South Auckland politicians are sticking by embattled mayor Len Brown.
Mr Brown, 57, who is married with three daughters, admits he had had an affair with Bevan Chuang, 32, who stood unsuccessfully for the Albert-Eden Local Board in last week's elections and who serves on the Auckland Council's Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.
The affair lasted two years and ended a few months before the election campaign, the mayor says.
Some of his political opponents have called for his resignation.
But Manukau's councillor Arthur Anae says the affair shouldn't affect the mayor's ability to do his job.
"I always think people should stay out of people's private lives.
"He's proven himself after pulling the council together. I'm definitely in the camp that he stays on."
Mr Anae says there is a political agenda on the centre-right that wants to "hang him [Mr Brown] out to dry".
"People need to look in the mirror before throwing stones."
Manukau councillor Alf Filipaina says he still supports Mr Brown.
"He's got the history. There's nobody else."
The affair is a private matter Mr Brown needs to sort out with his family, Mr Filipaina says.
Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board chairman Peter Skelton doesn't think the mayor should resign.
"I don't think it has anything to do with whether he's capable of doing the job he's been elected for.
"It's Len's personal life and I don't know why it comes into whether he's capable of running the super-city," he says.
The scandal might have cost Mr Brown the trust of a few voters but it shouldn't, Mr Skelton says.
"We've all got baggage in our lives. He still has the support from his family and we should all be getting around and supporting the man."
Manurewa-Papakura councillor Calum Penrose says he's worried about how the revelations will affect the city.
"I don't want the Auckland economy to come to a grinding halt."
Mr Penrose says the mayor has done a "damn good job" up until now.
"He's made a mistake, how he deals with it is up to him."
Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Angela Dalton didn't want to comment while Manurewa-Papakura councillor Sir John Walker and Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board chairman John McCracken couldn't be reached.
Mr Brown told Campbell Live his record stands in terms of his political service and he intends to stay on as Auckland's leader.
"I clearly have a challenge within my family and it's there I have failed dismally."
The mayor cancelled a scheduled monthly meeting with the Manukau Courier yesterday after news of the affair broke.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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