Councillor Cameron Brewer challenged the clause. Photo / Brett Phibbs, NZ Herald

Councillor Cameron Brewer challenged the clause. Photo / Brett Phibbs, NZ Herald

…A new governance manual for CCOs contained a clause in the ‘no surprises’ section that councillors and Local board members “will advise CCOs if they are approached by media to speak about a CCO-related issue”.

This was challenged by councillor Cameron Brewer who argued such a strong directive was a “gagging order” on elected representatives.

The CCO governance and monitoring committee voted to change the word “will” to “may”.

Said Mr Brewer: “It’s great news that Auckland councillors and local board members will not be answerable to the Council-Controlled Organisations when it comes to speaking to the media.”

“The public don’t want us gagged. In fact quite the opposite…

“We’re not answerable to the CCOs and nor should we be. They’re answerable and accountable to us. This failed directive was just another attempt by non-elected officials to grab more power from us elected representatives. This was a small but important win for democracy in Auckland,” said Mr Brewer.

– Bernard Orsman A Newspaper