A day for reports

December 12th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Today may see three reports released – the Rebstock report into the MFAT leak, the EY Australia report into Chorus and possibly the EY NZ report into .

However it seems Brown is trying to get the reported changed or delayed. The Herald reports:

The use of hotel rooms by Mayor Len Brown is believed to be at the centre of a legal wrangle holding up the release of the Ernst & Young report into any use of council resources during the mayor’s extra-marital affair with Bevan Chuang.

The Herald understands Mr Brown was not impressed when the first draft of the report raised his use of rooms outside the handful of times he booked into hotels for sex with his 32-year-old mistress.

The mayor is known to have used hotel rooms when he had late-night and early-morning commitments in the city, which came up as part of an exhaustive investigation by Ernst & Young (now EY).

The details of what the investigators found is not known, but Mr Brown is taking legal advice after being handed a copy of the draft review on Friday to ensure it is factually accurate and provide feedback.

I’ve heard that the report asked the hotels to provide details of when the Mayor stayed and who paid. The hotels said they need a privacy release from the Mayor to provide this info, and the Mayor has refused. Now this is just gossip, but if true it calls into question the Mayor’s insistence he never took free rooms. If you refuse to allow the hotels to confirm this, then people will be sceptical.

Yesterday, Mr Brown’s office refused to comment on the review, except to say the process was in Mr McKay’s hands. His staff would not say who Mr Brown’s legal adviser was and whether the mayor or ratepayers were picking up the tab.

if the Mayor and the CEO have both engaged expensive lawyers, and ratepayers are paying for both, then the costs continue to mount.

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39 Responses to “A day for reports”

  1. dime (8,750 comments) says:

    I reckon Len will survive. They will have to drag him outta there kicking and screaming.

    Hes addicted to the cash and the perks.

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  2. Longknives (4,040 comments) says:

    Agree with Dime- Len Brown ain’t going anywhere without media pressure..and the Masturbating Mayor’s adoring left-leaning media seem to desperately want this to go away quietly..

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  3. Archer (156 comments) says:

    It would suggest Len has stuff to hide. If he did take free hotel rooms for legitimate use (late finish or very early start for example) then he should be able to admit it and explain why. The fact he is engaging lawyers to block the truth suggests he does not have reasonable excuses for the hotel rooms.

    I also agree he is hunkering down for the long haul, he is not going anywhere – no matter how much damage and financial cost to Auckland. He must think very, very highly of himself.

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  4. Ashley Schaeffer (336 comments) says:

    Pants Down Brown sure has an aversion to transparency. What a loathesome lech Len is.

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  5. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    I cannot imagine any Hotel handing over those details, and I doubt any Court would make them. The whole hotel industry relies on discretion. If they were seen to be able to pass out personal details such as this, the entire industry would be effected.

    Whilst I agree that there is a need to know whether he has abused the City’s coffers, I doubt it is going to be proved.

    Len Brown is not the first person to have a sexual partner whilst on business. The question is, did he still do the job he was being paid to do? Did he still attend work before and after, and was the sexual encounters during professional time, or in his own time? The ACC is not in a position to make a moral judgement. They can only base it on whether there was some ‘fraudulent’ activity – simply having someone to shag in your room after work (even if the council did pay for the room) is unlikely to be a sacking offence unless he is bound by a code of conduct.

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  6. big bruv (12,327 comments) says:

    Why the fuck am I paying for the Mayor to stay in a hotel room because he has an early start?

    Assuming that Lying Len lives down south it would not take the wanker any more than 30 mins to drive in, there is NO reason why the rate payer should be paying for a hotel room. I know of no private organisation who would pay for such rubbish, this is simply another example of the left abusing public funds.

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  7. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (11,886 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Actually, there are businesses that pay for people to stay in the central city when they have early starts or late finishes. It is also a regular occurrence overseas to. I know of at least three businesses that own serviced apartments in the city for their employees use as well.

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  8. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    big bruv

    Of course he needed a room for a late night or early start – he couldn’t take his mistress home with him could he !

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  9. PaulL (5,774 comments) says:

    Hmm. I’m not convinced. I think it would be pretty good for a mayor who is in charge of / pushes for public transport and other transport options to need to live in the place his decisions are making. If we’re saying that he finds Auckland traffic too problematic for him to actually use the options he thinks all other Aucklanders should be using every day, then I think that’s a problem. I don’t think the council should pay for hotel rooms to get around that.

    My gut feel is that he’s worried that other shag-ees will come forward. The nights that Bevan wasn’t there probably had someone else there. And I suspect some of them were freebees. (not the shags, although they were probably free too in a monetary sense – perhaps he’s learning now that paying for sex might have been cheaper in the long run? Cheaper still would have been keeping his trousers zipped up till he got home)

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  10. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Judith

    I think you have missed the key point about his behaviour – it in itself is neither here nor there. What is important however is that it’s nothing like the picture he painted of himself while campaigning.

