The costs of the Brown report

December 16th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Auckland Mayor says he will not pay any of the $100,000-plus costs of a damning review that found he failed to declare more than $39,000 in free hotel rooms and upgrades.

Mr Brown said he supported the review by council chief executive Doug McKay and agreed to the terms of reference, which cleared him of using council resources or providing preferential treatment in connection to his affair with Bevan Chuang.

But when it came to costs arising from the rest of the inquiry that found he received nine free hotel rooms worth $6130 and 64 upgrades worth $32,888.50, Mr Brown said that was something Mr McKay had pursued.

Mr Brown said he he would pay his personal costs for legal advice from Philip Skelton, QC, but would not pay any costs of the review.

Mr McKay has estimated the cost of the EY (Ernst & Young) review at $100,000-plus. Other associated costs include legal advice to the council by Crown Solicitor Simon Moore, QC.

Brown brought in his own QC and threatened the Council which had to hire a QC also. The legal costs on top of the EY costs will be significant.

Mr Brown has never apologised to the council for the two-year affair and showed little remorse on Friday when his free hotel rooms and upgrades were revealed.

He views the report as a vindication. No one fair who reads it could see it that way.

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35 Responses to “The costs of the Brown report”

  1. Reid (15,625 comments) says:

    He views the report as a vindication. No one fair who reads it could see it that way.

    Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity (either in fantasy or actual behavior), an overwhelming need for admiration, and usually a complete lack of empathy toward others. People with this disorder often believe they are of primary importance in everybody’s life or to anyone they meet. While this pattern of behavior may be appropriate for a king in 16th Century England, it is generally considered inappropriate for most ordinary people today.

    People with narcissistic personality disorder often display snobbish, disdainful, or patronizing attitudes. For example, an individual with this disorder may complain about a clumsy waiter’s “rudeness” or “stupidity” or conclude a medical evaluation with a condescending evaluation of the physician.

    In order for a person to be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) they must meet five or more of the following symptoms:

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

    Requires excessive admiration

    Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

    Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

    Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

    Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

    Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    http://psychcentral.com/disorders/narcissistic-personality-disorder-symptoms/

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  2. Archer (156 comments) says:

    DPF: “He views the report as a vindication. No one fair who reads it could see it that way.”

    It does make it handy to read through articles and editorials to see who lets political bias overshadow neutrality and balance, though.

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  3. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    It turns out that Brown funneled $500k worth of election donations through a trust so that he didn’t have to declare them. How can it be right that Banks is on trial for trying to keep a much smaller amount of donations anonymous, when we don’t know who donated to Brown? After all when Dotcom came looking for a favour from Banks, Banks said “no”. While Brown has been supporting the commercial interests of a company that has been giving him a hotel room that he could use when he wanted a night with his mistresses rather than his wife.

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  4. Barnsley Bill (931 comments) says:

    Len Brown will never resign. 250,000 dollars per year plus perks, freebies, backhanders and a fat trust for secret donations. He will milk this hard until his term finishes.
    He has to get the white water rafting scam built to make sure his mates are looked after.
    He now has perhaps the worst record of any politician in the country. He was caught bang to rights helping himself and telling lies when he ran Manukau. And now we find he cheated on his cancer suffering wife and took freebies from his donors, add to that the bare faced cheek of his performance since he got caught.
    Anybody expecting his behaviour to change is a moron.
    The only humour to come out of this whole affair is watching the mental contortions from left wing commentators who will blindly support somebody taking a massive shit on their chests as long as they are left wingers.

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  5. Chris2 (708 comments) says:

    I don’t generally text as it is too time consuming, so I have to say I am slightly fixated on the 1,375 calls and text that Brown sent to his mistress.

    But it occurs to me that this requires more public discussion – how many Council meetings, planning sessions, etc, did Brown sit through, possibly even chair, whilst all the time he was sending and receiving text to his mistress?

