. But things flow when you have good successes like the Government getting on board with the City Rail Link.

"It's just the nature of my job and the fact is that the community both in Auckland and New Zealand-wide have intense interest in what Auckland is up to and the very least we can do as Aucklanders is just get on and build the city for the benefit of the country."

Mr Brown endured shouts of "shame" last night as he was being sworn in as mayor for a second term in Auckland Town Hall.

However, he said this had not been directed at him as a result of the sex scandal but because of Housing New Zealand tenant evictions in Glen Innes and Panmure.

"Otherwise it was a great night."

Mr Brown would not comment on who may have been responsible for revealing the sex scandal, or revelations Rodney National MP Mark Mitchell had made comments about politicians "with skeletons in their closets" that could have led the mayor's camp to believe the affair would be made public.

"I don't want to go into that either. I want to leave that where it should lie. And clearly, after two weeks of intense media coverage Aucklanders are saying it's time for us to move on."

Mr Brown said he was "not interested" in whether support for him as mayor had been impacted by the scandal.

"I'm not interested in that either. What Aucklanders said in the election was 'look, we like the general direction, you're doing a good job, keep it up'. That's what I'm going to continue to do."

Mr Brown said he had not been in contact with Ms Chuang since their affair was revealed.

- APNZ

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