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  11. trout (865 comments) says:

    This looks to me like a carefully constructed leak by Loopy Len’s spin team to a compliant Bernard Orsman. There is an inference that the report is nitpicking and that Len was only doing his ’24/7′ job. If the hotel rooms were paid for by Council there would be expense records at the Council end; if the rooms were free they should have been declared by Brown as gifts. The privacy issue is a massive red herring.

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  12. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ burt (6,527 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I agree, but if we were to sack every politician that presented a different picture whilst campaigning, there wouldn’t be many left, would there?

    Look, Len Brown is a leech, always has been, always will be. People have always known it, why it has taken so long to be made something of is amazing. I think he should go – hell he should have gone weeks ago – but technically, I don’t think the ACC have a hope in hell of making him – and from what I hear, he still has a fair amount of support (yeah strange!!).

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  13. dime (8,750 comments) says:

    It gets tiring coming up with new ways to rort the rate payer! too hard to sit in a limo for 30 mins. easier to get comped in a hotel.

    Len is a very important man doing very important things. he is under paid and over worked. honest.

    Bruv – its not that uncommon. some of the waste in large companies is mind blowing. i know a dude who gets a company paid cab home at least once a week cause he has drinks after work. its like a $200 exercise. wouldnt happen under Dimes watch!

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  14. Manolo (12,618 comments) says:

    Lusty Len, a corrupt individual, is trying to hide his unlawful escapades paid with Auckland ratepayer’s money.
    The Labourite crook is morally bankrupt. Out with the lecherous mayor.

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  15. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Judith

    I agree, but if we were to sack every politician that presented a different picture whilst campaigning, there wouldn’t be many left, would there?

    There would be none left misrepresenting themselves…. Oh shit … imagine expecting politicians to live up to the highest standards of ethics and accountability they always campaign on…

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  16. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ dime (7,919 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    what wouldn’t happen under Dimes watch? The cab home or the drinks after work ???

    Actually, I had the best perks when I worked for the govt. At one stage I had a fully serviced apartment in Wellington for 22 mths, plus free cabs wherever I wanted to go, flights to and from my home town (or any place in NZ) every weekend if I wanted, $500 cash payment for food/meals a week, plus salary. And that was on your watch Dime!!! :-) Thank you very much – it was great!

    PS and a clothing allowance!
    PPS, and under my code of conduct, discretion in relationships was expected. Mr Judith wouldn’t let me exercise that one.

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  17. big bruv (12,327 comments) says:

    Judith

    I bet those companies do not allow their Auckland based employees to stay in the apartments.

    Brown is simply abusing public funds, he is a stereotypical leftie who thinks he can have unfettered access to my money.

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  18. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    How dare you say “It calls into question the Mayor’s insistence he never took free rooms”?
    Wash your mouth out immediately. Everyone knows that Len is an honest and upright man who would never come out with even the slightest hint of a fib.
    In other words Len is as pure as the driven slush.

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  19. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (11,887 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Actually, I’m not sure if they still do, because there was a bit of a fuss (which is how I know about the apartments). They were letting their Auckland female employees use them, because they claimed it was not safe to be in the central city after certain hours. The male employees complained. I stayed in one when I was facilitating a meeting for them, and was even invited to bring a family member if I wanted to, as I was from out of town. I guess it works as a tax break for them, somehow???

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  20. david (2,482 comments) says:

    Almost right burt 1:36.

    Whether he was shagging or not, the implications are that he received a significant amount (in both number and value) of “gifts” that went undeclared. This in itself is enough to raise ethical questions about conflicts of interest (eg Council’s position on the Sky City Convention Centre).

    Brown is now in the position where the default position is that whatever he says, it is a lie.

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  21. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    There is one “inquiry” that has not been mentioned herer, biuty is every ,uch a scandal.

    Today, I say ………

    The main stream media have reached a new nadir in referring to the Pike River mine prosecution withdrawal and the $110,000 solatiums for each family, as “blood money”.

    This description is a gross misrepresentation, if not a deliberate lie.

    The families of the Pike River disaster have received $8 million via charitable donations, $ 5 million via ACC, and have $15 million further ACC payments “in the bank”.

    The prosecution of Whittall was always going to fail because the evidential link could never be made between criminality and cause. Health and safety trial aspects appear to have been compromised by Labour Department culpability.

    It is time that Monk and his fellow blood suckers took note of the fact that it is they who are involved in “blood money” – not the previous mine owners, north directors, nor Whittall.

    Let it go. New Zealand has been generous on this issue. But with this charade, so far as I am concerned, never again.

