Mayor surrounded by security guards

The Herald reports:

Questions have been raised about the level of security surrounding Auckland Mayor during his first public appearance of the year.

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer said ratepayers should be concerned at seeing a “bevy of heavies” shadowing the Mayor at the opening of the new $17 million Panmure Transport Interchange on Saturday. …

Protester Dick Cuthbert, who has been to many demonstrations over the years and had come to voice his disapproval of Mr Brown’s leadership, said he was surprised by the level of security.

“I was amazed by the heavies at what was not a controversial event – it was a much-awaited bus-train station. It’s unprecedented.

“I put this down as a mayor terrified of the real public and how they will respond to his carrying on.”

Mr Brewer said the protesters did not justify security being there.

“I don’t believe ratepayers should be funding security guards to surround the Mayor on such occasions. A few hecklers and peaceful demonstrators exercising their democratic right is no justification,” he said.

“It’s an unprecedented sight to have a New Zealand mayor surrounded by publicly-funded heavies to open a suburban railway station.”

I can’t recall a precedent in terms of local body politicians.

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