Auckland Council scrutiny

December 20th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Mayor will forgo some executive powers as he sets out to rebuild his political career after a decision by councillors to keep him on.

A subdued Mr Brown yesterday accepted the unanimous decision by his colleagues to censure him with a warning from supporters Ross Clow and Chris Darby he would be on thin ice if any other skeletons came out of the cupboard.

Mr Brown gave an assurance there was nothing else out there and made a commitment to work closer with councillors on a common agenda in the new year.

Really?

In a blog written at the meeting, Metro editor Simon Wilson said if Mr Brown could not lead the council he needed to find the courage and grace to step aside. “He’s reached that stage,” wrote Mr Wilson, who said the subtext of the mayor’s supporters was they no longer had confidence in him.

“Len Brown will soon be gone. It’s hard to see him lasting past Christmas.”

He’s lost Metro! Wilson is as left as they come, so that is significant.

The Herald does another editorial:

If Len Brown declined to make a move yesterday, there was not going to be a move. That was the harsh reality for Aucklanders, the majority of whom clearly want the mayor to resign, and the councillors who met to publicly censure him. Mr Brown’s obduracy duly carried the day as he refused to acknowledge that the standing and influence he once enjoyed had been shredded by conflicts of interest and inadequate explanations and apologies arising from inquiries into his two-year extramarital affair. …

Auckland has a mayor who is politically reined in, reputationally damaged and personally unlikely to regain residents’ respect. It also has a mayor who must, one day soon, realise his diminished mana cannot allow him to speak for all in the region. At one level, a right-wing councillor, Sharon Stewart, reveals Mr Brown’s reputation so troubled schools and churches in her community they found it hard to have him present awards. At another, left-wing commentator Chris Trotter doubts Mr Brown’s ability to be taken seriously in Wellington.

The mayor’s failure to acknowledge the reality of his position was starkly apparent when, offered a “right of reply” to the councillors’ decisions yesterday afternoon, he offered a few perfunctory thoughts that came across as insufficient and offhand. The contrition that even his council supporters desired remained out of reach.

The manner in which Mr Brown has brazened it out with the council and the people this week shows he doesn’t, really, get that his tide has gone out. The city needs a new leader.

The reality will maybe set it, when Brown doesn’t receive any invitations to address businesses, schools, community groups and the like. No group will want him as a guest speaker.

Meanwhile scrutiny goes on other Councillors:

Auckland councillor , who has been baying for Mayor Len Brown’s blood for not declaring gifts, has admitted not declaring a four-day junket to the Gold Coast.

Mr Brewer yesterday admitted taking free air tickets and accommodation paid for by MediaWorks, which runs TV3.

The right-wing councillor said he made a declaration of interests in 2011, but not in 2012, which would cover the period he went to Queensland.

The 2012 declaration of interests shows that Mr Brown and just nine of the 20 councillors filed returns.

All Councillors should be filing returns, even if they are nil returns. Maybe the requirement should become a legislative one so there can be consequences for not doing so.

And why was Mediaworks paying for a Councillor to go to Queensland? Maybe he won a competition?

UPDATE: It seems it was to talk to a marketing and sales conference, in his role as a former head of Newmarket Business Association.

UPDATE2: The Pants Down Brown song is now the No 1 selling country song on iTunes for NZ. You can buy a copy for just $1.79, for endless fun.

UPDATE3: The Dominion Post also calls for him to go:

Len Brown is done. The sooner he and the councillors who slapped him over the wrist with a wet bus ticket yesterday realise it, the sooner Auckland can get on with its business.

Mr Brown’s crime is not his extra-marital affair with a woman 25 years his junior. It is the way he has dealt with the affair becoming public and what has been revealed by the investigation into his conduct.

His attempts to paint himself as a victim and to duck responsibility for his actions have damaged his credibility. His breaking of Auckland City Council rules has damaged the reputation of the council. Pleading ignorance of the rules or that he was distracted by other matters is not an excuse. As mayor Mr Brown had a responsibility to acquaint himself with the rules and to abide by them.

