Brown roundup

The Len Brown story continues to get a lot of coverage as the clusterfuck continues, it’s hard to see anyone involved coming out of this with reputation’s intact. And to accentuate the Auckland falls from grace ex-mayor and now Act MP John Banks adds to the super city malaise.

NZ Herald leads this morning with a ‘revelation’ of what is unsurprising.

Palino met with Brown’s lover

John Palino met Len Brown’s former mistress for a late-night discussion in a Mission Bay car park the night after the mayoral election and just two days before the affair was made public.

Bevan Chuang claims Mr Palino’s camp raised the possibility that Mr Brown could be shamed into resigning the mayoralty.

When news of the scandal broke on Tuesday, Mr Palino denied any knowledge of the affair. But he met Ms Chuang on Sunday, October 13 – the day after the election.

Also unsurprising:

Last night, Mr Palino’s campaign manager, John Slater, confirmed a meeting had taken place, but said it was just a “general chit-chat”.

It would have been unusual if Palino had not been had some involvement and Slater (senior) did not know something about what was going on.

Herald opinion writers wade in as well.

John Armstrong:

Brown’s mea culpa absolutely woeful

For his part, Brown is surely now ensconced in Last Chance Saloon and just one step removed from being forced to resign.

Should one further Brown-instigated or approved favour to former paramour Bevan Chuang, which has an Auckland Council connection, emerge from the woodwork then he has to go.

Brian Edwards:

That mayor culpa had better be all, Len

Len Brown is in something more than a bit of trouble, and I’d give him the same advice Mike gave to me.

Faced with this immediate crisis, however, the Auckland mayor’s only option was to be straightforward, tell the truth and admit the error of his ways.

It seems to me that’s more or less what he’s done. But the “more or less” may be the sticking point.

In a crisis like this, involving personal morality, “more or less the truth” wasn’t enough; it had to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Further revelations will pile pressure upon pressure for Brown. He may cling to his coveted mayoralty but diminishing credibility will make it very difficult to do a decent job.

Fran O’Sullivan:

Two men with their backs against wall

Brown’s instinct is to hunker down and try to ride out the media storm.

He is being helped by the drip-feed of revelations about the role his former lover’s buddies in the Palino camp played in his outing.

These revelations have made Brown a figure of fun. But there is also a sinister element to them. Particularly the pressure which Bevan Chuang claims was put on her by Palino’s PR man (one of her other lovers) to try and get her to entrap Brown in making “dirty talk” on the phone.

There should be a proper wide-ranging council inquiry into whether Brown abused rules by creating favours for Chuang.

Not simply an inquiry put in place by the chief executive.

Once the inquiry reports, Brown should stand down and call for another election where voters can either accept him or reject him in the knowledge they have all facts on the table.

Tracy Watkins (Stuff):

Brown-Chuang affair has MPs wary

Like a nuclear mushroom cloud, the toxic fallout from the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang affair is enveloping everyone within its radius.

No-one will come out of this kiss-and-tell well – not the mayor, his former mistress, those who broke the story on the Whale Oil blog or the mayoral rival who has now also been damaged by the actions of an over-ambitious supporter.

Blogs continue very active comments. There will no doubt be more on Whale Oil today (access can be patchy).

Also with ongoing discussions:

Public Address: Hard News: Everybody’s Machiavelli

Kiwiblog: Nasty Rudman

The Standard:

Whale Oil responds including major but vague allegations and a promise of more to come – Rapid Fire Q+A on Len Brown story

Rob Hosking at NBR: Len Brown and the value proposition theory of political scandal

Leave a comment


  1. As you say clusterfucks are hotting up for more juicy stories and the more I see them the more I find the whole thing really disgusting. To take down another human being for being all too human, is more disgusting than mere humping episodes (season one. There might not be another season on TV anytime soon). I think Len Brown needs to be left alone. The damage is already done in his marriage which he is trying to keep together.

    As for the political enemies who started this – well your arrogance has preceded you.

  2. Darryl

     /  19th October 2013

    Len Brown, needs to resign, and take himself out of the public eye. He has made a fool of himself, and to be blaming everyone else, is pathetic. When I look at him all I see is sleaze.


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