The Secret Mayor

Len Brown is the Secret Mayor. He didn’t want anyone to know who he had dinner with and fought for 8 months all the way to the Ombudsman. He lost that fight. He wanted board appointments held in secret so he could put his mates on the board unchallenged. And now he has fought an attempt to have the business of the Maori Statutory Authority conducted with openness and transparency.

Secrecy surrounds a new funding plan for the Maori Statutory Board after Mayor Len Brown yesterday crushed a move by many councillors for an open debate on the issue.

Mr Brown, who campaigned last year on openness and transparency, did not want councillors speaking publicly about one of the biggest embarrassments of his six months in the Super City hot seat.

He gathered 11 votes, just enough to stop nine councillors who wanted to debate the council’s new negotiating position with the board in public.

Said councillor Cathy Casey: “It is time to speak out, say what you think and own your words.”

9 Councillors voted for openness. They were Cameron Brewer, Cathy Casey, Christine Fletcher, Mike Lee, Callum Penrose, Sharon Stewart, Des Morrison, John Walker and George Wood. They can hold their heads high.

The other 11 – Len Brown, Wayne Walker, Michael Goudie, Arthur Anae, Alf Filipaina, Richard Northey, Anne Hartley, Penny Webster, Sandra Coney, Penny Hulse, and Noelene Raffils need to be drummed out of the council for letting down their people.

Len Brown sat on a train and campaigned for openness and transparency. He promised “open books”. He has lied to Aucklanders. This discussion is about the budget of the?Maori Statutory Board, if that isn’t part of the books then what on earth is?

Aucklanders know now that Len Brown prefers the shadows, back-room deals and weasel words. He has the spine of a jellyfish and the gumption of a fart. It is unacceptable that discussions about spending ratepayers money are held in secret.

We deserve better.

 

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