Len Brown lied, surprised?

So it turns out that Len Brown has lied, again.

Bernard has been using the LGOIMA to good effect and originally thought that an email trail he sought about Len Brown’s expensive rates newsletter cost the ratepayers $200,000 when he could have simply popped a note in with the next rates bills when they go out.

But it turns out that the $200,000 quoted wasn’t true and now Len Brown’s extensive ratepayer funded communications team is breaking the first rule of politics….they are explaining.

And in explaining they are losing.

The Auckland Council has confessed that the cost of a message from Mayor Len Brown to ratepayers was $376,774 – not the $200,000 quoted in a council email.

About 500,000 copies of the glossy flyer were sent to every ratepayer, despite concerns from one of Mr Brown’s senior advisers that there were cheaper and more effective ways to communicate a message on rates.

The flyer included a letter from the mayor praising the council for making cost savings in hard times to keep the rates increase down to 3.94 per cent.

Mr Brown did not tell ratepayers the council had set aside $516,000 for an information campaign about the new rating system, of which $376,774 was spent on producing, printing and posting out the flyer.

I just bet “Hutch” got a nice little earner un-tendered too.

The spin-weasels first of all went for cover then they had to admit they tried a cover-up. Bad look. Lying by ommission is still lying.

On Wednesday, Mr Brown’s office and the council media unit refused to give a breakdown of the cost of the flyer after the Herald obtained, under the Official Information Act, a council email putting it at $200,000.

After another request yesterday, the Herald was given the true cost.

An email trail showed Mr Brown’s chief press secretary, Glyn Jones, and senior political adviser Conor Roberts were keen on the flyer after council officials referred it to the mayor’s office.

Another senior mayoral adviser, former Papakura District Council chief executive Theresa Stratton, agreed it was a good idea but “quite an expensive exercise”.

She said it would be much cheaper if it were included in next month’s first rates mailout.

Yesterday, Mr Brown said he was not told of Ms Stratton’s concerns about the flyer’s cost and effectiveness.

Not good enough Lenny, they are your team and they tried to blow smoke up a journalist’s ass. Silly, silly stuff from the spin weasels. Ultimately though they were lying on Len Brown’s behalf so the reality is that it is Len Brown lying, yet again.

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