Len Brown spoke of the love and support of his wife Shan Inglis after being sworn in as Mayor of Auckland last night, but there was little in the way of a connection between the couple at Auckland Town Hall.
Mr Brown appeared awkward and fidgety through the evening and endured shouts of "shame" from a small, but vocal group of protesters as he was being sworn in for a second term.
It was the first official public appearance for Ms Inglis with Mr Brown since news of the mayor's two-year affair with a woman 25 years his junior was made public.
Ms Inglis, sitting four rows back from the stage and not wearing a wedding ring was accompanied by the couple's eldest daughter, Sam and her husband Tim Colgan.
Mr Brown was wearing his wedding ring, which glistened under the stage lights of the Town Hall, where councillors, dignitaries and families gathered for the formal occasion featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Choral, a violin soloist and a young Polynesian orchestra.
At one stage the seven women councillors sat in a row behind their male colleagues and were at the end of the line for a hongi with the official Maori mana whenua party.
Mr Brown acknowledged the love and support of Shan and his family on this occasion and the love of the past three years.
Mr Brown joined councillors and guests for refreshments outside the hall chamber, while Ms Inglis left by a side door, said a few hellos, and departed.
She said she had to leave straight away to pick up one of her daughters. Asked if she enjoyed the evening she said "absolutely".
In a 15-minute speech, Mr Brown said it was time to resume important business and making something more of Auckland - "bolder, bigger, better".
After setting a vision to be the world's most liveable city, agreeing an Auckland Plan, amalgamating rates and notifying the draft Unitary Plan - or planning rulebook for the city - it was time to start building from these building blocks, he said.
Mr Brown said discussion on his number one project, the $2.86 billion city rail link, had moved from "why?" to "when".
He addressed concerns about debt and spending and promising to hold rate increases this term to no greater than 2.5 per cent.
And finally, Mr Brown said there was one aspect of Auckland that mattered as much as its infrastructure "and that is the spirit of this city".
"Let's be excited by the fact that Lonely Planet rated Auckland today as one of the top 10 cities in the world, but let's also recognise that there's still so much more we can do."