Release Brown report: Councillors

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 10:41 12/12/2013

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Pressure is mounting on the Auckland Council to release a report on Mayor Len Brown's use of council resources during his affair with Bevan Chuang.

Some councillors say they have been left in the dark and that the public deserve answers.

Release of the Ernst & Young investigation into Brown is several weeks overdue.

The independent investigation was launched on October 17 to examine issues such as whether any council resources were improperly used in the course of the affair.

Brown has been given a copy of the draft report to provide feedback on, after which the council has said the report will be released publicly.

Some councillors are frustrated by the delays.

Councillor Linda Cooper felt she was being "kept in the dark" over the investigation and yesterday asked the council's chief executive for an update.

She was still waiting for a response this morning.

"We're seeing everything in the media and nothing in the town hall," she said.

"The council are owed an explanation in terms of where the process is at. Do we have to keep hearing it in the news first?"

She said people did not feel confident in Brown as long as the report remained secret.

"They want to know it's all OK and move on," she said.

Councillor Denise Krum expressed her frustrations on Facebook, saying the issue was hanging over councillors' heads.

"The time delay is unacceptable, and I sincerely hope there are no ratepayer dollars at work for the mayor to take advice on the report's (so far secret) findings," she wrote.

Councillor Cameron Brewer called for the report to be released immediately.

Brown had had more than enough time to give his feedback, and one person should not be allowed to paralyse the entire council, he said.

Brown has repeatedly said that his behaviour during the two-year affair did not breach any official rules.

Council chief executive Doug McKay announced the Ernst & Young review in October.

It was to examine:

- Any use of council resources within the office of the mayor in respect of Brown's relationship with Chuang that contravened council policies (for example, payments and procurement).

- Any improper preferential treatment in relation to Chuang's engagement as an employee, contractor or adviser within the Auckland Council Group.

- Any other issues the reviewers or chief executive considered related to or arose out of those matters.

A council spokesman had not responded to requests this morning to reveal a timeline for the report's release.

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