June 4, 2023

Watch: ‘I have to buzz off’ – Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown leaves press conference early to fix drains

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown would only take two questions after his short speech at the Auckland Emergency press conference on Monday.

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown left the Auckland Emergency Management press conference early to “go fix drains”.

As Cyclone Gabrielle begins to affect Auckland, a press conference was held at 2pm on Monday to provide Aucklanders with an update on the latest. 

Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown spoke briefly, emphasising the seriousness of the cyclone.

“The next 24 hours will be challenging for all Aucklanders,” he said, “Things can be worse than expected.”

“Please stay calm. Panicking will only add to the danger and uncertainty.”

He then passed on some official advice, “If your home’s flooded, evacuate immediately.”

“Together Aucklanders are strong by supporting each other,” he added.

After the brief speech, Brown said he only had time for a couple of questions from media, as his talents were needed elsewhere.

“I’ve got to go off to a drainage solution where my engineering expertise has been called upon. So I do have to buzz off.”

He agreed to take two questions, after which he would “have to go off and do drains”.

When asked what expertise he would be bringing to the problem, he replied “well I am an engineer in this field and you will recall in Christchurch I led one of the teams of inspectors.

“The repairs, and upgrades, and avoiding of these things is my background.”

Brown studied engineering at the University of Auckland from 1964 to 1967, graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

“I’ve worked also with our geological engineers who are employed by our council. We both agree on a lot of the solutions and causes.

“The technical people are pleased to have a technically-minded mayor with them.”

When asked a second question about whether emergency messages were being put out in multiple languages, he said “Well I’m not personally, but I’m sure we are.”

“I think that’s covered pretty well. Those sorts of questions will be answered by Rachel [Kelleher, Auckland Emergency Management’s Deputy Controller].”

“Thanks for coming team. Bye.” 

Watch the video above

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