Penny Hulse

Why are the centre/right letting Len Brown get away with it

C&R, which is the old Citizens and Ratepayers in drag, have really dropped the ball on holding dodgy rooting ratbag Len Brown to account.

Insiders at C&R say that the position is that Len should be allowed to get on with being mayor, rather than putting him under more pressure for his shamelessness.

The soft option was taken when Len was forced to pay on $40,000 of the legal fees.

“The group’s chairwoman, Christine Fletcher, says there has been a “full and final agreement” that he will contribute $40,000, in addition to paying $20,000 for his own legal
costs, which are separate to the $250,000 cost of the review.

The group also included Dick Quax, one of Mr Brown’s staunchest opponents, along with Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, George Wood and Penny Webster.”  Read more »

Has Len Brown never heard of the LGOIMA?

Len Brown is fighting to keep his deal with councillors over repayment secret. He has got bad news coming down the line if he thinks he can do that.

Bernard Orsman reports:

Expectations are rising for a settlement by Auckland Mayor Len Brown towards the $100,000-plus cost of a review into his extramarital affair to be made public.

Three of the five councillors negotiating a settlement – Chris Fletcher, George Wood and Dick Quax – believe it is the wish of the group to make the settlement public.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and Penny Webster, the other two on the negotiating group, are staying quiet.

Mr Brown told the Herald last week that when councillors set up a group last month to enter into binding negotiations, the resolution was the settlement would be confidential.

He can’t hide, there is a little problem for Len Brown called the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act and it will most definitely apply to the meetings of 5 councillors and him settling a repayment. They made it council business.  Read more »

Colin Espiner on Len Brown

Len Brown is running out of support.

Colin Espiner is the latest to abandon ship.

The bruised and battered corpse of Len Brown’s credibility was dragged into the Auckland Council chamber yesterday and given a damned good public thrashing.

He was labelled a cheat and a liar, a fornicator and a deceitful sleaze-merchant. A grubby, two-timing, duplicitous philanderer who had lost all credibility, trust and respect. And that was by his fellow councillors. A woman in a cowboy hat in the public gallery said much worse.

So did other protesters who heckled and harangued throughout yesterday’s censure vote.

The noise level at times drowned out the meeting’s acting chairwoman, deputy mayor Penny Hulse, who struggled to maintain order.

After giving up trying to quieten the protesters, Hulse tried a different tack: “Could we at least just have one interjection at a time?”

The anger in the room was palpable. Many were out for blood.

Even Hulse, a long-time Brown confidante, said she was “angry, disappointed and worn out”. Some councillors spoke in favour of the move to censure Brown. Some wanted a motion of no-confidence. A few seemed to think he should – or could – be sacked. Everyone wanted him to pay, financially if nothing else.

Nobody spoke in his favour.  Read more »

Metro Editor on Len Brown, dead man walking

Simon Wilson is a hard left whinger from way back.  He is the editor of Metro magazine.

Even he has abandoned Len Brown.

Len Brown will soon resign. The governing body of the Auckland Council has been meeting since 10am, and it’s still not over, and it’s clear in the debate that the mayor has lost the support of most councillors. That will make it extremely difficult for him to do his job.

When he understands that – and how longer could that possibly take? – he will step down.

The council has two options in front of it. One is the much publicised proposal to pass a vote of no confidence in the mayor. That is destined to fail.

The other is a motion jointly proposed by deputy mayor Penny Hulse, formerly a Brown loyalist, and leading centre-right councillor Christine Fletcher. Their motion is the outcome of a five-hour informal meeting yesterday. It uses words like “profound disappointment and disapproval”, it censures the mayor, it calls on him to reimburse all personal costs and make an “appropriate contribution” to council’s other costs in relation to the affair. It also requires a “stronger working relationship and level of accountability”. Finally, it accepts Brown’s apology and “signals its willingness to work with the mayor in the best interests of the people of Auckland”.

That motion will be carried.  So why will Len Brown stand down?

In the current issue of the magazine, I have suggested that Brown’s misdemeanours are not sufficiently serious to require resignation, but if he loses his ability to do his job, that changes. If he cannot lead the council, he needs to find the courage and grace to step aside.

He’s reached that stage.   Read more »

Some important questions councillors need to ask

The count has begun of those who support a no confidence motion against Len Brown. Yesterday afternoon the count was the 5 original proposers, but late last night I was able to ascertain a shift in support to them with the count close to a majority. Penny Hulse is reported to be set to attempt to block a no confidence motion, bizarrely trying to say it was outside of notice period. Given this is an extra-ordinary meeting that has been called that is certainly clutching at straws.

After watching both news channels showing grannies outraged enough to be protesting and screaming at the mayor, perhaps the wavering councillors will realise that it is now untenable to be supporting the mayor. They may think that they are immune to pressure as they have just been elected but they can be assured they are not.

Perhaps they are wavering? Then they should ask some questions in order, as the mayor says, to clarify issues.

Firstly though, as I said to Larry Williamd on NewstalkZB last night, they need to reject the premise of Len Brown that the rules are lacking in clarity. They are not. Len Brown is the person who brought the rules in after his election in 2010…he says to ensure clarity and transparency. He is also a lawyer so cannot claim that he was unaware of either the law or the rules.  Read more »

Are councillors abandoning the Pants Down Mayor?

