Auckland mayor Len Brown used his council phone to make
1373 personal calls and texts to mistress Bevan Chuang and
failed to declare more than $39,000 in free hotel rooms and
A report into the pair's affair, released this afternoon,
said Mr Brown used his council phone to make 1373 calls and
texts to Ms Chuang between November 19, 2010 and October 21,
Ms Chuang said all of the calls and texts were of a personal
The mayor also received nine free hotel rooms which he didn't
declare, valued at $6130.
He also failed to declare 54 hotel upgrades valued at
Mr Brown made one reimbursement of $263 for personal phone
use on October 2012 but no subsequent reimbursements have
Mr McKay said the council was unable to quantify the amount
Mr Brown would need to pay to reimburse the calls.
"There were some instances where the relevant council
policies were not fully met, or the use of resources raised
questions. These include the amount the mayor reimbursed to
council for costs incurred for personal mobile usage,'' Mr
The review found mayor Mr Brown didn't show any improper
favourable treatment towards Ms Chuang, including the
reference he provided for her job at Auckland Art Gallery.
Mr Brown released a statement in response to the findings of
the Ernst & Young report.
He said the report confirms his assurances that he did not
misuse council resources, and nor did his mistress Bevan
Chuang receive preferential treatment.
"I supported the Chief Executive's decision to commission
this review. I welcome the conclusions, and I believe they
draw a line under the questions that the review sought to
Mr Brown admited he should not have accepted free rooms, and
should have disclosed that he had in October.
"This was an error of judgement and I apologise to the people
of Auckland," he said.
"I remain totally focused on the issues that matter most to
Aucklanders, including improving our transport system,
tackling Auckland's housing crisis and continuing to invest
in our future."
Mr Brown said the report included details in relation to his
and his family's private use of accommodation that were not
within the scope of the investigation but that he needed to
"The report notes that over a three-year period I, and my
family, stayed privately in hotels in central Auckland on a
number of occasions. The arrangements for these hotels were
made privately in most cases, and in all cases payment was
"My reason for staying in the central city is that I often
work until late in the evening - attending meetings,
functions or civic events - and I start work early the next
morning, often for media interviews or breakfast events. A
significant number of these rooms were also booked and used
privately by me and my family.
"I was not charged for nine of these hotel rooms, including
one occasion in relation to Ms Chuang."
Mr Brown said the report noted he never used council
resources for private accommodation or in relation to Ms
Chuang, and does not hold a council credit card.
"However, I accept that as Mayor I am subject to a higher
standard of public accountability, and in this context I
should not have accepted the free rooms offered to me, and
should have disclosed this fact when I was asked about it in
Mr McKay revealed the Ernst & Young report at a media
briefing earlier this afternoon.
The report had not been made available to the media before
The review's terms of reference relate to any use of council
resources in respect of Mr Brown's relationship with Ms
Chuang that contravene council policy, and any improper
preferential treatment given to Ms Chuang as a council
employee, contractor or adviser.
It was also able to probe "any other issues that the
reviewers or chief executive considers relate to, or arise
out of, the above matters".
Mr Brown took legal advice on the report after being given a
draft version on Friday.
Since receiving a draft copy of the report seven days ago, Mr
Brown has received legal advice before providing feedback
Mr McKay has received legal advice from Crown Solicitor Simon
- by Cassandra Mason