Best practice and accountability are being called for from the council, with one ratepayer challenging them to change their reporting style to enable transparency.
Ralph Hogan asked the Kaikoura District Council at its July meeting to consider including names of council staff to identify their reports.
The matter had also been raised at an earlier council meeting by councillor John Macphail.
Both claimed it was useful to know which member of staff had written a submission, report or other document in case someone wanted to follow it up later.
Council currently has two district planners and two asset managers, according to its website.
At the August meeting, Mr Hogan again approached the council on the subject.
He told them he had contacted other councils along the East Coast from Marlborough to Invercargill, and Kaikoura stood alone in its approach, which he felt propagated an "atmosphere of obscurity and murky accountability".
However, at the council's meeting last week chief executive officer Stuart Grant said how things were murky and obscure was unclear.
Reports were primarily aimed at the council for information or recommendations, he said, rather than the general public.
Council were generally well aware of who had written a report, he said.
From an operational perspective there would be no issue with changing the current format, however he did not see the need to do so.
"The reports are written to provide advice to council," he said.
"It is not necessary to know who that individual is. There have been no issues to date."
Aside from his and councillor Macphail's previous request for clarity, Mr Hogan suggested including the name and title of an officer was a matter of best practice and should be exercised whether a document was intended for internal or public use.
The idea was to make documentation clear both now and into the future, for ease of reference and referral, and he could not see any advantage with anonymous reporting. Councils up and down the country were being asked for more transparency and accountability, he said.
Along with the officer's name and title, Mr Hogan had also requested pagination be marked on all documentation, along with date and contact details. These were not addressed in Mr Grant's report to council last week.
Council received the report, however there was no further discussion and no motion was made to change the current practice.
- © Fairfax NZ News