Napier's acting Mayor has backtracked on a plan to release the terms of reference for the review into council's staff investigation of councillors' Facebook Pages.

Last week Faye White told RNZ the terms of reference would be made public once councillors and the chief executive had agreed to them.

On Monday, council staff told Hawke's Bay Today the terms of reference would not be made public.

On Tuesday, Faye White confirmed this, saying it was an internal review.

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She said the terms of reference are still being drawn up by Wellington-based lawyer Peter Chemis, who is carrying out the review.

In response to questions from Hawke's Bay Today about whether the cost to ratepayers will be released when available, White said she was unable to give an update at the present time "as the terms of reference have not yet been finalised".

The review was sparked after council staff, at the order of CEO Wayne Jack, ordered a review into the Facebook pages of four "renegade" councillors, all of whom are against building a $41.3 million pool on a Prebensen Dr site, to check for code of conduct breaches.

CEO Wayne Jack ordered staff to go through the Facebook pages of several councillors who disagree on the new pool complex. Photo / File
CEO Wayne Jack ordered staff to go through the Facebook pages of several councillors who disagree on the new pool complex. Photo / File

After concerns were raised by the councillors, White launched the review.

At the time of announcing the review, White said the aim was to create a positive platform with the incoming councillors and Mayor, for the good of the people of Napier.

"The review will either confirm that Council's current processes and practices are appropriate, or else it will make recommendations for change.

"Either way, I am optimistic that the outcome will restore people's confidence in Council's internal processes.

"We're coming to the end of the triennium.

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"We need to go out respectfully and for the best of everyone at this point.

"The new Council gives everyone the opportunity to bring about changes and set the vision for the new term together."

Councillors also requested a wider review into the culture at Napier City Council, however it was decided to leave this to the incoming council.

The code of conduct, which a 2014 Massey University report found to be one of the most restrictive in the country by not allowing councillors to make negative comments about the council, will be reviewed by the incoming council.