The Volare dinner also brought out a startling comment from the would-be Supercity mayor. When asked to disclose who shared the mayoral table, he refused, saying:
"Will I give you the names? Never. I want to tell you that, I feel so intensely strong about this."
The unfortunate thing for Len Brown is that his refusal to answer that question was in contradiction of his own council's policies on credit card spending. There have subsequently been numerous complaints to the Ombusdman, who has tried to investigate and report prior to the closing of the local body polls. The office of the Ombudsman now confirms that no report will be forthcoming until at least next week.
That is hugely disappointing, but it comes as no surprise whatsoever. Len Brown has fought tooth and nail against the release of this information, and has succeeded. He has been ably assisted by Manukau City CEO Leigh Auton. Auton was first asked to provide the relevant information to the Ombudsman in August. He has since been given a list of questions by the Privacy Commissioner which has not been returned, and according to Stuff, was involved in a telephone conference today.
Auton has done the job of running interference for Len Brown to perfection. One can only wonder as to why Brown was so anxious for this information to be kept hidden. Any information released now will be too little and too late. It leaves another question mark hanging over the Auckland local body elections.