Ombudsman to look into complaints over stadium report

7:58 pm on 14 June 2018
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff. Photo: Auckland Council

Two complaints laid by Auckland councillors over the release of reports into the feasibility of a downtown stadium will be formally investigated by the chief Ombudsman.

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier said the complaints relate to the council's decision to impose conditions on the release of the reports to councillors.

Mr Boshier said the first stage of his investigation had started.

He has written to the chief executive of Auckland Council and been notified after the complainants.

He is unable to comment further, as he is required by law to treat all evidence as confidential and all enquiries secret.

However, Mr Boshier said he wanted to complete his investigation as soon as possible, given the high public interest in this case.

Yesterday, nine councillors signed a letter to Auckland mayor Phil Goff after what they described as "strong dissatisfaction" with the way he handled the $900,000 report on the stadium.

The director of Massey University's public management group, Andy Asquith, said the feud had the potential to cause the council to become dysfunctional.

"The underlying agenda here would be to give them both a kick up the backside and say 'look, you need to sit down, put your toys away, and play nicely.'"

Mr Asquith said the mayor needed the backing of councillors to get anything done.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said he promised to cooperate fully with the chief ombudsman's investigation.

Mr Goff said full, uncensored copies of the report have been available to all councillors from the outset.

He was keen to be transparent in giving information to councillors, he said.

However, he also had obligations to ensure the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information belonging to third parties, he said.

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