Property deal under wraps

By John Cousins

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Secrecy surrounds a Tauranga City Council property acquisition linked to the Merivale Community Centre.

City councillor Murray Guy failed in his bid to get the issue into the open of yesterday's council meeting.

Cr Guy said the bulk of the item could be dealt with in the open. It was not so much about the property but about the council's ongoing philosophy to support the community centre.

Mayor Stuart Crosby opposed bringing the item out of confidentiality even though Cr Guy had "let the cat out of the bag". He said the item would come out into the open at the conclusion of negotiations.

Cr Guy said he did not oppose keeping some of the property details confidential until the deal was done. His concern was there was no debate around the philosophy. "We need to understand that just because a staff member puts it into the confidential section [of a meeting], it does not automatically qualify it as confidential."

Mr Crosby said the council may or may not enter into commercial negotiations on the property. It was common sense that commercial negotiations did not take place in the open.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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