16 Jan 2014

Councillor objects to media exclusion

10:59 am on 16 January 2014

A Hawke's Bay regional councillor, Rex Graham, is upset the public and media have been excluded from a ratepayer-funded workshop on a proposal to amalgamate local councils.

Councillors and mayors from five of Hawke's Bay's regional authorities attended the workshop yesterday to discuss a Local Government Commission proposal to merge them into one super council.

Mr Graham says the public should have been allowed to attend in the interests of open government.

He says all debate on amalgamation should be open and public.

Radio New Zealand understands Napier's mayor, Bill Dalton, who opposes amalgamation, told the meeting it was his decision to exclude the public and media.

Submissions on the proposal close on 7 March.