Auckland Council Electoral Officer and Public Information Officer Bruce Thomas has confirmed with Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer today that while he did not file a full “Register of Members’ Interests” annual statement by 30 June 2012, Brewer’s much criticised four-day sponsored trip to Australia was in fact declared by the Councillor for Orakei at the time and was subsequently in the Council gift register all along.
In a surprise turn, Mr Thomas advised Mr Brewer in an email today that “You did however declare the Port Douglas trip and this was included in the gift register. A copy of the gift register was given to the Ernst Young Inquiry.”
In an email to Mr Thomas from Mr Brewer on 8 September 2011, Mr Brewer wrote “Bruce, please declare… 1 trip to Port Douglas courtesy of Mediaworks, Four nights in august. Value approximately 2k. Secondly, my partner and I are in SkyCity box for opening night and game tomorrow. Cost unknown. Please let me know what further information you require. Thanks Cameron”
Mr Brewer was responding to an email by Mr Thomas titled ‘Code of Conduct – Declaration of Gifts’ he had sent to all elected representatives the day before on Wednesday 7 September 2011.
The email read: “Dear Councillors and Local Board Members, with the Rugby World Cup about to start, I thought it prudent to remind you of your obligation to declare gifts in excess of $300. Some of the ticket and hospitality packages that you (and your partner) may be offered by a third party are likely to exceed $300. If you suspect this to be the case then you should advise myself and we will log it and ensure it is recorded as part of you declaration on 30 June 2012.”
Mr Brewer said he is very pleased to learn that he did in fact formally advise the council of the trip soon after his return, and that it was subsequently officially declared in the gift register.
While procedurally Cameron still erred in not also doing the formal annual declaration, the substance is that he did disclose the gift to the Council.
What will be interesting is if it is revealed who informed the media (incorrectly) that the gift had not been disclosed? My money is on one of the six ratepayer funded spin doctors working for Len Brown.
The Herald reports:
“Given this information was put on the council gift register and was actually part of the Ernst Young review, I’m very disappointed that council staff didn’t give me and the media the correct information last week.”
Will the Herald now retract their editorial and story on Brewer?Tags: Auckland Council, Cameron Brewer, NZ Herald