And:

He, and his remaining supporters on the council, need to realise that Auckland is bigger than him. His continuing presence is an embarrassment and a distraction to the city he claims to love.He cannot impart a sense of direction to the city while he is ducking the public and avoiding the media. He cannot uphold standards for councillors when he has lowered them himself. And while questions persist about his conduct, the council cannot turn its attention to matters that actually concern Aucklanders. …

”You have sat too long for any good you have been doing,” Oliver Cromwell famously told the Rump Parliament in 1653. ”Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

Mr Brown should heed the sentiment.He has broken the rules, lowered standards and lost the respect of the people he represents and the people he is required to deal with as mayor of the country’s largest city. He should resign.

Is there anyone at all saying he should stay? No, Brian Rudman doesn’t count.

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48 Responses to “Auckland Council scrutiny”

  1. marcw (227 comments) says:

    Especially a company like MediaWorks in deep financial doo-doo.

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  2. secondcumming (90 comments) says:

    As a well known left-wing commentator writes:

    ‘The bruised and battered corpse of Len Brown’s credibility was dragged into the Auckland Council Chamber yesterday and given a damned good public thrashing. He was labelled a cheat and a liar, a fornicator and a deceitful sleaze-merchant, a grubby, two-timing, duplicitious philanderer who had lost all credibility, trust and respect. And that was just by his fellow councillors’

    Couldn’t ‘ave said it betta meself :)

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  3. Manolo (13,358 comments) says:

    Brown is finished, he’s dead man walking for the rest of his term.

    The corrupt Auckland mayor will be the subject of countless jokes and subject of ridicule wherever he goes. Rightly so.

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  4. Allyson (41 comments) says:

    He need to step aside for his own safety. People just getting angrier now

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  5. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    So Brown will pay back the full $100,000 – right ?

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  6. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Auckland councillor Cameron Brewer, who has been baying for Mayor Len Brown’s blood for not declaring gifts, has admitted not declaring a four-day junket to the Gold Coast.

    Mr Brewer yesterday admitted taking free air tickets and accommodation paid for by MediaWorks, which runs TV3.

    Brewer should tattoo D-U-N-C-E on his forehead. What a dick.

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  7. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    When are more scandals about this turkey going to be released? I heard that his statement of there ‘being nothing else out there’ may not be 100% true….

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  8. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    The reality will maybe set it, when Brown doesn’t receive any invitations to address businesses, schools, community groups and the like.

    I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get invites to Boobs on Bikes and the Erotica Expo. :)

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  9. lolitasbrother (478 comments) says:

    So the puritanical and vindictive mob spend $100,000 to find if Len Brown should have paid short term rental for his couch.
    Have you got bored with roast busters girls. The poppy cutters should get out there and buy girl friend fancy knickers for Xmas.

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  10. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    lolitasbrother

    Oh, of course … Len is a lefty – we should have just said – move on …. After all it’s different when Labour members fail to declare stuff and misuse public money – it’s not like when Nasty National people do it eh.

    APOLOGIST !!!!!!!

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  11. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    Brown is finished, he’s dead man walking for the rest of his term.

    How so? He hasn’t done anything illegal, and what they do have him on is small beer. His opponents are hoping that if they make enough noise, they can obscure the fact that he hasn’t really done anything wrong.

    I hope he stays just to piss people off. I don’t like the guy, and I don’t vote anyway, but this is just stupid.

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  12. lilman (890 comments) says:

    OH BOY!! OH BOY!OH BOY

    I know something you don’t know, hahahahahah.

    But Len knows,don’t you Len?

    You know alright Lenny,but the problem is I’m not the only one who knows.

    I love Len, he’s made my last couple of weeks fun and when this news hits the public arena, hahahahahhhhhhh.

    Oh Lenny

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  13. Kiwi Dave (71 comments) says:

    Perhaps we can swap him for Toronto’s mayor; each man can then make a new start. :-)

    Unless LB has other sources of income, he is not going to resign from such a well-paid job as he won’t find anything comparable.

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  14. RRM (9,446 comments) says:

    So Brown will pay back the full $100,000 – right ?

