Danyl cuts through

December 16th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Danyl blogs at Dim Post:

So the first thing I do is put the whole Bevan Chuang, Cameron Slater, Luigi Wewege, John Palino, John Slater sleazefest to one side for a minute. Then get a bit of perspective by asking myself: Danyl? How would you feel if a right-wing politician secretly took $39,000 from a casino company to cheat on his wife while he was lobbying to have the law changed to benefit that casino company and then lied about it to the public?

Well, my reaction to that would be that the hypothetical right-wing politician was a disgusting, corrupt untrustworthy crook and that he’d disgraced his office and should resign. Which means – since I think politicians should be held to the same standard irrespective of their political allegiances - that I think is disgusting, corrupt etc and should resign. That was pretty easy!

It wasn’t of course $39,000 from a casino company. That is the amount from all hotels. But the point remains.

No Right Turn was the same:

I don’t care who Len Brown fucks, and I don’t really want to know. But I do care that he maintains basic standards of integrity in public office, and that means declaring all significant gifts. Particularly when those gifts come from organisations in a position to receive favours from him or the Council. Brown has failed in that basic task. He must resign.

The Council has a huge influence on hotels – rates, tourism levies, services, zoning etc. Nothing wrong with taking donations or freebies so long as you disclose them – but Brown didn’t.

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26 Responses to “Danyl cuts through”

  1. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    wow .. great to see a leftie publicly taking this view .. very good call

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  2. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    Despite the overwhelming evidence, a few toadies and sycophants at The sub-Standard continue to defend Brown.

    For these idiots the Left never errs.

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  3. Pete George (21,798 comments) says:

    There’s been a lot of criticism of Brown from across the political spectrum – Brown criticised left, right and centre.

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  4. CHFR (195 comments) says:

    Not just them Scott Yorke as well http://imperatorfish.com/2013/12/16/why-len-must-stay/

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  5. CHFR (195 comments) says:

    Jaba, go and look at the blog though, it is sad watching Russell Brown and others still defending him

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  6. Kimble (4,092 comments) says:

    At least he apologised to Councillors.

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  7. tvb (3,938 comments) says:

    All philanderers have to lie especially to their wives/husbands. It takes someone of extraordinary strength of character to leave the lying to his personal life. The undeclared freebies were related to his affair, so he lied about those. But then Len has lied before when he was Mayor of Manukau. He is a creepy little man who will use every emotional trick in the book to get off this and anything else.

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  8. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    secretly took $39,000 from a casino company to cheat on his wife

    Ah no, that’s Danyl over-reaching. Brown didn’t take any money, and certainly not to cheat on his wife. He probably would’ve cheated on her in the back of his car if he’d had the opportunity. But then DPF would complain that Brown had cheated on his wife in car with petrol paid for by taxpayer. :)

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  9. ross69 (3,637 comments) says:

    But just to clarify, if Brown had declared the room upgrades, the Right would have nothing to say on the matter? That would make a great Tui ad.

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  10. Ross12 (927 comments) says:

    Ross69 , you and a lot of others in recent days have forgotten that Brown clearly breached the Council’s Code of Conduct. ( I know lawyer Len says it doesn’t apply to him but if he put his reading glasses on he’d see it clearly does). His breaches of the code are numerous even aside from the hotel issues.
    If the Code breaches don’t warrant a demand of resignation, at the least, then those employees who have been sacked in the past for breaches should line up outside McKay’s office with a good lawyer demanding compensation.

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  11. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    The affair is the main problem. He should resign because he can’t expect the people of Auckland to trust him when he systematically deceived his wife and failed to uphold the promises he made to her. Only an extremely twisted mind would say it doesn’t matter who a married man fucks as long as he maintains basic standards of integrity. To any normal person that is an oxymoron of staggering proportions.

    The actual failure to declare gifts is relatively minor and not grounds for resignation on its own. Neither is personal use of his council phone without reimbursement. These are the sort of things you just apologize, fix and move on. Unless there are other good reasons to want to get rid of the person.

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  12. J Bloggs (100 comments) says:

    Ross69: If all the boxes have been ticked, the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed in accordance with the appropriate procedures then, as much as I don’t like the behaviour Len has indulged in, there is nothing to complain about in terms of transparency.