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  22. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    “late-night and early-morning commitments in the city”

    Is that what they are calling it now? ‘Commitments’ seems an unfortunate choice of word. Can I suggest instead: “late-night and early-morning complete and utter lack of commitment”.

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  23. stephen2d (45 comments) says:

    Well, Mr Orsman B. – nothing easier then to correlate those late night meetings and early starts with Mayor’s diary and compare them with the nights in question when he needed the hotel room – and what those “important commitments” were, no? It may be legit (really?), but then, who paid for it, was it a gift? Whether he shagged there or not (and I am fairly certain Bev is not the only one) is irrelevant.

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  24. martinh (824 comments) says:

    If Len has refused to provide a waiver of his privacy of these hotels he will look like he is corrupt its as simple as that. No matter what he trys to get the lawyers to say, if you wont release your details you will look like you were bought by these hotels.
    I expect criminal charges could flow from this hence the delay in it getting released.
    Hes a public official and the law is very specific to public officials

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  25. thedavincimode (6,105 comments) says:

    Actually Judith, the question is whether ratepayers were paying for a hotel room so that he could root his bit on the side on the pretext of finishing late and starting early (work that is, not the rooting bit). This distinction is quite possibly the point of contention in delaying the release of the report.

    Plenty of professional people work longer hours than him when needs must and manage to get home late and into work early. In the amount of time he took to get to/from his hotel and check in and out, he could likely have got home late at night and back to work at sparrows when there was no traffic about.

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  26. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ thedavincimode (5,745 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I’m not arguing that point at all, I quite agree. BUT, someone, somewhere on the council has made this policy that allows him, and no doubt others to use the system in that manner.

    I think a person will be very hard pushed to enforce that it is ‘our’ business what the Mayor did during the off time, after he had finished work, and before he began again, even if the city was paying for the room. Who he saw, and what he did, providing it was legal, during that time, is basically his business. Unethical, certainly, immoral – completely – but as he had finished work, and the council rules allow him the use of a hotel room in certain circumstances, then I don’t think there is anything that can be done.

    You can’t go back after and event and change rules or enforce a code of conduct that wasn’t relevant at the time of the ‘offence’.

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  27. greenjacket (346 comments) says:

    Judith wrote: “Actually, I had the best perks when I worked for the govt. At one stage I had a fully serviced apartment in Wellington for 22 mths, plus free cabs wherever I wanted to go, flights to and from my home town (or any place in NZ) every weekend if I wanted, $500 cash payment for food/meals a week, plus salary.”

    Yeah right.

    Having been a manager in the public sector, all I can say to that is that Judith must have a very vivid imagination.

    Unless, of course, Judith was a NZ First or Labour MP rorting the system

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  28. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Green Jacket:

    What Judith says may well be true, as in the 90′s Social welfare was paying for senior staff from around the country to work in Wellington and they were all receiving this level of perks. It was reported at the time in all the news services and there was a major outcry from the public and the opposition at the time.

    My cousin was one of the senior staff who was recieving these benefits for at least a year. He continued to work ‘intercity’ weekly for a further period of time after the outcry. They don’t care.

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  29. thedavincimode (6,105 comments) says:

    You can’t go back after and event and change rules or enforce a code of conduct that wasn’t relevant at the time of the ‘offence’.

    Judith, that is a very good example of why I think your wiring is not connected. The hotel room issue has nothing to do with any “code of conduct”. Nor is the fact that you might have enjoyed “perks” in a previous life that were, presumably, part of the terms of your engagement.

    The issue is whether, in the event that taxpayers footed the bill, it was a legitimate cost chargeable to ratepayers in terms of Council policy. It is not a legitimate cost if a) the Council reimbursement policy does not extend to such circumstances, or b) in the event it does, it was incurred simply so he didn’t have to sneak any companions into the rumpus room at home and he used work as a pretext to claim it.

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  30. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ greenjacket (269 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I can assure you it did happen, however the labour government cut back on the perks when Helen Clark took over.

    I was seconded to the head office of the department I was working for at the time, because they needed someone with my experience to work on some major changes that were taking place in an advisory capacity. I was one of 18 people that were seconded from around the country from a variety of government departments. Maybe it doesn’t happen now, but as Harriet has confirmed, it sure as hell did happen back then.

    I have to say, I am somewhat surprised with the philosophy of yours, ‘because it didn’t happen to you – it didn’t happen’ – interested to know how that philosophy works for you in other areas of your life?

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  31. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ thedavincimode (5,752 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I understand perfectly what the issues are, and I suggest that in his role as Mayor, it would be damn near impossible to prove that he broke the rules. If there was a rule that he was allowed to stay over night in the city at times when his work load met the criteria – if such a rule was dependent on his own discretion as to when he would use it (as I believe it was), then how are you going to prove he abused or broke the rules?

