The Secret Mayor

Len Brown is the Secret Mayor. He didn’t want anyone to know who he had dinner with and fought for 8 months all the way to the Ombudsman. He lost that fight. He wanted board appointments held in secret so he could put his mates on the board unchallenged. And now he has fought an attempt to have the business of the Maori Statutory Authority conducted with openness and transparency.

Secrecy surrounds a new funding plan for the Maori Statutory Board after Mayor Len Brown yesterday crushed a move by many councillors for an open debate on the issue.

Mr Brown, who campaigned last year on openness and transparency, did not want councillors speaking publicly about one of the biggest embarrassments of his six months in the Super City hot seat.

He gathered 11 votes, just enough to stop nine councillors who wanted to debate the council’s new negotiating position with the board in public.

Said councillor Cathy Casey: “It is time to speak out, say what you think and own your words.”

9 Councillors voted for openness. They were Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Christine Fletcher, Mike Lee, Callum Penrose, Sharon Stewart, Des Morrison, John Walker and George Wood. They can hold their heads high.

The other 11 – Len Brown, Wayne Walker, Michael Goudie, Arthur Anae, Alf Filipaina, Richard Northey, Anne Hartley, Penny Webster, Sandra Coney, Penny Hulse, and Noelene Raffils need to be drummed out of the council for letting down their people.

Len Brown sat on a train and campaigned for openness and transparency. He promised “open books”. He has lied to Aucklanders. This discussion is about the budget of the Maori Statutory Board, if that isn’t part of the books then what on earth is?

Aucklanders know now that Len Brown prefers the shadows, back-room deals and weasel words. He has the spine of a jellyfish and the gumption of a fart. It is unacceptable that discussions about spending ratepayers money are held in secret.

We deserve better.

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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