Brown payment must be made public

The Herald reports:

Expectations are rising for a settlement by Auckland Mayor towards the $100,000-plus cost of a review into his extramarital affair to be made public.

Three of the five councillors negotiating a settlement – Chris Fletcher, George Wood and Dick Quax – believe it is the wish of the group to make the settlement public.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and Penny Webster, the other two on the negotiating group, are staying quiet.

Mr Brown told the Herald last week that when councillors set up a group last month to enter into binding negotiations, the resolution was the settlement would be confidential.

Of course it must be made public. The is a public organisation and has public accounts, plus the payment could be requested under the . I’d be amazed if the Ombudsman ruled that such a payment could be deemed commercially sensitive or confidential.

We are still waiting to hear also the full cost of the inquiry. The legal fees incurred when the Mayor lawyered up are rumoured to be well in excess of the direct cost of the inquiry itself.

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