    How many times was Brown supposedly giving full attention to people making submissions to him as Mayor, but all the while his attention was focused elsewhere, on swapping messages with his lover.

    It would be an interesting task for a reporter to compare the time of Brown’s calls/texts to his mistress with his Council Diary so we could have some idea whether he was texting on the job.

    Decades ago Grey Lynn Labour MP John A. Lee was expelled from the Labour Party for writing about the psychopatholgy of his Labour Prime Minister Michael Savage and how Savage’s ill-health might have affected his ability to fulfill his duties as Prime Minister. I think a similar analogy can be made with Brown – how much of his Mayoral decision-making was affected by his addictive, furtive, infatuation with his mistress, as evident by the 1,375 calls he made to her?

    How many wrong or poor Mayoral decisions did Brown make because his mind was elsewhere?

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  6. flipper (3,277 comments) says:

    Guess who got favourable media treatment:

    Wong – National
    Gilmore – National
    Heatley – National
    Banks – ACT
    Hide – ACT
    Hughes – Labour
    Dunne – UF
    J Key – National
    Horan – NZ First (petersparty2)
    Palino – independent
    Brown – Labour.

    Not hard is it?

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  7. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    Didn’t Sky City deny giving him free rooms?

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  8. wreck1080 (3,533 comments) says:

    @Barnsley Bill ::

    but, hopefully it will be a toxic environment for him, and history will remember him as a bad man.

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  9. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    He views the report as a vindication. No one fair who reads it could see it that way.

    Lefties… Apparently the Taito Field report exonerated him as well … then … doh !

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  10. Manolo (12,644 comments) says:

    This corrupt man knows no shame. He’s an example of amorality.

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  11. Peter (1,471 comments) says:

    “1,375 calls and text”

    How long was the affair? Six months? If so, around 6-7 txts a day, every single day? Some days none at all, other days 14, 20 txts?

    How much paid work was this guy not doing?

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  12. Alan (922 comments) says:

    “How can it be right that Banks is on trial for trying to keep a much smaller amount of donations anonymous, when we don’t know who donated to Brown?”

    In the unlikely event that you’ve not seen the news in the past year, the clear difference is that (it is alleged) Banks knew who gave the money, Len doesn’t (or has been careful enough not to solicit cash in person).

    Anonymous donations are fine, lying and claiming donations are anonymous when they aren’t isn’t.

    Simple.

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  13. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    The only humour to come out of this whole affair is watching the mental contortions from left wing commentators who will blindly support somebody taking a massive shit on their chests as long as they are left wingers.

    Some are contorting but they’re in a minority, far more on the left are calling Brown on his lying and cheating – Brown criticised left, right and centre.

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  14. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    Alan

    Yes indeed. Brown had no idea which of the hotels had donated free rooms while he was staying in them…. apologist scum !

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  15. Rich Prick (1,324 comments) says:

    Vindication? Masturbating in the mayoral office and rooting in a Council meeting room. That would be shame enough, one would have thought.

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  16. Alan (922 comments) says:

    @Burt

    “Alan

    Yes indeed. Brown had no idea which of the hotels had donated free rooms while he was staying in them…. apologist scum !”

    Two points;

    Firstly, that wasn’t the issue we were discussing, it was electoral campaign returns, and the comparison to Banks. I addressed a specific point.

    Secondly, “Scum”, really ? name calling is very much lacking in class.

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  17. Longknives (4,051 comments) says:

    ““The overwhelming sentiment, no matter what they think of me, is ‘for goodness sake get on with the job’.”

    All I want is for one, just freaking one, journalist to grow some balls and take this lying prick to task-

    “Mr Brown- Polls clearly indicate that 75% of Aucklanders want you gone”
    “Mr Brown- Do you really think masturbating in the Mayoral office while you were supposed to be working is acceptable?”
    “Mr Brown- Why did you lie about the freebies?” “Do you think this is acceptable behaviour from an elected official?”

