Pants Down, Stand Down!
Pants Down, Stand Down!
“Following revelations that Mayor Len Brown has directly lied to voters about the receipt of free hotel rooms and upgrades, a simple censure is not enough,” says Affordable Auckland Leader Stephen Berry. “Mayor Brown has no credibility, no moral mandate and no business continuing in his current position.. He must resign immediately.”
Stephen Berry says he wasn’t initially concerned about news Brown had engaged in an extra-marital affair with Bevan Chuang, emphatically believing the Mayor has the right to keep his private life private. “However when it emerged that the Mayor was actively engaging in carnal activities with Ms Chuang on his desk and in various Town Hall rooms, my view was that his private activities had most certainly become public. Had I engaged in such behaviour in the staff cafeteria or stockroom at my place of work I would have lost my job. The same standard should apply to the Mayor.”
Such indiscretions proved not to be the end of the matter. In the days following the breaking of the scandal, questions were raised about receiving free hotel rooms, all emphatically denied by Mr. Brown. The Ernst & Young report has now demonstrated these denials to be false, the value running into the tens of thousands of dollars. “Mr. Brown has attributed that false denial to not having the full power of recollection. An individual claiming not to recall having over 60 hotel room upgrades has even less credibility than John Banks claiming not to recall one helicopter ride to a mansion. Len Brown has deliberately and directly lied to the people of Auckland. He has to go.”
Mr Berry believes the current legal situation which provides no methods to remove an elected official needs to be reformed by the National Government. “I believe a system whereby a certain percentage of signatures gathered by voters to force a recall of elected officials would be an appropriate step to take following this very unusual situation. Clearly a three year electoral cycle is not enough to ensure accountability by our elected officials.”
Stephen Berry was Affordable Auckland’s candidate in the October Mayoral elections and finished in third place with 13650 votes. When asked if he will stand again in a Mayoral by-election, he enthusiastically says yes. “As the highest polling candidate who has been untouched by the Len Brown affair I certainly believe I have an obligation to have another crack at the Mayoralty. In the last election I know a lot of my supporters chose the safe option of Palino to try to unseat Brown. In a Mayoral by-election, they will feel more comfortable voting for someone advocating the small government policies they really support.”