Northland Regional Council is treating a complaint against two of its councillors with secrecy, despite the councillors in question wanting the matter out in the open.

Members of the public and media were excluded from an extra-ordinary council meeting on Friday while councillors discussed what was understood to be a complaint against Craig Brown and Dover Samuels.

Cr Brown and Cr Samuels moved that the discussion take place in public, though others blocked them on the grounds they wanted to protect the privacy of the complainant.

Cr Brown said he was frustrated by the confidentiality, but said being a "stickler for process" meant he could not discuss the matter publicly without permission from the full council

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"I don't need protection," he said.

It is understood the complaint relates to comments made by the councillors at a meeting which granted Patuharakeke Trust Board $62,000 to investigate the decimation of pipi populations at Ruakaka's Mair Bank.