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The Herald headline says that Penny Hulse is refusing to publicly back the mayor in a signal that he may well be in trouble.

Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse is refusing to back her boss as councillors gather today to publicly censure Mayor Len Brown, whose extramarital affair has left him fighting for political survival.

Ms Hulse yesterday would not say if she backed Mr Brown to stay on as mayor, only that councillors were focused on doing what was best for Auckland.

She said councillors had clearly expressed to him the disappointment and concern about the reputational damage to Auckland arising from his behaviour and were left wondering how to address matters.

It was the second time in three days that Ms Hulse – Mr Brown’s deputy for three years – has not stood by him as he battles the fallout of a two-year affair with Bevan Chuang.

This includes the EY (Ernst & Young) review that found he failed to declare more than $39,000 in free hotel rooms and upgrades, a censure and a no confidence motion today and a Herald editorial calling on Mr Brown to go.

For the Herald to call for him to go they must be aware of more information that is going to come out.

This death by a thousand cuts now.

The fact that Len Brown has lied, and continues to lie about what has gone on while he played hide the sausage at all times of the day and night means this will continue to be death by a thousand cuts.

Len Brown to be censured

It appears that the councillors in Auckland City maybe growing a pair.

Auckland councillors have agreed to censure Mayor Len Brown after a five-hour meeting today to decide how to punish him over fallout from his sex scandal and other embarrassing behaviour.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said a censure motion against the mayor would go to a public meeting of the governing body on Thursday.

The council also wants to discuss the issue of costs – the Ernst & Young report into the mayor’s behaviour has cost more than $100,000 – and work with the chief executive and Audit Office to strengthen oversight of the mayor’s office.

Mr Brown attended the first 90 minutes of today’s meeting where he offered a full and unconditional apology to councillors.   Read more »

Len Brown’s office bullying Taxpayers Union with threats of legal action

This morning the NBR reports of bullying from the Mayors office over support for the now discredited unitary plan.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown is ordering council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to fall into line over the controversial unitary plan.

Mr Brown’s office released the text of a November 15 letter yesterday after a request by NBR ONLINE.

Not only does the letter demand the CCOs resolve issues behind closed doors – not always to the satisfaction of those bodies – but he also wants their representatives to appear together before the unitary plan hearing panel and to show a united front.

The tone of the mayor’s letter has been described as “quite threatening” by one person on the council payroll and comes amid Mr Brown’s review of the CCO structure, which the re-elected mayor says is necessary to ensure ratepayers are getting value for money.

In his letter, Mr Brown says the council has an internal process to identify and resolve issues over the council’s submission to the plan.

Most issues are expected to be fully resolved, he writes, but he warns there may be matters “that the council cannot agree to in the exact way that a CCO may wish.”

They will be subject to ongoing discussion and resolution, the letter says, with the ability for issues to be escalated to chief executive level and, if necessary, to Auckland Development Committee chair and deputy mayor Penny Hulse.

“I do not think it is appropriate for a CCO to make a formal submission to the hearings panel independent of the council’s submission,” Mr Brown says.

“In bringing together the eight councils of the Auckland region, there was a clear public expectation that the days of councils using ratepayers’ money to have lawyers and planners fight each other in court were over – we do not need to replace this with the council and CCOs following a similar process.”

NBR ONLINE invited Mr Brown, through chief press secretary Glyn Jones, to explain why it was necessary to write the letter but he has not responded.  Read more »

And now you see why it was so important to oust Brown

The left wing and the apologists in the media all looked after Len Brown. They claimed that his actions were “private” despite all the evidence to the contrary, they claimed that his poor judgement from the credit cards fiasco at Manukau and his affair with a younger Chinese woman don’t affect his job as mayor.

I disagree…Len Brown has shown questionable decisions making skills, poor judgement and extreme narcissism in refusing to stand down.

Now we can see why all of those things were and remain important…he has taken total control of the council.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown has concentrated more power in himself and deputy mayor Penny Hulse under a new committee structure he has set for a second term.

Between them, Mr Brown and Ms Hulse control the $4.5 billion annual budget, the 10-year budget, planning and growth for the city, including housing; and oversight of the seven council-controlled organisations (CCOs).

The loss of councillors Richard Northey and Ann Hartley – two members of the mayor’s inner sanctum last term – has not been used by Mr Brown to promote and broaden the roles of senior councillors like the left-wing Mike Lee and Cathy Casey.

Len Brown is now emboldened. Despite my best efforts he remains resolute. He is even insisting on forcing his councillors to address him by his title.

I know media are sitting on information…I continue to work on more information, but the cowardice of the mainstream media and the resolute defence of Brown by the NZ Herald have let him off the hook.

Never have I been more ashamed of the fourth estate in New Zealand.

A song for Len now he is getting back to business

Len Brown thinks he is “back in business“.

Auckland’s councillors, deputy mayor Penny Hulse and Brown will be formally inaugurated at a council governing body meeting this evening.

Brown said he did not feel under any pressure before the inauguration.

“This is a real time for celebration and moving forward and the inauguration is an important part of establishing the second term,” he said.

“We have got six new councillors, it is a great night for them.

“We have also just announced that Penny Hulse will be the deputy mayor for Auckland again. She did a great job in the first term and will do a great job in the second term.”

Brown said he wanted to send a message to community that the council was “back in business”.   Read more »