Across The Ditch: Auckland Mayor Len Brown Will Not Stand + Oh The Cricket!

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Across The Ditch: EveningReport.nz’s Selwyn Manning and Australian radio FiveAA.com.au’s Peter Godfrey deliver their Across The Ditch bulletin, this week they discuss the rise and fall of Auckland’s mayor Len Brown and also discuss the Australia V NZ Cricket test loss at the Gabba and try to navigate some hope for the Kiwis as they front up to an inform Aussie side at the WACA – Across the Ditch was Recorded Live on 12/11/15.

ITEM ONE:
Auckland’s controversial mayor, Len Brown, has indicated he will not stand in the 2016 mayoral elections.

Len Brown was relegated to lame-duck status only days after winning the 2013 mayoralty, after it was revealed he had been having an affair with a woman half his age, and that the woman was connected to his political opponents.

The other woman was Bevan Chuang, who, besides having a sexual relationship with the mayor, was also involved with a campaign strategist, Luigi Wewege, for the opposing centre-right ticket. The affidavit raised questions as to whether the mayor had been played.

Immediately after the election, Bevan Chuang agreed to have her ‘detailed’ affidavit published on the ruthless Whaleoil.co.nz political blog – which is edited by Cam Slater, the son of a former National Party president.

The affidavit alleged in detail that the mayor had had sex with her during working hours, had used the mayoral chambers as a place for his sexual liaisons, including the sacred Ngatiwhatua Room, how he had also used rooms in hotels and raised questions as to whether he had received gifts such as rooms at Sky City casino and other hotel rooms around the city.

The affidavit was so explicit it alleged the mayor’s particular sexual penchants, frequency, allegations of phone-sex, gifts.

The allegations were not denied by the mayor, but he refused to resign.

It’s fair to say the affair has been a monkey on his back throughout this political term. The Labour Party, which aided Len Brown’s two successful mayoral campaigns, distanced itself from him.

Last week, Len Brown officially welcomed the All Blacks back to Auckland only to be boo-ed by around 35,000 people. Days later, he sniffed the air and realised his days of glory were long gone, that his lame-duck mayoralty had morphed into political overstayer status.

ITEM TWO: Australia V New Zealand Test Cricket
I guess we should at least mention the Cricket… In case you missed it, New Zealand’s Black Caps Cricket team got an absolute thrashing by Australia at the Gabba, by over 200 runs!

Now Australia’s star batter David Warner is promising to smash the Kiwis out of the park. Back here in New Zealand, pundits are attempting to salvage some respect by claiming our star batter Kane Williamson is one of this country’s best ever batters. The problem is… Williamson was actually born in South Africa! That aside, his century at the Gabba is said (at least over here) to be a masterpiece. (ref: NZHerald.)

So all eyes and ears will be tuned in this Friday for the second test at the WACA. AND, here’s a list of things the Kiwis need to do better (courtesy of the NZ Herald)

Across The Ditch broadcasts live weekly on Australian radio FiveAA.com.au and webcasts on EveningReport.nz LiveNews.co.nz and ForeignAffairs.co.nz.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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