The Auditor-General has formally launched an inquiry into the Auckland Council's role in the largely-private development of a new town centre in the north-west.
Several councillors have criticised the amount of ratepayer money going into the Westgate project, which is being managed by the developer, the Retail Property Group.
The council has committed $200 million to public amenities and infrastructure which form part of the biggest suburban development in the region.
The Auditor-General will look at how the council set up its involvement in the project and how it is monitoring and managing any conflicts of interest.
The council had previously commissioned an independent report into the structure of the Westgate project, which councillors said found nothing untoward, but the report itself remained confidential.