    The way journalists (especially that slimy weasel Campbell) are pandering to this guy and avoiding the hard questions is nothing short of pathetic…

    The Masturbating Mayor has got away with it. He ain’t going anywhere…

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  18. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    Alan

    The lacking in class is not having the integrity to face the consequences of your own actions. Failing to declare tens of thousands of “free” gifts while having an affair … that’s a lack of class… Saying it’s OK cause Banks did worse … that’s just apologist behaviour and apologists … they are scum.

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  19. Alan (922 comments) says:

    “Saying it’s OK cause Banks did worse … that’s just apologist behaviour and apologists … they are scum.”

    I don’t think anyone has said that though, have they ?

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  20. Reid (15,625 comments) says:

    Masturbating in the mayoral office and rooting in a Council meeting room. That would be shame enough, one would have thought.

    Have a look at the list of traits in the first post on this thread RP. Those two things you mention plus the way he did it in his bathroom before coming to work (which demonstrates contempt for his wife – imagine what she feels using that room now) are extreme actions for most people to do, unless you have something wrong with you. They are what lead me to that diagnosis of this guy and if you research that disorder, you will see it’s not just undesirable for someone like that to hold Len’s position, it’s downright dangerous.

    Garner described Len’s office as being around the equivalent level of Joyce – number three Central govt and I reckon that’s probably about right. And with his transport projects coming up this term plus his unified plan going through, someone with his disorder is highly vulnerable to suggestion and influence by vested interests who take advantage by playing to his ego. Combine that with his contempt for the “little people” and you have a volatile mix.

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  21. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (329 comments) says:

    What is the penalty for not advising appropriately on gifts [room upgrades] over $300, as $32,888 / 64 would indicate on average $513.87 ?
    The Code of Conduct Elected Members [which includes the mayor in its Intro] doesn’t seems to have any penalties, which pointlessness needs immediate remedy.

    And what of the Mayor exposing himself [sick] to SkyCity blackmail, or “pressure” – he needs censure for that misjudgment – a misjudgment that is now even greater if there were others.

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  22. Paulus (2,304 comments) says:

    Len’s staff – those remaining – will be very worried as their highly paid jobs will go with him.

    When Penny H takes over, appointed by Labour Councillors, to save election costs, she will want her own sycophants.

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  23. KiwiGreg (3,129 comments) says:

    @paulus that’s not how it works. Council cant fire Len and even if he resigned she doesn’t become mayor.

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  24. burt (7,096 comments) says:

    Alan

    the clear difference is that (it is alleged) Banks knew who gave the money, Len doesn’t

    So Len has no idea where the free undeclared hotel rooms came from ?????

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  25. davidp (3,329 comments) says:

    Alan>In the unlikely event that you’ve not seen the news in the past year, the clear difference is that (it is alleged) Banks knew who gave the money, Len doesn’t (or has been careful enough not to solicit cash in person).

    Are you serious? You’re saying that Brown is the only politician in NZ who doesn’t have to ask people to donate to his campaign, but instead people (and corporations) just spontaneously decide to give money to a Brown-related trust?

    The trust was one way of ensuring that donor names were secret. So was telling a donor that their name would be secret if they split their donation. That one was legal and the other illegal is just legal nitpicking and has nothing to do with any principles.

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  26. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    In the unlikely event that you’ve not seen the news in the past year, the clear difference is that (it is alleged) Banks knew who gave the money, Len doesn’t (or has been careful enough not to solicit cash in person).

    Wrong. Len solicted the cash and knew exactly who had donated to him, but because the donations were paid to the trust it meant that he could declare the trust as the donor, rather than the actual source of the money.

    This is exactly what National used to do with their Waitemata trust before legislation covering national politics changed, and boy did the lefties screech about that.

    By contrast, what Banks did was to hit people up for money, but then not look at the actual payments so he could not officially know if they’d given him a donation or not.

    Both approaches are perfectly within the letter of the slack legislation governing local politics, both violate the spirit of the legislation, the difference is that Len’s a lefty and Banks isn’t.

