Len Brown affair: Reader reaction

Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Greg Bowker
Auckland Mayor Len Brown. Photo / Greg Bowker

Today the New Zealand Herald took the rare step of running our editorial on the front page.

In it, we called for Auckland Mayor Len Brown to stand down, after it was revealed he failed to declare free hotel rooms and upgrades.

"Tomorrow, Auckland councillors will not only formally censure Mr Brown but begin a process designed to clip the wings of the mayoral office. If that happens, the Super City may no longer have a leader with the independent authority to drive things forward. The only means of avoiding that outcome is for Mr Brown to resign. He must go in the interests of Auckland and Aucklanders."

Read the full editorial here.

We've had our say - but what do New Zealanders think?

Asked on Facebook whether Brown should resign or stay on as mayor, reader Bevin Mobberley was one of many who backed him to stay on.

"People are quick to judge. Yes he stuffed up....on his wife not us," he wrote, referring to Brown's affair with Bevan Chuang. "The upgrades were given, the calls were probably part of his contract. What else 'professionally' has he done wrong?!"

Kimiora Parata also called for the mayor to stay on.

"What you did is unfortunate and unforgiving for some Aucklanders and you should be paying back the cost for your lustful time with your mistress, you need to get rid of her she's trouble and has damaged your reputation and dignity and possibly your family & marriage to your dear wife. YOU have done some amazing work as our mayor YOU MUST STAY ON, stuff the haters."

Ali Samuelz Hau said he remains the best person for the job.

"In all honestly who is better suited to run the city? John Palino? What a joke, he's made mistakes but he's only human," he wrote.

"We voted him in for a reason, if he wasn't capable people wouldn't vote for him, leave personal matters for him and his wife to deal with."

Diane Willis said society gets the leaders it deserves.

"When we accept this behaviour from people we are supposed to respect it's a downward spiral. He is a leader, he represented himself as someone worthy of respect. It isn't a matter of judging, it is a matter of why we are prepared to accept a LEADER who has fewer morals than most of us."

Annie Tooliy was one of the many who said Brown's time was up.

"Trust has been broken in a position of trust, you must now leave. Goodbye."

Maurizio Piglia said Brown's failure to declare free hotel room and upgrades was "dodgy".

"It is the conflict of interest with the Sky City deal that matters....all the rest is fluff and none of public business....but accepting and hiding upgrades when he was lobbying for the Sky City deal..that is dodgy and he skips explanations. That is the only thing that matters."

On Twitter, most the reaction we got was less to do with the mayor, and more to do with the editorial.

"Herald editorial mistaken in thinking authoritative rather than inclusive leadership is key to Auckland Council success #tina" Sacha Dylan (@Kaupapa) wrote.

Public Address blogger Russell Brown agreed, saying the council's success so far "has been built on inclusion".

"The Herald's argument that Len Brown must go or the democratically-elected councillors will win may not go down so well with councillors," he wrote.

Others questioned the impartiality and objectivity of the editorial.

"IMO Brown is a person of little integrity and an average mayor, but the mayor isn't @nzherald's to choose. Do you hate democracy now too?" MorganGodfrey tweeted.

There was some support for the editorial on the micro-blogging site, however.

"Excellent @nzherald article on @mayorlenbrown," @bloggeratlarge wrote. "How can Auckland move forward with a censured mayor who has disgraced his mana?"

"Excellent call by @nzherald for Lame duck Mayor Len Brown to resign," @CarrickGraham tweeted.

"Brown must go for the good of the Super City nzh.tw/11174068 @nzherald time for the Brown Clown to go!" @Rangikomo wrote.

- NZ Herald

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