Amid calls of "shame on you'' from the public gallery, Auckland Mayor Len Brown was thrown a lifeline by his councillors today when they voted to censure him but did not hold a vote of no confidence.
There have been increasing calls for the embattled Super City mayor to resign over his extramarital affair with aspiring local body politician Bevan Chuang.
But Mr Brown told media this afternoon that after "genuine, deep reflection'' he had decided not to stand down, and called his council's decision to censure him appropriate.
"This is a fair but very firm direction to myself and I have indicated to them that I accept that that is an appropriate direction.''
He said his "passion for the city and my view as to how we go forward'' had "maintained my equilibrium and ultimately my preparedness to stay here and continue to do the work''.
"But for those that feel I haven't been contrite enough, I've really spent nine weeks in fairly clear contrition across all my personal and professional life.
''... This has been the most difficult time of my life.''
Mr Brown walked into today's council meeting to a chorus of boos and polite clapping.
Councillors voted 15 to five to ``note the Mayor's apology and expression of contrition for his actions; and mindful of the importance of maintaining political stability and confidence in the governance of Auckland, signals its willingness to work with the Mayor in the best interests of the people of Auckland''.
If the vote had failed, a "no confidence'' motion could have been taken.
The council also decided that Mr Brown and a group of senior councillors would enter into ``confidential but binding'' negotiations about how much he should contribute to a $100,000-plus Ernst & Young review of use of council resources during his extramarital affair.
Mr Brown would not be drawn on how much he was likely to contribute to the report, which found that he failed to declare more than $39,000 in free hotel rooms and upgrades.
The majority of hundreds of responses to Wednesday's New Zealand Herald editorial calling for Mr Brown to stand down backed the newspaper's stance.