‘I gave my best and I left it on the field’

Auckland City Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - MARY FITZGER­ALD

Auck­land’s mayor took to the podium for the last time on Septem­ber 29, say­ing he gave his all to the job and ‘‘left it on the field’’.

Len Brown gave a vale­dic­tory speech at his fi­nal Auck­land Coun­cil gov­ern­ing body meet­ing at the Auck­land Town Hall. Coun­cil­lors Arthur Anae, Cameron Brewer and George Wood, who will stand down at the end of this gov­ern­ing body term, also gave vale­dic­tory speeches.

Brown has served three terms as mayor - once of Manukau City and then twice un­der the com­bined Auck­land su­per city struc­ture. Un­der Brown’s watch Auck­land pub­lic transport pa­tron­age has grown helped by the in­tro­duc­tion of elec­tric trains. He ad­vo­cated for the pro­posed City Rail Link and this gained Na­tional govern­ment sup­port and fund­ing dur­ing his may­oralty. Brown leaves two poli­cies to sup­port Auck­land in its growth, the Auck­land Uni­tary Plan and the Auck­land Transport Align­ment Project.

There have also been well­doc­u­mented low­lights, in­clud­ing his af­fair with coun­cil ad­vi­sory board mem­ber Be­van Chuang.

‘‘I would like to ac­knowl­edge the peo­ple of Auck­land for al­low­ing me to be the first mayor un­der an amal­ga­mated Auck- land,’’ Brown said.

‘‘Six years ago I came in to this role full of love, hope and ex­pec­ta­tion for the city and I can re­port to you that what we planned in the amal­ga­ma­tion has been achieved. I ac­knowl­edge what is a change in the spirit of our city ... This is now a city that is pre­pared for change [and] is ready to ac­cept trans­for­ma­tion,’’ he said. ’’I gave my best and I left it on the field. I gave it my all’’.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse said his­tory should re­mem­ber Brown for his achieve­ments. ’’Your legacy will be your stead­fast com­mit­ment to get­ting CRL put in place,’’ she told him. Cameron Brewer also thanked Brown for his com­mit­ment. ’’Apart from all the debt, thank you Len for bring­ing the re­gion to­gether’’.

Brown’s last words were for his fam­ily, who he thanked, say­ing: ‘‘We survive and re­main strong for it’’.

CHRIS MCKEEN

Ex­it­ing Auck­land Mayor Len Brown said there had been ‘‘a change in the spirit’’ of the city.

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