The organisers of the Pacific Music Awards have denied television footage showing Manukau City mayor Len Brown collapsing on stage from a heart attack was seized by members of the Destiny Church.
Mr Brown remains in a "critical but stable" condition after collapsing during his opening speech at the awards about 7.30pm yesterday.
The auditorium of the TelstraClear Pacific events centre in Manukau City was cleared and the ceremony put on hold until 8.30pm, when it restarted with a prayer for Brown.
Television New Zealand claimed TVNZ and Maori TV cameramen were detained by Destiny Church members and forced to hand their tapes of the incident over, NewstalkZB reported today.
A TVNZ reporter told the station they were held in a closed room and not allowed to leave until the tapes were handed over.
However, awards organisers are now denying the tapes were taken.
A spokesperson said both networks were approached during the incident and asked to stop filming but it was thought only TVNZ had recorded Mr Brown collapsing, she said.
The duty manager from the Telstra venue where the awards were held and a representative from Pead PR, who handled the awards publicity, went backstage with the TVNZ cameraman and asked him to delete the footage, she said.
The cameraman deleted the footage and there was no further problem, she said.
No-one was forced to hand a tape over nor was anybody from Destiny Church involved, she said.
Manukau City Council spokeswoman Donna Baker today said Mr Brown was being treated in Auckland City Hospital with his family by his side.
"I can confirm it is a suspected heart attack," she said.
"He had been quite effervescent, enthusiastic. He was really just pumping actually and then he collapsed on stage," Niu FM News Editor Vienna Richards said.
"[Former deputy mayor] Su'a William Sio went running up on to the stage, as did Len's wife Shan. They had to administer CPR - it was a massive heart attack."
Richards said it took a while for people to realise what was happening but her son rang an ambulance right away.
"The auditorium was cleared, everyone went outside for about 30 minutes while they worked on him."
Four nurses in the large audience ran on to the stage to revive Brown and he was rushed to Middlemore Hospital with his wife and Sio. He was later transferred to Auckland Hospital for ongoing monitoring.
"His wife was very distressed. It looked like he wasn't going to make it," said Richards.
"People were standing around praying for him," she said. "He is very much loved here - he's done so much for the community."
Mayoress Shan Inglis said today she and her family were immensely grateful for the assistance and care demonstrated by staff at Middlemore and Auckland hospitals, St John Ambulance staff and those who rendered CPR at the Telstra Pacific Events Centre last night.
Ms Inglis said she also wished to thank everyone who had sent messages of support.
Deputy Mayor Gary Troup is acting mayor and continues to be in touch with the Brown family.
"Our thoughts are with the family at this time and we will continue to provide support in anyway we can."
Dick Quax, the man Brown beat by almost 15,000 votes in last year's mayoralty race, said Brown had no obvious health problems. "He always seemed to be a vital and healthy man. He would be one of the last people I thought on council who would suffer from this sort of thing."
Brown, a 51-year-old former lawyer, was elected last October, succeeding Sir Barry Curtis.
- NZPA, HERALD ON SUNDAY