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  27. Pete George (21,831 comments) says:

    Statement from Mayor Len Brown

    Press Release: Office of the Mayor of Auckland
    16 December 2013

    Statement from Mayor Len Brown

    “This morning I met with Auckland Councillors to discuss the chief executive’s report into the mayoral office.

    “We had a full, frank and robust discussion and I have offered a full and unconditional apology to Councillors.

    “I understand the frustration and disappointment that Councillors feel. I realise that I have a good deal of work to regain their trust and rebuild our working relationships in the interests of Auckland. This is my focus, starting today.”

    Another piss poor apology.

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  28. Rich Prick (1,324 comments) says:

    Press Release: Office of the Mayor of Auckland
    16 December 2013

    Statement from Mayor Len Brown

    “This morning I met with Auckland Councillors to discuss the chief executive’s report into the mayoral office.

    “We had a full, frank and robust discussion and I have offered a full and unconditional apology to Councillors.

    “I understand the frustration and disappointment that Councillors feel. I realise that I have a good deal of work to regain their trust and rebuild our working relationships in the interests of Auckland. This is my focus, starting today.”

    “Then I went back to the office and rubbed one out.”

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  29. Barnsley Bill (931 comments) says:

    FFS..
    The cheating liar Brown is being paid 120 dollars per hour, plus all the backhanders, freebies, secret payments to his trust and lord knows what else he is conniving to squeeze from the lemon that is Auckland ratepayers.
    Think about that number for a minute, 2 dollars a minute…

    Now compare his behaviour to that of Shane Jones, when he got caught wanking on the backs of Tax payers he at least had the guts to front up, apologise and take his lumps.
    Now Brown gets caught pulling his guts out and much worse and he has to be dragged through an inquiry which he refuses to pay for. He didn’t just wank all over the backs of the ratepayers, he wiped himself on the curtain on the way out.
    He made a tenner during the timer it took to type this.

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  30. Paul Marsden (935 comments) says:

    The JP issue is an interesting angle. A sitting Mayor must be a JP. If he has his JP warrant revoked, he can’t be a Mayor. The legalislation is clear on this.

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  31. Chris2 (708 comments) says:

    Brown’s first words in his statement were:

    “This morning I met with Auckland Councillors to discuss the chief executive’s report into the mayoral office”.

    Surely this is a lie too. The inquiry was into Brown’s behaviour with Chuang, not an inquiry into his office.

    Even when cobbling an apology together he can not tell the truth.

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  32. Colville (1,780 comments) says:

    The councillors also planned to request that Brown make full reimbursement of all remaining personal costs and make appropriate contributions to other costs incurred by the council during his affair.

    So will 2 minute Len be paying $500,000 in costs of EY report , the QCs and all the freaking wasted man/woman hours back to ACC ?

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  33. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    If we didn’t think he was so wonderful us Huttites would donate you Jafas the best little Mayor in NZ… Ray Wallace, as long as you didn’t want to swap him for old Rooter Brown. :)

    You fuckwit’s voted for the wanker, get used to it and stop bleating! :)

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  34. anticorruptionnz (80 comments) says:

    This morning I made a complaint to the electoral officer for Auckland council by my reasoning there have to be necks that roll as what Mr Brown is trying to pull looks to me like a swifty .

    The funding which Brown received in the past years according to my calculator is nearly 3/4 of a million in anonymous donations dressed up and disguised as a trust called the a new auckland council trust.

    Hang on lets back track a bit here .. all it takes is is a name on a piece of paper to suggest that the money came from a trust and that is all that is required ? what about real evidence .. sorry I have a hang up on Evidence I am after all an investigator I like to see the evidence.. believe nothing check everything…

    John Banks used the same trick ” The largest named individual donation was $20,000 from “The Main Trust”. It was not on the societies and trusts register at the Companies Office. ”

    This is exactly the issue which I have been fighting with AWINZ for 8 years .. when is a trust a trust and how do we know a trust exists when it is not registered any where?