    If the use of a hotel room was allowed depending on his own interpretation – ie the mayor can decide when it is needed, then how are you going to define that he didn’t need it? He can quite simply say he had something he wanted to work on early the next morning, and you have no way to prove he didn’t.

    We all know that it was used so he could carry on his affair – I have no doubts about that – the problem you have is proving that was the only reason he made use of the ‘perk’ – the fact he met with her has nothing to do with it – who he sleeps with at that time is and cannot ever be ‘ruled’ against – no council rules cover that.

    Your problem is you are trying to make something ‘cut and dried’ that simply cannot be.

    PS Do you think everyone that doesn’t agree with you as ‘being wired wrong’ – you must live a very hard life!!

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  32. thedavincimode (6,105 comments) says:

    Judith

    You are babbling. It is very clear cut.

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  33. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ Harriet (3,133 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    There were quite a few government employees that benefited from the system.

    I didn’t have a problem accepting the perks – I had skills that no one else could offer – in order for them to make the most of them, I had to leave my family during the week. It’s a supply and demand market – if they wanted what I could offer, they had to pay for it.

    Its no different to any business transaction – if someone wants it, then they either pay for it, or they find someone else. I had studied long and hard to be an expert in the field I was working in – just like many other people out there who offer skills and products etc. That’s what makes the business world spin!

    (I do know however there were a few govt depts, and social welfare was one of them, where the system was abused – I have never worked for social welfare btw).

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  34. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    @ thedavincimode (5,753 comments) says:
    December 12th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    If it was clear cut, it would have been decided by now. The length of time it is taking is because it is not clear cut – in fact, its a bloody minefield and there are people pulling their hair out left right and centre.

    Not to mention a few ducking for cover, because they failed to ‘cover the councils’ butt.

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  35. gravedodger (1,426 comments) says:

    With apologies to Jimmy Perry, Derek Taverner and Bud Flannagan.

    Who do you think you are kidding Mr Bro-own
    If you think your’e on a run
    We are the boys who will stop your little game
    We are the ones who will make you think again
    So who do you think you are kidding Mr Broown
    If you think the rooting was the game

    Mr Brown went off to town on the 8 21
    He gets home each evening and hes ready with his gun
    Who do you think you are kidding Mr McKay
    If you think pants down’s not done.

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  36. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    For God’s sake Gravedodger, don’t let Eugenie Sage sing this ditty.
    Having heard her effort in Parliament yesterday she will murder the wonderful lyrics you have penned.
    I must admit that when I heard her sing my first thought was that she shouldn’t give up her day job. Then I realised that her singing was much better than her performance as an MP and that for New Zealand’s sake she should become a full-time songstress.

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  37. thedavincimode (6,105 comments) says:

    Again Judith, you miss the point.

    You are confusing PDB’s die in the ditch attempts to extricate himself or any prospect that he might lie through his teeth with the issue of whether, when incurring a cost for which reimbursement is to be sought, it is claimable pursuant to the terms of employment or relevant policies. That is clear cut.

    For example, if PDB has claimed these costs and the terms upon which he operates as Mayor entitle him to charge up whatever he likes by way of hotel costs, then there is no problem. However, if for example, he is restricted to claiming accommodation when he travels (such as on trips to Hong Kong that didn’t happen, but then with hindsight did happen in a private capacity even though he was there in a Mayoral capacity and he simply over-looked it because he was there in a private capacity) then there is a problem irrespective of whether he spent the night alone. Beyond that there is a question as to whether any non-compliance was through ignorance of the rules, or borne of necessity because the carpet under his desk was getting a bit soggy.

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  38. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    Judith#

    “……I had skills that no one else could offer…….. I had to leave my family during the week….if someone wants it, then they either pay for it, or they find someone else. I had studied long and hard to be an expert in the field I was working in – just like many other people out there who offer skills and products etc……. ”

    You seem to know an awful lot about that period I was talking about concerning the Social Welfare Dept Judith….and the ‘style’ of work they were doing…..and you have their ‘departmental mentality with regards to ability, cost, and self-importance’……. I don’t think it is just mere coincidence!!!!

    I’m going to find out who you are Judith…my cousin will definatly know you. That’s assured!…he was…. :cool:

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  39. burt (7,085 comments) says:

    Harriet,

    A lot of people in government departments were getting that sort of perks late 80′s and early 90′s. Government employees and contractors to departments. They were big monolithic dinosaurs public service entities suddenly allowed to hire consultants and behave like the corporates the lefty policies of envy mentality so hated. People left, contracted back and got packages very different to collective sheep mentality the previous phase of union domination had enforced.

    Don’t be surprised if your cousin doesn’t know a ‘Judith’ from the 90′s because that might not even be her real name and they were big departments with more than one area flying people around.

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