    If Len had declared them, then I would still be saying it looks corrupt, but at least he’s been up front about it.

    If Len had declared them, and excused himself from debates on sky city issues, because he’d received freebies, then I’d applaud the man for being open and honest about things.

    But Len hasn’t done that. He’s failed to declare the freebies, and he’s lied about it. And when some of those freebies come from an organisation that is seeking significant benefits for itself, it looks corrupt. And it looks even more corrupt when you try to hide it.

    At the moment, it seems the only person who thinks Len Brown should keep his job is Len Brown

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  13. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    May 13, 2013:

    Chow brothers open new brothel

    They also have consent for New Zealand’s first tower brothel, on the site of the demolished historic Aurora Tavern, on the corner of Federal St and Victoria St West.

    “After receiving the green light from Auckland Council for the site opposite SkyCity, we are able to move forward and work will be starting soon on the site so watch for the space,” the brothers said in a statement.

    Len gets free rooms and upgrades from Skycity, so what do the Chow brothers offer. Who got this job?

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  14. srylands (301 comments) says:

    “ross69 (3,172 comments) says:

    “But just to clarify, if Brown had declared the room upgrades, the Right would have nothing to say on the matter?”

    Ross, it was much more than that. Again I don’t know whether you are winding us up, or you are obtuse. Read the report.

    And I assure you that if the mayor of Auckland was National Party affiliated, my stance would be identical. He must resign.

    Of course, if the mayor of Auckland was National Party affiliated, YOU would be screaming that he must resign.

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  15. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    Who gives a shit? If Sky City wanted to pay to enable Brown’s intercultural intercourse, that’s their problem.

    You’re all just jealous because none of you have a Chinese nymphomaniac on the side.

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  16. SPC (4,634 comments) says:

    The so called gifts, whether upgrades or free rooms are given to all regular guests, so they are hardly exceptions to practice to influence someone who makes decisions impacting on businesses.

    How many MP’s or businessmen received these and declared them as gifts?

    The delay till the end of each year to pay for the personal use of a workplace phone is not a major issue, nor is using a council car to drive someone home (if they have been providing translation services without payment). How many people use a work supplied car for personal use? How many MP’s have their car used for personal use including for other people?

    D McLachlan’s line “How would you feel if a right-wing politician secretly took $39,000 from a casino company to cheat on his wife while he was lobbying to have the law changed to benefit that casino company and then lied about it to the public?” backs up N Kearney’s view that some see the real offence as the affair or his political position on the casino.

    The fact is no money passed hands and only 1 freebie or upgrade occurred on the 4 times he was with B.C, nearly all of the bookings were made by the wife and paid for by her and were for council work related purposes seems to have escaped his attention. McLachlan seems to be exacting revenge for the Mayor’s position on the casino.

    The sentiment amongst some is that he should have resigned over the affair, and if the report means others now support them all and good. The report hardly demonstrates the stuff of scandals but it gives those who wanted to focus on the workplace behaviour side of the matter reason to fall into line with the former group who want to judge on the personal behaviour.

    In the end the most disappointing thing for Aucklanders is the matter of trust. He was elected as a family man and he was having an affair while Mayor (the issue is not the affair, but the lapse in his presented values), and he was not accurate in his response to the claim that he regularly took freebies while staying in hotels with BC. She was wrong, but his reply was inaccurate because of that one time of the 4 he did take a freebie. He must have mentioned that he regularly got upgrades and the occasional freebie when his wife booked and forgotten that.

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  17. Chinarugby (80 comments) says:

    DPF is desperate to keep this topic alive – its dull and its over.

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  18. Alan (908 comments) says:

    The upgrades thing is difficult to value;

    In the past year I’ve done somewhere around 100 hotel nights, when you put a fair chunk of business through a single hotel, you can a get upgrades more often than not. For regular travellers when you hit a tier status quite often if a room is empty, they’ll upgrade you. If he’s paying for a hotel himself, I don’t think an upgrade matters. The Stanford plaza stays fall into this grouping. I’m largely ok with this.

