The costs of the Brown report

The Herald reports:

Auckland Mayor Len Brown 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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