Councillor beats critics after Port Douglas trip declaration discovered in 2011 email

The pressure on Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer has eased after it was found that a free trip he took to Port Douglas - which last week was said to have been undeclared - was in fact declared in the council gift register in 2011.

Mr Brewer, who has been a harsh critic of Mayor Len Brown for not declaring $39,000 of free hotel rooms and upgrades, discovered the declaration after inquiries with the Auckland Council electoral office. His four-day junket, which included free air tickets and accommodation, was offered by MediaWorks, which runs TV3.

Auckland Council electoral officer Bruce Thomas confirmed that although Mr Brewer did not file a full register of members' interests annual statement by June 30, 2012, he did in fact declare the junket in an email on September 8, 2011 - one month after the trip.

Mr Brewer said he had been "chastised as a hypocrite" but was sure he had declared it somewhere.


"Given this information was put on the council gift register and was actually part of the Ernst Young review, I'm very disappointed that council staff didn't give me and the media the correct information last week."

His email stated: "Please declare ... 1 trip to Port Douglas courtesy of MediaWorks, four nights in August. Value approximately 2k." He also declared an invitation to the Sky City box at Eden Park for the opening night of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Mr Brewer was responding to an email Mr Thomas sent the day before to all elected representatives in the leadup to the tournament, reminding them to declare gifts valued over $300. He criticised council staff for not making declarations easily accessible to ratepayers.

"That information should have been put on the council website, alongside my name and with the other nine councillor declarations."

Mr Brewer, who has already submitted his 2013 declaration, had decided not to take any more junkets. He said the focus should now go back on Mayor Brown after four days of "all the lefties and the last of Len's loyalists baying for my blood".