    That’s an interesting choice of words.. “pay back” the $100,000.

    I’m trying to think of any other scenario where your employer can investigate you for possible misbehaviour – and then charge you for the cost of doing the investigation. I’m struggling to come up with one. Surely there is no legal basis for billing him that amount? and any such payment would be an act of goodwill?

    I’m in favour of Masty resigning just as much as anyone else! ;-) But let’s try to stay on planet Earth?!?

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  15. thedavincimode (6,531 comments) says:

    The critical point that everybody appears to be ignoring here is whether Mayor Brown’s hectic schedule of horizontal folk-dancing and solo self-gratification allows him sufficient time to devote to his mayoral duties. If there were to be any substance in yesterday’s allegations regarding his visits across the Harbour Bridge or the previous allegations regarding his intensive one-on-one counselling sessions with female Council employees, then it would seem that His Worship barely has sufficient time to fetch his trousers from around his ankles let alone provide Auckland with his dynamic leadership and vision.

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  16. Harriet (4,514 comments) says:

    He can’t do this – reignhed in.

    He can’t award that – be amongst the public and children.

    He can’t go here – Churches.

    He won’t be heard – in Wellington.

    What job again was he staying on for?

    Talk about a fucken Honory Title – and a rich prick paycheque to go with it!

    Censure ? The rate payers are going to have to spell that one out to them. :cool:

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  17. Sofia (819 comments) says:

    Mr Brown gave an assurance there was nothing else out there and made a commitment to work closer with councillors on a common agenda in the new year.

    However, in an interview with John Campbell, Brown said the greater use of hotels was in the initial period of his mayoralty – the period since his appointment as mayor, 2011, up until the beginning of his two year affair with Bevan Chuang, so the period just earlier than that examined by the EY Review – the period that by his own confession may be more interesting.

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  18. Pete George (22,805 comments) says:

    He hasn’t done anything illegal, and what they do have him on is small beer. His opponents are hoping that if they make enough noise, they can obscure the fact that he hasn’t really done anything wrong.

    You must be blind or confined to The Standard Tom, and even there Brown is getting blasted by some.

    - Brown has dirtied his office and his reputation so that few want him to do his mayoral duties and attend events.
    - He is ridiculed and laughed at.
    - He has failed to declare trips and gifts.
    - He has lied.
    - He and his staff have obstructed lawful requests for information.
    - He has promised there is nothing else and something else keeps coming up.
    - He has potentially serious conflicts of interest.
    - He has lost the confidence of most Aucklanders.
    - He has lost the confidence and support of most if not all councillors.
    - He has lost the confidence and support of NZ Herald, Metro and pretty much all media.
    - He is discredited, untrusted and humiliated.
    - More revelations seem inevitable.

    He is like Bart Simpson writing lines on the blackboard:
    I will keep humiliating myself.
    I will keep humiliating myself.
    I will keep humiliating myself.

    But no, there’s no evidence of anything illegal. So what?

    Brown’s position as mayor could hardly get more compromised and untenable.

    If he truly believed what he claims, that he loves Auckland and wants what is best for the city and the country, then he has just one sane option – to step down.

    He would then have the option choose to stand again to seek a mandate, but it’s highly unlikely he could find any significant support or campaign finance. He would be mad to put himself through even more humiliation.

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  19. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    Forget all the churches and schools, how’s this for a litmus test. April 25th next year, Dawn Service at the Auckland War Memorial, which I attend every year, and every year, the Mayor of Auckland lays a wreath at the Cenotaph in memory of the fallen.

    I bet even Len won’t have the guts to front up before the assembled Ex Servicemen and Women, Current serving members of our armed forces, and thousands of Aucklanders to lay that wreath this year.

    And if he does, I will turn my back on the Cenotaph, or I will march out and block his path, take the wreath off him, and I will lay the bloody thing. He will not get close enough.

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  20. Chris2 (755 comments) says:

    And now we have the news that under Brown’s leadership, two senior employees at Auckland Transport have been sacked for corruption and conflict of interest, and that the SFO has been asked to also investigate.

