Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown admits his 'mistake' in assuming 'that others knew what they were doing' during deadly flood

  • 13/04/2023

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown has admitted his "mistake" during the initial hours of the city's deadly floods was him assuming "that others knew what they were doing".

Speaking on NewstalkZB on Thursday, Brown, who'd just wrapped his head around the scathing report of Auckland Council's response to the city's January floods, said he'd "learnt a lot about what went on actually".

"There were things that came out of it that we didn't even know."

For example, Brown said he didn't know the public information managers (PIM) decided at 6:10pm on January 27 that the Mayor wouldn't front the media but instead other authorities.

When asked what Brown had learnt from the report of his own leadership during the crisis, he said his mistake was assuming others knew what they were doing. 

"That's what you do when you're in charge of an organisation that's been going for a long time, with high-paid staff." 

And Brown was adamant he knew what he was doing, which was "in the office waiting around to be informed by the emergency management staff as to what was happening. But it turned out, we weren't".

It comes after Brown declined interview requests by Newshub again on Thursday, as did the council's chief executive Jim Stabback. 

On Wednesday, former top cop Mike Bush revealed the findings of the independent review which found the council's emergency management system was "not prepared".

It also found Brown's office should've been "more active" in demanding information from officials, and that he and Stabback along with other officials failed to communicate the crisis with its residents. 

The report made 17 recommendations for the council to implement, which Brown has given his council until mid-October to enforce.