A local government expert says Napier City Council has limited legal grounds to withhold the entire review into its Facebook trawl of four "renegade" councillors on social media.
The council has told Hawke's Bay Today the review is now complete and the report has been given to councillors.
A council spokesperson said it would decide whether to release the report and cost of the review next week.
Associate Professor at Victoria University faculty of law, Dean Knight, said he would be surprised if there are grounds for withholding the entire report and cost of the review, although there may be grounds to redact parts of it for privacy, and to allow councillors to see it first.
He said the same goes for the cost of the review.
"There is a strong public interest in knowing how the council has been exposed on this, and commercial confidentiality only goes so far, and I suppose the privacy of the person tendering the things.
"There are ways again that the LGOIMA [Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act] allows that to be managed."
He said grounds such as privacy are never absolute reasons for withholding information, and the LGOIMA allows for a nuanced approach to make sure public interest is served.
He said he, personally, is interested in seeing the contents of the report.
"I just want to see the damn report."
A council spokesperson said the review, undertaken by Wellington lawyer Peter Chemis, had been completed and was released to councillors on Wednesday, and a decision will be made whether to release the report and cost after councillors had an opportunity to discuss it.
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In September, Hawke's Bay Today asked Napier City Council whether the cost of the review would be made public, when available, but was told the council was "not in a position to update you at the present time".
It also refused to release the terms of reference for the review when requested under the LGOIMA, citing privacy reasons.
The review was called after emails, released under LGOIMA, showed council CEO Wayne Jack ordered his staff to go through the Facebook pages of four councillors who were all vocal opponents of a planned $41.3 million pool at Prebensen Drive.
One of the emails described the four councillors as renegades, including new Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise.
Napier City Council's code of conduct was also thrust into view during the fallout over the Facebook trawl - a Massey University Study in 2014 found it was one of the few councils in New Zealand which prevented councillors from voicing negative opinions.
The code of conduct is currently being reviewed, as happens at the start of every triennium, but the council is not expected to approved it until the last meeting of the year, at the earliest.
In the meantime, the current code of conduct is in force.