‘I gave my best and I left it on the field’
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’’.
Exiting Auckland Mayor Len Brown said there had been ‘‘a change in the spirit’’ of the city.