Brown: 'Most people are over it'

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 14:00 16/03/2014

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Auckland mayor Len Brown believes he has won back the support of the public and his fellow councillors following last year's revelations and subsequent furore over an extramarital affair.

Brown has faced repeated protests and calls for his resignation as a result of the affair with Bevan Chuang and he was roundly booed when he spoke at the recent Auckland Nines tournament earlier this year.

In spite of the public pressure he has steadfastly refused to resign and told TVNZ's Q and A this morning that believes he is back on track.

"Most people are over it and they want me to get on with the job and that's what I'm doing," he said.

He said he spent a lot of time in the community and the recent feedback, especially since the start of the year, had been "Len get on with the job".

"So one, yes I am totally over that, and on with the job, and secondly the community wants to see our city continuing to flourish as it has been over the last six months."

He also believed his fellow councillors were getting behind him.

Brown said the scandal had not diminished his enthusiasm for the role.

"Despite the challenges, I'm absolutely loving it [the job] and that conviction and that commitment is there as much as it was the first day that I stepped into that office three-and-a-half years ago."

He also denied he was shirking public appearances.

"I'm everywhere I need to be, I can't be at everything. I get 80 or 90 invites a week. I share those invites around our councillors, local board chairs.

''I'm out there, I'm in the face of the public of Auckland and I'm on the streets. They see me there they come up, they give me their view. Sometimes it's not positive."

Brown also told Q and A he wanted the government to look at new ways to fund local councils, saying restricting council's to only doing so through property taxes was unfair.

"It is clearly about fairness, and if you'd sat in the number of the meetings that I sat in with the elderly in our community in particular and try to answer their queries - look I'm getting older, my income is flatlined yet my property values are going up, it's really difficult for me to afford rates.

''And so it's a genuine attempt for us in local government, not just Auckland but local government to really fix that issue of fairness and also simplicity.  I challenge you to get anyone to simply explain rates."

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- Fairfax Media

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