Mayor Brown to pay $40k towards review into affair

Len Brown. Photo / Richard Robinson
Len Brown. Photo / Richard Robinson

Auckland Mayor Len Brown will pay $40,000 towards the $250,000 cost of a review into his affair with council adviser Bevan Chuang.

Following publication of an EY report last year, Auckland Council's governing body agreed that a group of councillors comprising Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, Christine Fletcher, George Wood, Dick Quax and Penny Webster would hold confidential discussions with the mayor to agree a financial contribution from him towards the final cost of the report.

Speaking on behalf of the group of councillors, Ms Fletcher, said: "following discussions with the mayor through chief executive Stephen Town, there has been a full and final agreement that he will make a contribution of $40,000 towards the final cost of the EY report. This is in addition to the mayor meeting his own legal costs of $20,000."

Mr Town confirmed the cost of the EY report and legal work was approximately $250,000.

In a two-line statement, Mr Brown said: "I have agreed to make this payment out of respect to my fellow councillors and to acknowledge the upset this issue has caused. I continue to be totally focused on the issues that matter to Aucklanders."

"I do not intend to make any further comment on this matter."

However, the Taxpayers' Union questioned why the council was not taking steps to recover the full amount.

"The councillors who have let Mr Brown off the hook for at least $200,000 need to explain how it is fair that ratepayers pick up most of the tab," union executive director Jordan Williams said.

"The amount is a token gesture and a slap in the face to Auckland ratepayers. It is a new low for Mr Brown. Does he only pay a fifth of his rates too?"

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- APNZ

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