A New Zealand blogger is defending his decision to publish a story exposing Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s extramarital affair with a council adviser, saying he received threatening texts warning him not to publish.
Mr Brown on Tuesday admitted having a two-year affair with Bevan Chuang, who is on the council’s Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.
But Mr Brown said he wouldn’t resign, saying the revelations on right-wing blogger Cameron Slater’s website were politically motivated.
Mr Slater said he normally agreed that the private lives of New Zealand politicians were treated as sacrosanct, but Mr Brown had conducted his affair from his office, used official functions to entertain Ms Chuang, and had paraded his family before the cameras.
“But what removed all doubt from my mind is when anonymous text messages were being sent to me, my family, contacts and friends that threatened repercussions if I published this story. I decided to hold it back until after the election result,” he said on his website.
“As there have been some dark attempts to intimidate me and people around me, there was only one course of action left: let the sunshine in, and let the chips fall where they may.”
Council elections were held on Saturday.
Ms Chuang said in an affidavit published on Mr Slater’s Whaleoil website that she had been warned there would be repercussions if she went public with the story.
She told the website she voted for Mr Brown at this year’s election but that she thought he should resign.
Mr Brown told TV3 he wouldn’t resign, saying he stood by his record of political service while realising he had some work to do with his family.
One of Mr Brown’s left-wing opponents, John Minto, said Mr Brown should resign, though not because of the affair.
“I think Auckland now runs the real risk of having a lame duck mayor for the next three years, in a similar way to the way Bill Clinton became a lame duck president,” he told Radio New Zealand.
He said the revelations were politically motivated, “but then again Len Brown has brought this on himself”.