The unelected boards of businessmen running most Super City services are coming round to the idea of opening their meetings to public scrutiny.

Auckland Transport has embraced Auckland Mayor Len Brown's election promise for council-controlled organisations to hold public meetings, but Watercare Services is not champing at the bit to throw open its doors.

Public concerns about the scope and powers of CCOs - which will run about 75 per cent of Super City services and spend hundreds of millions of dollars of ratepayers' money a year - led the Government to require them to hold two public meetings a year.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Mr Brown said the mayor had made his position quite clear.

"It's all down there in black and white. Wherever possible he wants CCOs to hold meetings in public and agendas of meetings to be published."

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Auckland Transport issued a statement quoting the legislative requirements of holding two meetings a year, adding "today's meeting - the first of the new board - is not open".

However, shortly afterwards the board voted unanimously to open all meetings to the public.

Chairman Mark Ford said the board was very mindful it was a steward of public money. While commercially sensitive issues would be taken behind closed doors, "the general principle will be openness", he said.

After a closed meeting of Watercare Services yesterday, board chairman Graeme Hawkins said the CCO had not had any discussions with the mayor or the mayor's office about public meetings. "Clearly if the mayor's office or the mayor wants us to have more open meetings we will comply and it won't be an issue," he said.

The mayoral spokesman said every CCO had been made aware of Mr Brown's views on public meetings through the council's CCO monitoring unit.

"From my previous experience with public meetings you end up with almost tokenism in the public part and the real meeting actually takes place before the actual meeting or else it takes place in the confidential section," Mr Hawkins said.

Former Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey said that as chairman of the waterfront CCO he was absolutely committed to Mr Brown's desire for openness, saying the first meeting of the waterfront development agency on Monday would be open to the public.

The Regional Facilities CCO, which runs everything from the Auckland Zoo to sporting and cultural venues, will hold its first meeting in public next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Mr Hawkins said Mr Ford would return to his old job as chief executive of Watercare on January 1.

For the past 18 months, Mr Ford has been executive chairman of the Auckland Transition Agency tasked with melding the region's eight councils into the one Super City.

He has also picked up the Auckland Transport chairmanship for one year, but his annual fee of $105,000 will be paid to Watercare, where he will earn up to $724,500 a year.

Dr Ian Parton, who was appointed interim chief executive until March 31, will step aside on January 1 but keep his salary of between $540,000 and $550,000. Mr Hawkins said Dr Parton would be on holiday for one month, leaving a two-month overlap to hand over to Mr Ford.