    The free nights are harder to explain though, esp the Sky City ones. He wasn’t a regular customer there, the only conclusion that I can draw is that they were directly related to his position as mayor at a time when they needed political support.

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  19. Sofia (778 comments) says:

    For month after fucking month, we had warnings as to the dire consequences same-sex or gay marriage would have on ‘traditional’ marriage and all it holds sacred.

    Where are these people now to tell us [or, more pointedly, tell Len Brown] what they think of the actions of the Mayor of the super-city of Auckland in regard to traditional marriage and the values of respect, honesty and integrity that go with it?

    From Bishop Tamaki to the Bishop of Christchurch, they all seem too busy building things to their own aggrandizement, and probably needing building permits for that, to give a flock.

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  20. Manolo (12,617 comments) says:

    @Chinarugby: Very topical. Changing your nickname to Chinapussy will acceptable.

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  21. edhunter (434 comments) says:

    I couldn’t give a proverbial flying fuck about the hotel upgrades (although they are another nail in the coffin) but it’s the double standards of council workers being sacked for fucking on the job, ‘oh that rule doesn’t apply to me’, the letter & 3 phone calls to get his bit of fluff a council job, I mean shit the mayor writes a letter of recommendation saying you really should consider hiring this person for the job & you’re not going to do it?
    I can understand ‘do as I say not as I do’ when talking to children or if you’re the owner of the company, but I’m neither a child or the employee of a philandering fuckwit.
    Len does not know what’s best for me & I despise being patted on the head & with a chuckle told run along there’s nothing to see here.

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  22. doggone7 (487 comments) says:

    What’s the problem with the special dealings with SkyCity? Steven Joyce and John Key had special dealings with them and some called it ‘prudent business.’

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  23. publicwatchdog (1,815 comments) says:

    FYI Kiwibloggers:

    16 December 2013

    Nick Paterson
    General Manager Fraud and Corruption

    Julie Read
    CEO
    New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (SFO)

    ‘OPEN LETTER’ request to the NZ Serious Fraud Office to re evaluate your refusal to investigate complaint C 3592 alleging bribery and corruption against Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Sky City:

    This is a formal request for the NZ Serious Fraud Office (SFO) to re evaluate your decision not to investigate a complaint from Lisa Prager and myself for an investigation alleging bribery and corruption against Mayor Len Brown and Sky City, (which the SFO chose to treat as a ‘serious and complex fraud’ – when that was NOT the basis for this complaint) – particularly in light of the recent Ernst and Young investigation.

    (Your SFO reply, dated 5 December 2013 (your reference C3592) is attached to this email.)

    Your reply states:

    “RE: C3592 Complaint to the Serious Fraud Office

    I refer to your complaint received by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) on 22 November 2013.

    The SFO is a highly specialised government agency that is permitted by law to investigate only those matters where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that a serious or complex financial crime may have been committed.

    We have evaluated the information which you have provided to determine whether it may warrant a SFO investigation.For your information, criteria we consider in determining whether a matter may be of a serious or complex nature include:

    * The financial value of the alleged fraud (usually in excess of $2,000,000);
    *The strength of evidence to support the allegations made;
    * The number of victims impacted by the alleged fraud;
    * The factual, legal and financial complexity of the alleged fraud, including whether you have supplied any documentation to support an allegation of serious or complex fraud;

    When evaluating whether a matter may meet the criteria for an investigation we must first identify conduct that could be considered a breach of the criminal law within the mandate of the SFO (typically under the Crimes Act 1961).

    You have requested the SFO investigate whether Mayor Len Brown has committed an offence under section 105 of the Crimes Act 1961. Section 105 (1) provides that :

    Every official is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, whether within New Zealand or elsewhere, corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, any bribe for himself or any other person in respect of any act done or omitted, or to be done or omitted, by him in his official capacity.

    Section 4 of the Serious Fraud Office Act 1990 provides that:

    Where the Director has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud the Director may exercise any power conferred by this Part (Part 1).

    This is an objective test and requires there to be some evidence that would cause the Director to suspect that an investigation may disclose serious or complex fraud.