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  21. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    I hear the usual speaking circuit has or is going to withdraw invitations to the Mayor to speak. Rotary Lions etcs all usually invite the Mayor at least once a year to speak to their Club. the Mayor like all pollies relies on these speaking engagements to get their face in front of voters and put forward their policies and give a very positive update on all their achievements between elections.
    Well Mayor Brown wont be getting that opportunity so will be starved of the very oxygen every Pollie needs to keep their profile up.

    I wonder if the new Council CEO is having second thoughts. if I was him I would be. Imagine being piggy in the middle for the next 3 years between the Mayor and the Councillors who don’t support him. I would even be thinking of with drawing my employment offer on the grounds that the Mayor and Councillors have created a situation that makes the role of the CEO untenable. I would of course then file an action for constructive dismissal on the basis of the Mayor and Councillors actions claiming my full salary for the term of my contract and legal costs. And knowing the dimbulb Employment Court as I do they would undoubtedly find in my favour.

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  22. RRM (9,446 comments) says:

    And if he does, I will turn my back on the Cenotaph, or I will march out and block his path, take the wreath off him, and I will lay the bloody thing. He will not get close enough.

    :lol: LOL – of course you will. Of course you will.

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  23. oob (194 comments) says:

    It’s time to hammer home the fact that Len Brown is a member of the Labour Party, a representative of the Labour Party, enjoying the unwavering support of the Labour Party and of Labour Party activists, such as those who inhabit the far-Left hate blog, The Standard.

    It’s also time to hammer home that Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and the councillors who refused to condemn Len Brown yesterday are also Labour Party members.

    Len Brown is completely fucked. Let’s squeeze the political opportunity for all that it’s worth. In Auckland, to focus the electorate on the need to elect rightwing candidates. Nationally, to demonstrate to the electorate once again the Labour candidates are never suitable for election to office.

    If some of the rumours I’m hearing of other Brown transgressions are true and come out (which I’m sure Cam Slater is strategising) Brown will go quickly. Until that happens, remember, he’s not “Len Brown”

    He’s “The Disgraced Labour Party Mayor, Len Brown.”

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  24. thePeoplesFlag (173 comments) says:

    If I had a $1 for every time some puffed up editorial writer quoted that Cromwell piece (usually out of context) I’d be as rick as John Banks, at least.

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  25. Rich Prick (1,549 comments) says:

    Things didn’t bode well with the head slapping incident and the public cutting of credit cards when at Manukau. I guess there’s not a gesture big enough to cover off the latest transgressions. He’s either welded to the tit, or he’s not well.

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  26. thePeoplesFlag (173 comments) says:

    @Right of way is Way of Right

    “… I will march out and block his path…”

    Hopefully a soldier will shoot you. Wouldn’t that be deliciously ironic?

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  27. lazza (358 comments) says:

    “Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

    Hey Len Baby. Which part of “GO” do you not comprehend?

    PS: Don’t bother coming up our way to the North.

    We (“Northern Action Group” google it) want OUT of the whole sorry Auckland mess … wonder why?

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  28. DJP6-25 (1,268 comments) says:

    It won’t do National any harm in Auckland if Pants Down Brown stays on as mayor. Quite the contrary really. Any National candidate with a bit of backbone should emphasize that the two minute Mayor, and the councillors who support him are all from Labour. That’s probably expecting too much though.

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  29. thePeoplesFlag (173 comments) says:

    Honestly, the angry Confederate successionists are out in force right now aren’t they? I am struggling to see what Len Brown has done (beyond triggering the right wing hyena pack mentality), to be honest. Some people hear seem to think sex between consenting adults constitutes some sort of crime. It isn’t, whilst his hotel upgrades is small beer in great scheme of scandal.

    And a few undeclared upgrades in his hotel room is all you’ve actually got, beyond a planetary sized sense of your own grievance – which would be better dealt with by seeing a councillor, not threatening a Confederate style succession movement from a bunch of half-senile pensioners with to much time on their hands.

