An Open Letter to Mayor Len Brown from a reader

Nicolas Poussin - Penitence

Nicolas Poussin – Penitence

From the desk of an Auckland ratepayer.

Dear Mr Brown

If I may put it bluntly, it’s not been a very good week for you.  Memorable, certainly, but not the sort of week designed to provide you with the press clippings that you would wish to put in your scrapbook.  It’s been a real pisser of a week for you, hasn’t it?

I know exactly how you feel.

For I have been where you are now, I have been caught out being duplicitous towards those whom I loved, and I have hurt them greatly.  And for that duplicity, I have paid, and paid dearly.

Where once I shared a house with my family, I now spend a great deal of time in a house on my own, wondering what the hell happened, until I realise that what happened was completely of my own doing, and that the place that I am now in is completely of my own making.

I guess I am lucky, in that I still have a roof over my head, and a reasonably comfortable, if not exactly extravagant, lifestyle.  But I have paid for my intransigence.  I have put my hand up and accepted that I have done wrong, I have apologised to my family, and am building new relationships and new paradigms, but I have still paid.  

So I have to ask the question, what the hell makes you so special?

What gives you such a sense of entitlement that you seem to think the rules don’t even apply to you?

I have read the Auckland Council Code of Ethics, and I have read the World Mayor Code of Ethics, both of which you have signed up to.  All I can conclude from your behaviour leading up to the revelations in the press this week, and your conduct after this news broke, is that your signature is not worth the paper it is printed on, and your word is equally valueless.

When you are tasked with the stewardship of literally billions of dollars of ratepayers money, and the management of a city of 1.5 million people, I would expect you to have the integrity to do what’s right, and to have sufficient foresight to ensure that your actions do not end up bringing harm to those who have entrusted you with the stewardship of the City of Sails.   However if you cannot exercise sufficient restraint within your marriage, and you cannot conduct yourself to ensure you do not bring harm to your nearest and dearest, I can only assume by extrapolation that the super city risks being subject to the whims of your short sightedness and irresponsibility.  The looming council debt and the free reign of spending indicates that to be true.  Your recent, and not so recent conduct serves only to confirm it!

At the breakup of my marriage, I sought only to conduct myself in such a way as to minimise the harm on my family, and I am happy to say that this has largely been successful.  But in doing so, I had to take FULL responsibility, and I had to sacrifice.  I had to pay penance.

I suggest that it is now time for you to do the same.

You must accept that you are in violation of the Auckland Council Code of Ethics.

You must accept that you are in violation of the less legally binding, yet morally unambiguous World Mayor Code of Ethics.

You must accept that you have shown yourself to be morally questionable, and a man of, at best, dubious integrity.

You must accept that your continued insistence on riding out the storm and hanging on to the mayoral chains does nothing but devalue the office of the Mayor of Auckland.  You will be nothing but a lame duck mayor, and you will do no good in this next term.  If you truly honour the office which you hold, then you should resign, or refuse to take up the office.

You must accept that no matter how much spin your PR merchants place on this issue, you have betrayed your city, your family and your faith.

Mr Brown, if you sit and consider all the options available to you, and do so with honesty, and with the last remaining shreds of your integrity, and with your undoubted intelligence, you can only come to one, unescapable conclusion.

You must resign.

I wish you all the best for your future, but I sincerely hope that my city has no part in it.


Signed, An Auckland Ratepayer

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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.