“The less the Ratepayers know, the better it is for us” seems to be a common mantra among local councils, not only at KCDC — from the Radio NZ website:-

Last week, Local Democracy Reporting revealed a Rotorua man has complained to the Office of the Ombudsman about Rotorua Lakes Council’s refusal to provide detailed information on the content of its public-excluded workshops.

Now, an information request reveals most New Zealand councils are holding dozens of closed-door workshops a year.

A constitutional law expert says it is a “troubling black hole” in the transparency of local government, while a leader in the sector suggests change may be on the horizon.

Local Democracy Reporter Felix Desmarais asks: how much is the public missing out on in secret council workshops?

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