The rushed way in which Auckland's councils are deciding whether to back a waterfront stadium could be legally challenged, experts say.
The Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City Council have until Friday - a total of just two weeks - to evaluate the Government proposal.
A view is now emerging that the public consultation the councils are undertaking may not meet the requirements of the Local Government Act and, therefore, the councils' right to make a decision could be challenged.
But it appears that any challenge would have to happen before the councils made up their minds.
Auckland University constitutional law expert Bill Hodge - who spoke at Sunday's public meeting opposing the waterfront stadium - said yesterday that a challenge was certainly possible.
He said sections 82, 83 and 84 of the act clearly required consultation and set out that people had the right to be consulted.
"The point is that if you challenge the councils' processes, you can do it according to the law as it is at present," Dr Hodge said.
"If there can be a challenge to the city's go-ahead following the local government requirements, that could slow things down."
Asked if he knew whether a challenge was imminent, Dr Hodge said, "Certain things are happening quickly here in Auckland."
Dr Hodge is not the only legal mind examining implications of the act.
Victoria University law lecturer Dean Knight has written to Rugby World Cup Minister Trevor Mallard and Auckland City Mayor Dick Hubbard to raise the issue.
In his letter, Mr Knight notes the waterfront proposal is not in Auckland's long-term community plan and argues it is required to amend the plan to provide for the decision. That requires public consultation under a special consultative procedure.
"A failure to properly consult will place the ultimate proposal at risk of a legal challenge," Mr Knight said.
Act Party leader Rodney Hide last night admitted he had "very good" legal advice that the Auckland City Council's decision-making process could be injuncted.
"It could be stopped by someone seeking an injunction but, of course, it would need to be done tomorrow," he said.
However, it appears Mr Hide will not be taking court action.
He said that it would be better to see somebody affected by the plan take the action, rather than see a politician "grandstand" on it.