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  30. Rich Prick (1,549 comments) says:

    “I am struggling to see what Len Brown has done”

    Fuck me! More than Paul Henry, Richard Worth, Arron Gillmore, John Tamahere, Willie Jackson and Alistair Thompson COMBINED.

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  31. Manolo (13,358 comments) says:

    @thePeoplesFlag: You appear to be a proud member of the amoral brigade that passes as the political Left in today’s NZ. Shame on you for supporting Len Brown, a hypocrite of the highest order.

    It’s not the sex with Miss Chuang, it’s his hiding of donations, his lack of transparency (forgetfulness?) on obvious conflicts of interest. All of these does not matter to you. You are happy to support Brown as he is a fellow member of the Labour Party.

    Shame on you.

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  32. backster (2,076 comments) says:

    It would seem advisable for the forthcoming Royal Visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Baby George to bypass Auckland. Hardly appropriate for someone as disreputable to play First Citizen for such a visit to the city.

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  33. oob (194 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag slobbered:

    ..I am struggling to see what Len Brown has done..

    It’s disheartening that corruption, mendacity, sexual deviance and obstruction of justice are just business as usual to our far-Left compatriots like TPF here.

    And I think this disconnect is at the heart of the New Zealand political landscape. It’s probably about time we faced the fact that no matter how much treasure we spend, no matter how tolerant and altruistic we are, the Left are incorrigible: TPF and his fellow travellers will never live law-abiding, productive lives. Criminality and Entitlement are just too ingrained into them.

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  34. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,793 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag

    With both an ‘honestly’ and a ‘to be honest’ in the same breath, I’m drawn to conclude you are a habitually dishonest fucking liar.

    Just like the Mayor.

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  35. doggone7 (695 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag

    Just calm down. I’ve consulted that well-known company Brewer and Palino to get their advice on someone honourable to be the mayor. It’s their field of expertise don’t you know!

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  36. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    As oob has inferred – If I may be dispassionate. This is kryptonite for ‘the left’. Brown’s poisoned chalice of a gift to them is another three years of this.

    People with no particular axe to grind seeing Brown smirking his way through a lame-duck tenure.

    His defenders trying desperately to minimise the man’s culpability – each time they do reminding voters what a mess this is – and who is doing the defending and why –

    The limitations on his activities – for political strategists on the other side of the spectrum this is like gold-dust. Everyday like Christmas.

    dispassionately speaking – Honestly – the right wing should be praying he stays on for as long as possible and his defenders remain as vocal and hypocritical to the end – together, instead of bringing eventual replacement of him by a right-leaning (preferably female) mayor will practically be in the bag come next election.

    Brown’s egoism and desire to keep hold of the salary and perks and his defender’s inability to think outside their political square will be the killing joke.

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  37. Paul Marsden (986 comments) says:

    Watching the meeting aka circus yesterday, the number of times reference was made to Browns continuous absence’s at meetings (when he was expected and required to be there), was very telling, I thought…

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  38. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    sorry that didn’t make grammatical sense but you get my drift. . .

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  39. publicwatchdog (2,103 comments) says:

    FYI Kiwibloggers
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    20 December 2013

    Nick Paterson
    General Manager
    Fraud and Corruption
    NZ Serious Fraud Office

    Julie Read
    CEO / Director
    NZ Serious Fraud Office

    ‘Open Letter’

    FYI

    “The New Zealand Private Prosecution Service Limited (“The Service”) gives notice that if the SFO refuses to investigate the complaint of corruption against Mayor Len Brown under Section 105(1) of the Crimes Act the Service will file a Private Prosecution without further notice to the proposed defendants. The names proposed defendants are Len Brown and the CEO of Sky City

    Graham Mc Cready
    Agent for NZPPS Ltd
    ………………
    ………………”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    This has been reported in mainstream media today as follows:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11175723

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/231441/threat-to-file-private-case-against-brown

    Please be advised that I, Penny Bright have worked with the agent for NZ Private Prosecution Services Ltd, Graham McCready on other matters, specifically the private prosecution of John Archibald Banks for alleged electoral fraud, for which he has been committed to trial in the Auckland High Court for a defended hearing set down for 19 May 2014.

