Len Brown is being sworn in
as Mayor of Auckland tonight with wife Shan Inglis at his
Ms Inglis is present at the inaugural meeting of the Auckland
Council in the Auckland Town Hall - the first time she has
been seen alongside her husband since Mr Brown's
extra-marital affair became public.
The mayor's wife was seated in the town hall for the formal
two-hour occasion that includes a Maori welcome and
performances by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and
Auckland Choral. The couple's eldest daughter, Sam, is also
Mr Brown, who won a second term as Mayor of Auckland on
October 12, makes no reference in prepared speech notes about
his two-year affair with Bevan Chuang, a member of the
council's Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.
Ever since a detailed account of the affair was made public
on October 15 by the right-wing Whaleoil blog, Mr Brown has
sought to make amends with his wife and children, and with
He pledged to stay on as mayor and tonight he sets out to
move forward from the vision to the building blocks of
creating the world's most liveable city.
"Big improvements are on the way. We are fundamentally
changing the built environment and the way we use our
transport," he said.
He said the discussion around the $2.86 billion city rail
link had moved from "why?" to "when?" and talked about the
need to get more people in trains and buses and ferries, at a
time when patronage is slipping.
Mr Brown reiterated the compact city model - the basis for
the Auckland Plan and new planning rulebook, or Unitary Plan
- "that makes that possible".
On housing , he saw the need to give people more choices and
making those choices more affordable.
Mr Brown said the council would continue to borrow
"prudently" to help pay for sound and responsible planning
and addressed growing public disquiet at big executive
salaries by proposing a remuneration policy this term to
provide greater transparency and accountability around senior
"Auckland is growing. And so we must continue to invest in
our city's infrastructure - physical and intellectual.
"But there is one more aspect that matters just as much, and
that is the spirit of this city.
"Let's be excited by the fact that Lonely Planet rated
Auckland today as one of the top 10 cities in the world, but
let's recognise that there's still so much more we can do,"
Mr Brown said in speech notes.
- By Bernard Orsman of
the New Zealand Herald