Bernard Orsman

Bernard Orsman is Super City reporter for the NZ Herald.

Brown to focus on 'rebuilding'

Independent consultants to examine use of council resources during affair, and treatment of Bevan Chuang.

Len Brown denied abusing his position of power to provide a reference for Ms Chuang for a job at the council-run art gallery "very early in the relationship". Photo / Richard Robinson
Len Brown denied abusing his position of power to provide a reference for Ms Chuang for a job at the council-run art gallery "very early in the relationship". Photo / Richard Robinson

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says he bears no ill-will over the disclosure of his extra-marital affair.

In an exclusive interview with the Herald, Mr Brown said his sole focus was rebuilding his current marriage to Shan Inglis and reiterated a desire to stay on as mayor and carry on his vision to make Auckland a truly great international city.

Six days after details of a two-year affair with Bevan Chuang were revealed by the right-wing Whale Oil blog, Mr Brown made his first public appearance yesterday at a compact showhome in Ellerslie.

He denied abusing his position of power to provide a reference for Ms Chuang for a job at the council-run art gallery "very early in the relationship".

A lone protester, John Hawken, heckled the mayor, yelling, "Shame on you" and "What you did has sullied the name of Auckland".

A short time later, council chief executive Doug McKay released the details of an independent review being conducted by Ernst & Young to examine the use of council resources in respect of the affair and any preferential treatment Ms Chuang might have received as an employee, contractor or adviser to the wider council group. Mr McKay said it was important that the public had full confidence in the council's processes and that all spending and activity were open to public scrutiny.

The review is expected to take no more than four weeks. Its findings will be released.

In the interview with the Herald, published above, Mr Brown refused to say disclosure of the affair was a political smear campaign, saying it was for others to make inquiries.

"For all of those involved in this, I bear none of them ill-will. I am the master of my own fate ... I'm having to pay for that particularly stupid piece of poor judgment, as are others around me and my family."

Ernst & Young review

The Brown inquiry will examine:
*Any use of council resources within the Office of the Mayor, in respect of the mayor's relationship with Ms Chuang, that contravenes council policies.
*Any improper preferential treatment in relation to Ms Chuang's engagement as an employee, contractor or an adviser within the Auckland Council group.
*Any other issues that the reviewers or chief executive consider relate to, or arise out of, the above matters.

- NZ Herald

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