    The evidence that you have relied to make a request for investigation by SFO is

    1. In 2010 Mr Brown received a $15,000 donation from Sky City towards his Auckland Mayoral campaign which he declared.

    2. On 27 June 2013, he voted against a motion “that the Governing Body does not support the Government’s proposal for Sky City to develop a convention centre in return for changes in our gambling legisation to increase gambling at the Sky City Casino.”

    Your complaint relies on an assumption that Mr Brown voted against the motion because he had received a donation from Sky City in 2010.

    In the absence of other evidence there is not sufficient evidence to form a view that an investigation into the affairs of Mr Brown may disclose serious or complex fraud.

    Consequently we will not be commencing an investigation into your complaint. SFO will re evaluate your complaint if you can provide evidence to corroborate your complaint.

    While we will not be investigating your complaint, we thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jess Sewak
    Evaluation Officer
    Evaluation and Intelligence Unit
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The FACT is that on the ‘watch’ of Mayor Len Brown, Auckland Council did NO ‘due diligence’ on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the NZ International Convention Centre (now Act) 2013, although this increased risk was spelled out in the following Regulatory Impact Statement.

    http://www.med.govt.nz/about-us/publications/publications-by-topic/regulatory-impact-statements/mbie-regulatory-impact-statements/NZICC-RIS-June-2013.pdf

    Potential risk of money laundering

    95 Cash intensive industries such as casinos are attractive to money laundering activity. New Zealand’s National Risk Assessment 2010 assessed casinos as presenting moderate to high risk of money laundering.

    For this reason, casinos (including all SkyCity casinos) are subject to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (the AML/CFT Act), which comes into force on 30 June 2013.
    ___________________________________________________________

    The FACT is that not only did Len Brown accept a $15,000 mayoral donation in 2010 (which he did declare), not only did he argue in favour of Auckland Council supporting the NZ International Convention Centre (Bill) on 27 June 2013, but he also accepted free Sky City hotel rooms, which we believe is a major, arguably corrupt, ‘conflict of interest’.

    (The recent Ernst and Young Report has confirmed that Mayor Len Brown has received complimentary hotel rooms and upgrades from Sky City).

    NEW EVIDENCE:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/sites/default/files/images/Independent_Review_Report_FINAL_131213.pdf

    “5. The mayor has received nine complimentary (free) hotel rooms or suites which have not been registered as gifts or disclosed in his completed annual Declaration of Interests. The value of the complimentary rooms/suites based on rates 3 provided by the hotels is $6,130.

    6. The mayor has received hotel upgrades (to better quality rooms or suites) which have not been registered as gifts or disclosed in his completed annual Declaration of Interests. A total of 64 such upgrades has been identified.
    The value of the upgrades based on rates provided by the hotels is $32,888.50.

    2.3.2 Hotel rooms

    Background

    We obtained waivers from the mayor and selected employees of the Mayoral Office to obtain both council and private information in relation to bookings made by, or for, the mayor in various Auckland hotels during the review period.

    The Mayoress has advised there is an arrangement with The Stamford Plaza whereby the family (including the mayor) stay privately on a regular basis with the Mayoress being responsible for payment.

    In providing context around the mayor’s hotel bookings, a number of the hotels advised us it is standard industry practice to provide room upgrades for VIPS from time to time and there are also valid commercial reasons why hotels may choose to also provide VIPS with complimentary (free) rooms.

    Findings

    1. There were no hotel rooms used by the mayor for private purposes that were paid for by council.

    2. No complimentary rooms/suites have been registered by the mayor as gifts or disclosed in his completed 2011 and 2012 Declaration of Interests.

    3. The mayor received a total of nine complimentary rooms during the period. The value of the complimentary rooms/suites based on rates provided by the hotels is $6,130.

    4. A number of rooms were provided to the mayor at a discounted rate for a standard room and, in most cases, a superior room or suite was provided.

    There were 64 room upgrades during the period. None of the upgrades were registered by the mayor as gifts or disclosed in the mayor’s completed annual Declaration of Interests. The value of the upgrades based on rates
    provided by the hotels was $32,888.50.

