Your rates are paying for Len Brown’s re-election campaign

Len Brown

Len Brown, happy that his ratepayer funded PR machine just keeps on keeping on

Jock Anderson at NBR reports [paywalled]:

Auckland mayor Len Brown’s office continues to pump out press releases in the pre-election period, calling into question whether this is allowing him to use ratepayer-funded resources to aid his re-election campaign.

In a stiff criticism of Mr Brown’s actions, first published on the New Zealand Local Government website this week, Wellingtonian Hamish McConnochie says Mr Brown appears to be gaining an unfair advantage ahead of this year’s local body elections, with his ratepayer-funded “Mayoral Media” PR service continuing to issue press releases in the pre-election period.

This is despite the Office of the Auditor-General issuing guidance to local government on communications in the three months prior to elections and Auckland Council incorporating these guidelines into policy, Mr McConnochie says.

The Auditor-General’s guidelines state that “access to Council resources for Members to issue media releases, in their capacities as official spokespersons, should be limited to what is strictly necessary to communicate Council business.”  

Yet in one of two press releases issued by Mayoral Media on Monday which included lines such as “’Last season, we welcomed 100 cruise ships to Auckland, bringing $116 million into the region’s economy,’ Len Brown said. ‘This has been our biggest season ever and $2million over forecast.’”

Mr McConnochie says such quotes are hard to reconcile with the OAG’s recommendation to limit such releases to “what is  strictly necessary”, particularly in this instance when the release relates to the performance of Auckland in attracting cruise ships, reflecting positively on Brown in the pre-election period.

Len Brown will do anything to avoid scrutiny. He knows that even of the Office of the Auditor-General acts it will be long after the election, likely will result in a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket.

It is the same reason his office and the council are sitting on dozens of LGOIMA requests and refusing to answer them. Simply put the penalties and ability of authorities to actually penalise him are so light as to be almost non-existant. They certainly won’t prevent him being elected or the result being overturned and so like many Labour politicians before him he simply ignores the law.


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  • tarkwin

    It’s a lefty thing.

  • maninblack

    Len Brown is a fucking CUNT!!

  • layoutman

    Ok – Serious question –

    I’m normally reasonably informed.. but WHO is actually going to put their hand up so we can get rid of Loony.. because I have strong fears that even with all the evidence to show how far down the gugler Len is pushing Auckland – the apathetic vote and the loony left seem to be the only party running…

    To me there is a lack of identification coordination or collaboration for any reasonable substitute and lets be honest almost anyone else would be reasonably better!

    PS I’m with Maninblack..

    • Jman

      For now it’s looking like we will need to throw our support behind John Palino.

      I’m still hoping Maurice Williamson changes his mind and decides to give it a go.

      • Hazards001

        Williamson has made his intentions clear. It’s time to throw our weight behind Palino.

        When a long time no nonsense political hard liner like John Slater throws his lot in with someone then I’m inclined to sit up and take notice.

        Slater Snr. wouldn’t be wasting his time on someone with little credibility.

        Gazz’z statement below also to layoutman is a good point as well and worth considering but there is no harm in at least attempting to get the Chef over the line. At least he’s been successful and you have to agree with his transport policies!

    • GazzW

      I doubt whether anyone can effectively stand against Brown at this stage so it is imperative that he is not presented with a compliant council. If Brown is to become mayor then he needs to be a lame duck mayor.

      • Jman

        I don’t understand where this belief comes from that Brown is such a shoe-in. My impression is that he is universally disliked by the left and the right. The excessive rate rises we have seen during his tenure surely won’t have endeared him to his South Auckland fanbase.

        • Mr_Blobby

          true but there is no viable alternative, to take him on.

          • Hazards001

            Most of loopey Lens South Auckland fan base don’t actually pay rates.

  • blokeintakapuna

    When looking to employ anyone, checking past behaviours are done, simply because it is the most reliable indication of current or future behaviours.

    I wonder if Len can say “$840K Pledge Card rort”

  • Saccharomyces

    Why does Len look like a retard in every photo that he’s in?

    • maninblack

      because he is a retard!! lol

  • conwaycaptain

    So here we are Loopy Len and the Liebour Party paying for their political campaign from the PUBLIC PURSE

  • cows4me

    I’m thinking of selling the farm and buying a mansion in Auckland……………………..shitting ya all ……..Haha……..I’m not totally insane.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Yes you are. With the guarantee of Council mismanagement. house prices in Auckland can only go one way. Up up and away.

  • Kenny

    Everyone should start laying complaints with the Auditor-General asking for her to make an urgent ruling but specifically asking that she order Len Brown to stop using internal PR team and to use an external PR person or campaign manager at his own expense to keep things fair.
    That said, Len is proving that he is happy to act unlawfully. So, does that mean he is doing unlawful acts elsewhere, and essentially cheating?
    Yes he is.
    He knows he sucks as a lawyer and doesn’t want to give up his cushy baubles of office.

    • Hazards001

      Shit man..if you’d finished that statement with a LBIAFC you’d have snotted the bullseye. Close though!

      • layoutman


        • Hazards001


  • Brian of Mt Wellington

    Brown has things well and truly stitched up to get back in. The council are spending, no that should be Ratepayers are spending shitloads on spin drs that they say are for council business but are being used for Browns re election. You can bet he is fleecing us ratepayers for his own benefit.