Wayne Brown to reveal his texts from flood response next month

A photo of Wayne Brown signing the initial declaration of a state of emergency on January 27.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown will publicly reveal his communications made amid the city's January floods next month, his council says, as authorities await the completion of a review into their emergency response.

Brown initially announced that the $100,000 review would be completed by March 6, but later said it would be completed by the middle of the month.

In a LGOIMA response to 1News, a council representative said an "information pack" of flooding-related information would be released after a "high number of similar requests".

They said the information pack would be available by April 12.

"We have been working hard to release this information pack to you as soon as we could.

"However, we are also continuing to identify potentially relevant information which requires our consideration before it can be released," they said.

It comes after the council revealed Brown frequently used a personal cell phone to communicate amid the floods, leaving officials scrambling to fulfil official information requests about the mayor's communication.

Some of the information that would be released included late-January mayoral office communications related to the flooding, any discussions over "press photos" of Brown signing his state of emergency declaration, and many other response documents.

Information about Brown's whereabouts between the afternoon of Friday, January 27, when the flooding struck, and later on Saturday will also be released after the mayor's text messages about "sadly" missing a group tennis game on Sunday were later leaked to the Herald.

Brown came under a storm of criticism, including calls to resign, for his response to the Anniversary Weekend floods after critics said his declaration of an emergency was slow while other critics attacked him for a perceived lack of leadership.

He later apologised to Aucklanders for mistakes he made when the floods first hit, saying he "dropped the ball".

"I was too slow to be seen. The communications weren't fast enough, including mine. I am sorry," Brown said in February.

Four people were killed in Auckland's historic January floods, with insurance claims now topping over $1 billion.

According to the council, the information that would be released next month included:

  • Mayoral office correspondence between January 26 and 28 that relates to the Anniversary Weekend flooding, state of emergency declaration, official responses to flooding and any Auckland Council or Civil Defence decisions relating to the flooding.
  • Mayoral office correspondence about public communications about the flooding, including discussion about the criticism of communications, organisation of press photos relating to the state of emergency declaration, and other media requests.
  • Information about Wayne Brown's whereabouts over the first two days of the flooding from the afternoon when the flooding began on the 27th.
  • Correspondence between Auckland Emergency Management officials over the first three days of the flooding relating to the response, declaration of the state of emergency and communication of the emergency to the public.
  • Minutes and notes from "key" Civil Defence meetings from the first three days of the flooding and declaration of emergency.
  • Copies of key documents provided to the council's executive leadership team which relate to the first three days of the flooding response.
  • Correspondence with the executive leadership team relating to the declaration of emergency and the communication with the public about the unfolding events.


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