    A summary of complimentary and upgrade rooms by hotel follows:
    Hotel

    SKYCITY and SKYCITY Grand Hotels

    Total room nights booked 8

    Complimentary room nights 3

    Upgrade room nights 5 ”
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    In our considered opinion, Mayor Len Brown has effectively accepted a ‘bribe’ / bribes’ from Sky City.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM328730.html

    105 Corruption and bribery of official

    (1)Every official is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who, whether within New Zealand or elsewhere, corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees or offers to accept or attempts to obtain, any bribe for himself or any other person in respect of any act done or omitted, or to be done or omitted, by him in his official capacity.

    (2)Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who corruptly gives or offers or agrees to give any bribe to any person with intent to influence any official in respect of any act or omission by him in his official capacity.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM328730.html

    99 Interpretation
    In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires,—

    bribe means any money, valuable consideration, office, or employment, or any benefit, whether direct or indirect

    official means any person in the service of Her Majesty in right of New Zealand (whether that service is honorary or not, and whether it is within or outside New Zealand), or any member or employee of any local authority or public body, or any person employed in the education service within the meaning of the State Sector Act 1988.

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    We also note that the following OECD Report has been critical of New Zealand’s ‘being soft on bribery’:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/9515330/Kiwis-rebuked-for-going-soft-on-bribery

    http://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/new-zealand-not-immune-from-foreign-bribery.htm

    We are concerned that this lack of action by the NZ SFO on bribery allegations appears not to be limited to ‘foreign bribery’?

    Again, Lisa Prager and myself confirm that we will make ourselves available at a mutually convenient time in order to discuss this matter.

    Please be advised that if the New Zealand SFO continues to refuse to investigate this allegation of bribery and corruption against Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Sky City, then options available to us, include petitioning Parliament for an inquiry into why the ‘lead agency’ to whom complaints alleging bribery and corruption are supposed to be made, (the New Zealand SFO) is arguably not doing its job?

    Please be reminded of what the NZ SFO states on your own website about ‘bribery or corruption matters’:

    http://www.sfo.govt.nz/common-questions-complainants

    “In the case of bribery or corruption matters, we focus on crimes involving public officials, which could undermine public confidence in the administration of laws.”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ……

    Lisa Prager

    ………

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION – REQUEST FOR THE SFO TO CONDUCT AN URGENT INQUIRY INTO ALLEGED BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION INVOLVING MAYOR LEN BROWN AND SKY CITY – available on http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/

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  24. Harriet (4,010 comments) says:

    “…..I don’t care who Len Brown fucks, and I don’t really want to know….”

    I do care who Len Brown fucks over, and I really want to know. :cool:

    No Right Turn is just another loser with low morals – of course it matters if someone fucks over their wife – it shows the character of the person – and when that person is the Mayor…..then well…….it goes without saying……he shouldn’t be Mayor!

    People do vote for people to be placed in PUBLIC OFFICE based on their perceived character – and the Auckland Council is not a privately owned petrol station – or Bunnings hardware store!

    The Mayoralty is not a ‘job’ but a ‘position’ – Len was ELECTED – not EMPLOYED by follow council members.

    The whole council is weak and they should all just go and get fucked – just like their Dear Leader. :cool:

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  25. Urban_Redneck (39 comments) says:

    Harriet is correct in that progressives only have moral relativism in the tool chest. Brown’s affair was not a one-off snog and wriggle after a few late night office drinkies that got out of hand – it went on for TWO YEARS.

    If he was capable of betraying what should be his most intimate and personal relationships (with his wife & family) then it stands to reason that a raft of undeclared freebies, personal purchases on the credit card and coitus in the Ngati Whatua room (his proclaimed deep respect and reverence for Maori culture must be a lie too) would not bother his conscience one iota. Who does he think he is? Bill BJ “Kiss It” Clinton?

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  26. anticorruptionnz (79 comments) says:

    This morning I requested that the electoral officer conduct an investigation into the existence of the New Auckland council trust, I suspect that this is run by the committee for Auckland whose members hold significant contracts with the council

    the details of my complaint are on http://www.transparency.net.nz Ihave gone into more detail on http://www.anticorruption.co.nz.

    Brown should identify teh existence of tgeh trust or the funds he got should be treated as being anonymous and handed to the general fund

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