Leaked message shows Wayne Brown whining about missing tennis 'to deal with media drongos over the flooding'

  • 31/01/2023

A leaked message published by the NZ Herald shows the under-fire Auckland Mayor complaining about missing out on playing tennis during the flooding emergency last week. 

The Herald posted a WhatsApp chat from Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown to a tennis group, where he made comments on Saturday about not being able to play because "I've got to deal with media drongos over the flooding tomorrow".

Newshub has contacted Brown's office for a response to the message. When questioned about the text by the NZ Herald, Brown asked the outlet to "please don't" publish a story about it.

"That was a private conversation aimed at giving a reason to miss tennis. 

"It in no way means I am not taking communication with all levels seriously," Brown told the Herald.

The embattled Mayor was earlier accused of declining a Today FM radio interview on Friday morning, before the flooding, because "I am playing tennis then anyway". 

Brown on Monday refused to resign over the response to the worst rain event in Auckland's history, which killed four people.

He promised a full investigation into the response, including communications from himself and his office.

The communications from Brown, Auckland Council and partner organisations during Friday's deluge came under heavy criticism from Aucklanders - who questioned why it took so long to declare a state of emergency and provide up-to-date information.