Far North District Council has backed down on a resolution to pull advertising from a newspaper in Kaitaia which has published letters critical of the council.
According to the meeting record for 25 October, the council voted to stop advertising with the Northland Age because the paper "continued to encourage letter writing, which caused unreasonable concern for councillors".
However, editor Peter Jackson says he has spoken with mayor Wayne Brown and the disagreement has been resolved. He declined to comment further.
Mr Brown could not be reached for comment.
Letter writer Des Mahoney said it was symptomatic of deeper problems within the council.
He said freedom of speech is necessary to hold elected officials to account and councillors should be able to listen to criticism.