Mayor's ex-lover wants job back

Bevan Chuang
Bevan Chuang
Bevan Chuang, the former mistress of Auckland mayor Len Brown, is keen to reapply for a position on the Auckland Council's ethnic advisory panel but is fearful of a mayoral snub.

The council yesterday called for applications for three advisory panels covering ethnic peoples, Pacific peoples and seniors.

Miss Chuang hasn't made a final decision on reapplying for the job in which she met Mr Brown but told the Weekend Herald she was unsure of what the reaction would be.

"Len first said it in a radio interview and again in other media interviews that I won't be reappointed, so what chance is there for me even if I applied," she said.

"I am really scared that if I apply, I would probably get shortlisted as a former panel member ... [but] what happens if I get the job and what does that mean for me and Len?"

Since news broke of their affair, the pair had been "trying to avoid each other" and she acknowledged it would be awkward to again be working together.

In an interview with the Herald last October, Mr Brown also replied "no" when asked if he planned to reappoint Miss Chuang.

Former panel chair Camille Nakhid said she encouraged, and would support Miss Chuang's application for the new panel.

"I do not think that what has happened between Bevan and the mayor should exclude her from reapplying," Dr Nakhid said.

"In my view, the mayor has been able to continue in his role because he's shown good governance and the same principle should be extended to Bevan." Miss Chuang was the team leader of the panel's youth subcommittee and was also responsible for its work progress report.

"Bevan did her job, and she does it well ... she was always proactive, involved and inclusive of all the ethnic communities," said Dr Nakhid.

The panels were designed to provide the council with strategic "big picture" advice on issues important to diverse groups and help it engage with communities.

The council said it was seeking applicants with good knowledge of their communities, and who "are across emerging trends, challenges and opportunities" with experience in governance and advisory roles.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a selection panel comprising council and community representatives, but the Herald understands the mayor has a say on who gets the final nod.

Yesterday, a spokesperson for the mayor said the appointment process "is an open process" and "every applicant will be treated equally".

"The mayor will act on the advice he is given by the selection panel," the spokesperson said.

- by Lincoln Tan, NZ Herald

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