    I forced the AWINZ trust which alleged to be a law enforcement authority out in to the open and as a result the story of AWINZ became a total farce – a farce which the lawyers and courts and len brown were happy to stand by , we actually support fiction in our courts and in our administration of the law and justice and a trust is a trust if some one says so.. Duh roll on Santa your real !

    So back to the trusts of Len Brown and John Banks .. how do we know that they are trusts? How do we know there is a deed ? how would any one know to make a donation to them is they are secret ?

    The legal status of such trust is that they only exist through their trustees. The trustees are the legal persons who act together to fulfill the wishes of the settlor ( the person setting up the trust ) there are requirements that have to exist to make a trust valid and without them a trust could be a sham .

    When these deeds don’t get produced , how do we know the trusts are valid and the person getting the dosh is the intended beneficiary? How do we know that these trusts are not just a “Harry Potter magic cloak” and simply hide the identity of the person passing money on to a candidate in elections so as to circumvent the intent of the legislation ( lawyers are good at this ) .

    section 103 D of the Local Electoral Act 2001 requires that a contributor be identified – does that mean that a contributor can use a pseudonym to circumvent the law ? Identify does that not also include to establish the existence of ?so even if it is a trust the trustees who run the trust will have this obligation placed on their shoulders and it is the trustees responsibility to identify the contributor . but we don’t know who the trustees are because we could be dealing with a fiction but we are not certain .. but thats Ok cause hes the mayor he has an LLB and he must be honest ( too bad he deceived his wife )

    there is actually an offence for not complying with section 103d but who can enforce this is the donor is hiding behind a false name.. and one would have to ask.. why can’t you be open about the donation ? is it a bribe or something??

    There is also a provision which specifically deals with the manner in which anonymous donations are dealt with and 103F places obligations on the transmitter of the funds. so if this transmitter is a fictional creature a trust which is not locatable or identifiable does that mean that this obligation is not enforced ?

    Once again the legislation has an intention of accountability and there is a penalty on the transmitter if they conceal the identity of the donor 103 G so why does a fictional creature provide an opportunity to avoid accountability ? surely there must be an address for the New Auckland council trust, surely it must have had a bank account and some real living person must have undertaken the transactions. .. or have computers developed a life of their own and knew exactly who to give the money to.

    Then there is section 103 H which places the obligation on the administrator of the candidates affairs.. ( the person doing this for Len would have been busy .. couldn’t resist ) Now If I was a betting person I would put money on the fact that the new Auckland council trust is run by the committee for Auckland who do so well out of council and nearly every member holds a contract.. ell worth belonging to such a powerful group.. all funded by the rate payers.

    Once again there is an offence 103 I for the administrator of candidates affair for failing to disclose who the contributor is but again this is not a section which has ever been enforced .

    Then there is good all 103 J which states that Anonymous donation may not exceed $1,500 and the excess needs to be handed over within 20 days . So in the end I think that if Len can’t identify the persons who gave him the money in the past two elections he is just going to have to give it to the general fund but since he is out of time he needs to be prosecuted.

    A candidate who contravenes section 103J(1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.finally we get to 103l Records of electoral donations1) A candidate must keep proper records of all donations received by him or her.

    (2) A candidate who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000.

    So what is proper about putting a fictional body into the return?so Sorry Len its time to face the music perhaps this time some on will make the proper investigations and you will be prosecuted by the Police and the private prosecution service can take a break .

    lets see if the electoral officer can investigate and pass it on to the police or will this be condoned?

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  35. Johnboy (13,439 comments) says:

    If all you bloody whining Jafa pricks had voted for Palino all this grief would be academic.

    All of you north of the Bombay are wankers. All of us south of the Bombay know this for a fact. :)

    Stop your bloody moaning and get a life. You can get rid of the deadbeat in a little less than two years.

    Spare the rest of the country from your complaining, we really don’t give a shit! :)

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