New controls around the handling of sensitive information have been put in place at Rotorua Lakes Council - but the council is staying tight-lipped as to what they are.

In February the Rotorua Daily Post reported council management had hired a private investigator after a confidential document was leaked to members of the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group.

The document contained sensitive information and costings regarding the council's plan to develop a "New Zealand first" shared library and children's health hub facility.

The council hired Rotorua-based security consultants Private Investigations Ltd, owned and operated by former police officer Mike Dingwall, to assess the council's "current policies and practices and to enhance them where appropriate".


According to the council's chief executive office manager Craig Tiriana the investigation was not aimed at finding the culprit.

"Council needs a robust information control system, balancing the desire for transparency and accountability with our statutory and ethical responsibility to manage confidential information," he said.

"The consultants weren't engaged to find the source of the leak which occurred, they were engaged to review our practices and process around the creation, handling and distribution of confidential information."

Mr Tiriana said consultants interviewed more than 30 staff across the organisation who dealt with confidential information.

"New practices have been implemented, as per suggestions from the consultants, and there are other potential improvements we will also look to implement."

The council declined to say what changes had been made as a result of the review.

The total cost of the review was $17,250.

"Council has a responsibility to manage confidential information properly and appropriately and the people we deal with - particularly business people - need to have confidence in our ability and commitment to ensuring confidential information remains confidential for as long as is required.

"We take our responsibility in this regard very seriously. This has prompted renewed awareness of that responsibility and was a good reminder for all at council."