    (As the ‘process server’, I personally served the witness summonses which got Kim Dotcom, his lawyer and bodyguard, and the CEO of Sky City to the Auckland District Court to give oral evidence on 15 October 2013. )

    Both Lisa Prager and myself do hope that this will not be necessary and look forward to the NZ Serious Fraud Office ‘doing your job’, as the ‘lead agency’ in New Zealand tasked with investigating bribery and corruption complaints.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ……

    Lisa Prager
    ……..

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    ( A copy of this above-mentioned complaint to the NZ Serious Fraud Office is available here:

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

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  40. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    thePeoplesFlag (49 comments) says:
    December 20th, 2013 at 2:24 pm
    @Right of way is Way of Right

    “… I will march out and block his path…”

    Hopefully a soldier will shoot you. Wouldn’t that be deliciously ironic?

    Mr Peoples Flag. I am a currently serving member of the Royal New Zealand Navy, and have 28 years of service under my belt. If I have to do this, I will do so in uniform, and proudly so. The only reason anyone in uniform would try to stop me is so they can get to him first! People like me fought and died to protect the democracy that Mr Len Brown is so keen to subvert with obfuscation and lies. His desecration of the Cenotaph, and the desecration of the memory of those people SHALL NOT STAND!

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  41. Longknives (4,454 comments) says:

    “I am a currently serving member of the Royal New Zealand Navy,”

    Right of Way- I doubt that will get you much empathy from the lefties around here. They are more the types to protest at the Cenotaph and spit in the old soldiers faces…

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  42. Chinarugby (83 comments) says:

    So enter Mr Brewer to the picture – and so soon after his maniacal rant against the mayor – lol

    Being the credible person he purports to be we can expect him to rule out any tilt at the Mayoral office – after all his credibility is shot, what else don’t we know about him??? – Time for Mr Brewer to slink back to the eastern suburbs for a long cup of tea with the Nanas.

    BTW Prager – you dont speak for me nor ‘all of Auckland’ – then again you do have a history if dishonest claims eh – just ask Neil Finn.

    Ok which right wing councilor knob is next to be exposed as having the old snout in the trough????

    SHAME ON BREWER – RESIGN!!!!!

    Oh and RIGHT OF WAY – I am ex Territorial and if you pulled any stunt like the one you propose then it would give me the greatest pleasure to offer you an equal response for your efforts – just sayin.

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  43. MH (624 comments) says:

    I thought Quax and Walker would have run him out of town by now,but alas Quax hasn’t done his expenditure declaration for last year either.Brown’s recidivism over similar happenings whilst at Manukau City shows he hasn’t learnt nought in how to hide his actions.He wanted to get caught,he enjoys a bit of S & M and self flagalation. He’s got to be a catholic,from the old school. Onanism has no bounds,he’s even challenged us to find more dirt and to lay bets on at SkyCity.

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  44. secondcumming (90 comments) says:

    MH…agree with you about Quaxie, one of the very few to say what he really thinks! But Walker, obviously a Brown toadie…..looking at him in the meeting yesterday, he appeared to be on another planet, he didn’t even speak. Can only assume he gets voted in by way of name recognition, obviously not for his business acumen.

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  45. Rich Prick (1,549 comments) says:

    Sorry Chinarugby, real members of the forces do not make threats against others in the branches like that, least of all over a debate involving a mere mayor who masturbates and fucks the staff at work. Take your keyboard warriorship elsewhere. You’re a fake.

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  46. doggone7 (695 comments) says:

    Chinarugby

    Be a little patient. Brewer is going to demonstrate his moral superiority by resigning before Mr Brown. How about that as an example of rising to the challenge?

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  47. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    @Right of way is way of Right.
    You realise that now that you have made a threat to disrupt the ceremony Police and MP’s will be watching out for you. Don’t be foolish the day is sacred to all New Zealanders and is bigger than one man’s protest.

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  48. OneTrack (2,601 comments) says:

    KevinH -Well now that its legal to burn the New Zealand flag at the dawn parade, I cant see the police will be too worried about a bit of heckling of Len Brown.

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