The NZ Herald reports:
Manukau Mayor and Super City mayoral front-runner Len Brown broke nearly every rule in the book when he put $810 on his council credit card for a dinner at a Manurewa restaurant last September.
The council credit card policy bars card-holders from submitting only an eftpos receipt to verify spending, but that is all Mr Brown provided after the dinner at Volare Restaurant.
He also breached rules requiring him to explain the purpose of the dinner, list who was present, provide an itemised breakdown of the dinner, a GST receipt and a tax invoice.
It was approved merely on the basis of an EFTPOS receipt. This is hugely sloppy.
Mr Brown’s credit card problems will come under the microscope today when documents detailing $16,977.22 of his credit card expenditure since 2007 will be discussed by the council’s policy and activities committee.
Whale Oil has details of some of these. I’ll return to that.
Mr Brown cut up his credit card on Campbell Live last week and told the Herald that if he became the first mayor of the Super City, he would use a purchase account and regularly publish details of his spending.
He said he accepted the public scrutiny, but believed it was part of a smear campaign by his opponents because of his poll lead over Mr Banks.
This is just hysterical nonsense. Sure opponents jump on the stories, but one has to be demented to think that the Sunday Star-Times is working for John Banks. They are the most left wing newspaper in New Zealand. They have actually scrutinised the expenses of all four major Auckland mayors, after Andrew Williams came to attention. Bob Harvey was covered also (and he is not standing for anything) but his affairs were not too out or order. The problem for Len Brown is his use of it on repeated occasions for personal purchases, and also nickel and diming it for every conceivable expense, despite a household income of probably well over $300,000 a year.
Whale Oil has details of some of the spending, They include:
- $280 to attend Labour Party conference (later refunded)
- $2,800 to Dress for Success Celebrity Waiters
- $768 at the Viaduct Restaurant and Bar. Now one might assume this is in Auckland, but in fact it is in Christchurch – rather distant from Manukau.
- $316 for food after the santa parade
He has also put up a 74 page pdf of all the spending – from kids ice creams to bottles of wine.