Manukau City councillor Dick Quax is flip-flopping over repaying ratepayers a $1500 fee for a course he failed to attend.

Mr Quax, a Citizens & Ratepayers Super City candidate, told councillors on Tuesday night that he would repay the $1500 for a two-day resource management course he was signed up for in March 2008 at the University of Auckland, only to vote against a resolution at the policy and activities committee meeting a short time later requesting him to pay back the money.

Yesterday, Mr Quax told the Herald he made the original offer in good faith, but withdrew it when a council opponent, David Collings, insisted on the resolution.

When pressed by the Herald about applying double standards over public scrutiny of ratepayer funds - Mr Quax being one of two councillors and C&R candidates applying the blowtorch to Mayor Len Brown about his credit-card breaches - Mr Quax said he would pay back the money if it was "deemed appropriate".

Mr Quax, who has been touted as a possible leader of the right-wing ticket to replace David Hay who is standing down at the October 9 local body elections, said he thought he could attend the course but then realised he would have difficulty attending.

"It wasn't until some time after that that I found out how much it would cost. Perhaps I should have paid it back at the time but I didn't," he said.

Mr Quax said he had always tried to be scrupulous with the spending of council money and at times had saved money, such as turning down the chance to fly business class on a trip to Canada, saving the ratepayer $6000.

Mr Collings said Mr Quax and councillor Jami-Lee Ross were politically motivated in their persecution of Mr Brown, but Mr Quax was the bigger money-waster.

He said Mr Brown had repaid the council for making personal purchases on his council credit card, such as a $59 ham, but $1500 of ratepayers' money went down the drain when Mr Quax failed to attend the course and a refund was not available.

DICK QUAX FLIP-FLOP
* On Tuesday night, Dick Quax offers to repay $1500 for the course fee in "good faith".
* A short time later he votes against a resolution requesting him to repay the money.
* Mr Quax told the Herald yesterday that he withdrew the offer after councillor David Collings put up the resolution.
* By the end of the interview Mr Quax said he would repay the money if it was deemed appropriate.