Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Quax hints further revelations still to come

Auckland City Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Dean Purcell
Auckland City Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Dean Purcell

An Auckland councillor says he will continue working with Mayor Len Brown despite finding his actions "abhorrent", and hinting further revelations are still to come.

Dick Quax refused to elaborate about rumours he said were circulating about the disgraced mayor, but said "there are other things out there that haven't been revealed".

He railed against suggestions he was "muck-raking", saying: "Let's not forget that this mayor has, on a number of occasions, said that he has revealed everything fully and disclosed everything, and it's come back a couple of months later or a couple of weeks later to become quite clear that he hasn't fully disclosed everything.

"Now I'm just saying that there are certainly other things out there that I'm hearing from the community that he has not given full disclosure."

However, Mr Quax said his personal view on Mr Brown's activities would not interfere with his professional relationship, telling Radio New Zealand this morning he would "of course" continue to work with him.

"I've always worked with Len Brown, this goes back to 2010 when he abused his council credit card by using it for countless private purchases and I was very, very harsh on him then, and this is deja vu all over again for me, because I'm hearing exactly the same thing in almost every interview that I hear from Len Brown that I heard back in 2010 - that he's committed to the community, how he's passionate about the community, he's just getting on and doing his job, and he's very, very sorry, he's very contrite, but actually he's done exactly the same thing he was doing back in 2010.

"I had a professional relationship with him then despite the fact that I felt that was he was doing then was absolutely abhorrent."

Mr Quax declined to comment on whether he would support a private prosecution against Mr Brown, which has been suggested by Graham McCready, the Wellington accountant who took ACT leader John Banks to trial.

However, he said that as well as Michael Barnett - the Chamber of Commerce chief executive who put his hand up yesterday as a possible candidate to challenge Mr Brown's job - he had "heard rumours" that Labour MP Phil Goff was considering putting himself forward for the position.

"I have no personal preference," he said. "It's up to the people of Auckland to determine, if there's a by-election or election in 2015, who they would chose."

Meanwhile, Mr Brown, who was yesterday censured by Auckland council for his actions during a two year extra-marital affair, told the national broadcaster he was striving to become "a better man".

"I have been severely reprimanded by my colleagues, I have reflected long and hard on that, I am working from the experience of the last nine weeks to be a better man, and I'm certainly as focussed as I ever was in my job.

"So, I'll reach out. All my political life people have opposed me for all sorts of reasons and I've never, ever taken their opposition, whether it's against me personally or against something that I believe in, as a personal issue, I've always just reached out to them."

Meanwhile, Mr McCready said today he would "without further notice" file a private prosecution if the Serious Fraud Office fails to investigate a criminal complaint against Mr Brown and SkyCity chief Nigel Morrison over corruption and bribery allegations.

- APNZ

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