Mayoral emails have been leaked to the public and posted on Facebook, sparking fresh concerns over email privacy at Horowhenua District Council.

The leak came to light as councillors were due to see a peer-reviewed audit report on Wednesday on another email privacy issue.

The as-yet unreleased report details the interception of councillor and public emails to HDC by its chief executive David Clapperton.

The leak involves two HDC emails involving mayor Michael Feyen, deputy mayor Wayne Bishop and Mr Clapperton.


The emails have appeared on Facebook and other people have distributed them.

One email is from Mr Feyen to Mr Clapperton and Mr Bishop about email blocking. The other is to the three men from a person known to the mayor, and is highly critical of Mr Feyen.

Following information received by the Horowhenua Chronicle from a member of the public, councillor Ross Brannigan confirmed he had shared the email information with people outside council. He said he was not involved in the Facebook post.

He said the information was not in-confidence and not sensitive.

Mr Bishop said he did want not to comment on council matters.

Mr Feyen said the leak breached his privacy, and reaffirmed his concerns over email privacy at HDC.

Mr Clapperton said he was aware of the leak, ordered an investigation into it, found nothing untoward in-house and did not know how it occurred.

He said he had copied Mr Feyen's email to all councillors as was normal practice to "ensure everyone is given the same information" but did not send them the external email.


He was concerned, following a number of information leaks about HDC's ability to deal with confidential matters.

"It is extremely difficult for me to provide advice to council on matters that require confidentiality in an environment where such information is at risk of being shared with third parties, be that members of the public, the media or anyone else."

Sharing confidential information could expose HDC, and ratepayers, to litigation and associated costs, he said.