'Secrecy' point made at meeting

20:55, Jun 17 2014
Richard King
Invercargill City Council chief executive Richard King

A man campaigning for a city council meeting to be more open had a partial success yesterday.

Invercargill man Rodney Tribe fronted the council's events committee meeting asking that it conduct more of its business in public.

There seemed to be an impression in the community that what happened in the meetings "basically happens in a chamber of secrets", he said.

There was little information for the public as to what was being considered, Tribe said.

"Open things up. Be transparent."

Tribe said there were acts governing how things were supposed to happen, how decisions were supposed to be made and what resolutions were supposed to be passed.

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Council chief executive Richard King said the committee was negotiating and the meeting minutes were not a verbatim record of what the committee discussed and if confidentiality was requested, it would abide by that.

Committee member Nigel Skelt said it was the first time he had heard feedback from the public relating to how it conducted its meetings.

Following Tribe's submissions, Deputy Mayor Darren Ludlow asked representatives of Cycling Southland, the first item in the public excluded section, whether its funding application was commercially sensitive. When they said no, the item was moved out of public excluded.

This prompted Tribe to leave the meeting while making the comment: "Point made."

However, after the application was discussed for a few minutes, the committee moved back into public excluded to discuss financial aspects of the application that were considered sensitive.

The Southland Times