Move to nonpublic rejected
Some South Waikato District Councillors did not want the public to hear what they had to say when they made a decision on the Clean Air Bylaw last week.
The decision to move deliberations into a nonpublic section was championed by deputy mayor Jenny Shattock who did not like being quoted word for word. "For reasons why I guess I would like the discussion in non-public [is] only because we tend to get quoted verbatim in the paper and sometimes it is not particularly read well and it doesn’t sound well and the intent is lost. I have no problem with what we talk about being in the public but just what is reported doesn’t actually represent what we mean or say."
Cr Alan Blair, supported Cr Shattock. Cr Blair felt he wasn’t quoted verbatim and was once misquoted.
Mayor Neil Sinclair rejected the motion.
Cr Shattock was absent when councillors made a decision on the bylaw.
The Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 sets out the only grounds on which a Council may exclude the public and media from being present at a meeting. A concern in relation to how councillors are reported is not one of those grounds.