Len Brown, a qualified lawyer, is a career politician.
He first gained office as a Manukau City Councillor for the Otara ward in 1992, a position he held till 2004 when he made an unsuccessful tilt for the Manukau mayoralty.
Three years later in 2007 he ran again and won the Manukau mayoralty. That lead to his campaign against John Banks for the super city mayoralty in the wake of Auckland's amalgamation into the country's single biggest city.
Coincidentally on the day the Brown scandal broke, his rival from that campaign, Banks, was in court for his own scandal about election funding involving Kim Dotcom. He was sitting in court reading about the Brown scandal today.
Brown was elected on a platform of improving public transport and has been widely regarded as being successful on that front, winning major concessions from the Government to bank rail plans.
His says his vision is for Auckland to be the world's most liveable city.
He was a co-founder of the Otara Fleamarket, and later the innovative Otara Health community service, the Howick Free Legal Service, and the East Tamaki Business Association.
On May 31, 2008, he suffered a heart attack while on stage at a music awards ceremony. After bypass surgery he revealed it was a previously unrecognised congenital heart problem. His mother having died from a heart attack at 47.
He was a partner with legal firm Wynyard Wood while wife, Shan Inglis, is a partner in another Auckland law firm. They have three daughters and a grandson.
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