Corruption is so deep and endemic in Council because it comes from the top. I’m beginning to wonder if Brown is in fact amoral. What's certain is we're all paying a heavy price for his immorality. He is at the mercy of so many vested interests for his indiscretions. I have no doubt Ngati Whatua are extracting all they can from Brown by way of the ‘mana whenua’ provisions that suddenly appeared in the PAUP (Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan). Are these part payment for his sexual antics in the Ngati Whatua room in the Town Hall? The trouble is it is the hapless ratepayer not Brown who ends up paying and paying and paying.
And now we are beginning to understand the real reason behind Brown’s fanatical push for the Central Rail Link. He is being secretly funded by Westies.
Len Brown funding probed by police
Police are investigating an entity that funded Auckland mayor Len Brown's 2010 and 2013 election campaigns.
More then $750,000 in backing for Brown's two successful campaigns was paid by a trust that kept donors' identities secret. Since February police have been investigating whether the trust breached the Local Electoral Act.
It's been confirmed by Brown's former campaign team that Greg Presland was involved in the donor trust. He was also the main trustee of the trust that paid almost $20,000 in anonymous donations to former Labour leader David Cunliffe during Labour's 2013 leadership contest.
Cunliffe has since said using that trust was an error of judgment, and keeping donors' names secret didn't fully represent "the values I would like to bring to this leadership". Cunliffe eventually named three donors and returned donations to two others who did not want to be named.
Brown sees no need to do the same with the "New Auckland Council Trust", which donated $499,000 to his 2010 mayoral campaign and $273,375 last year .
The police investigation was sparked by a complaint by former police prosecutor Grace Haden, who stood unsuccessfully for a council ward last year on a Transparency NZ ticket.
In late 2009, before his first tilt at mayoralty of the new Auckland super-city, Brown warned of the dangers of "big money" entering local politics.
Yesterday, he shrugged off the suggestion it was hypocritical to have since benefited from large anonymous donations.
"Having been through this for two elections, we just do what we're required to do."
A probe into Auckland mayoral electoral funding is potentially sensitive for police, who were criticised for failing to prosecute 2010 contender John Banks for a breach of the same act, only to see Banks found guilty in a private prosecution taken by the maverick litigant Graham McCready.
Haden's complaint to police revolves around the fact that the Local Electoral Act 2001 requires a "person" to be named as contributor on an electoral return. Brown's return names the New Auckland Council Trust, but Haden insists that the trustees should have been identified.
Haden says without the trust deed being produced or names of the trustees being revealed, the donation is effectively "anonymous".
Last week Brown's campaign team, headed by Helen Clark's former chief spin doctor, David Lewis, released a statement to the Star-Times but refused to name the trustees or produce a trust deed.
The team did, however, confirm that Presland - who is an elected member of the council's Waitakere Ranges Local Board - was involved with the trust.
There have been several accusations of corruption in comments made on some of my earlier blogs by people who seem to know there’s skulduggery afoot in Waitakere. These comments alleged elected members were not declaring conflicts of interest when they voted money to ‘Trusts’ in which they had an interest. Maybe the police inquiry should be broadened to include these allegations given that Presland is an elected member of the Waitakere Local Board and seems to know a lot about trusts.
Is it any wonder ratepayers are angry when it is they who are being made to pay the price of Council corruption that starts with that nightMayor Len Brown?