A video recording of a council meeting, previously taken offline has now returned to YouTube but it has been edited.

At a Rotorua Lakes Council meeting on May 30, councillor Rob Kent revealed he had sought defamation advice about a Facebook post by mayoral candidate Reynold Macpherson.

Kent alleged Macpherson questioned his integrity, accused him of duplicity and inferred he received Resource Management Act commissioner training and appointment to the RMA Policy Committee as "payback for ... enabling mayor Chadwick to be re-elected [in 2016]".

However Kent decided not to pursue the defamation claim because of the cost and difficulty to prove.


Less than a week later the stream of the meeting had been removed from YouTube.

At the time the council said it was to "work through technicalities regarding ongoing publication and the organisation's role and responsibilities as a 'publisher' ".

Rotorua Lakes councillor Rob Kent. Photo / Supplied
Rotorua Lakes councillor Rob Kent. Photo / Supplied

The council would not reveal whether they had sought legal advice.

Since then the meeting has been re-uploaded to YouTube with a note in the caption.

"A short excerpt of this recording (at 11.51) has been redacted to remove content of a speculative personal nature," the note reads.

In a written response from the council, it confirmed 15 seconds had been edited out and the video had been re-uploaded on June 6.

It confirmed legal advice had been sought.

"Council strives to be a responsible 'publisher' and that carries with it a duty of care, including with respect to the nature of the content published, in any form," the written statement said.


"That has to be balanced with the need to keep the community informed of council matters that are in the public interest. The video was temporarily removed to consider these matters and to consider what, if any, action was appropriate."

The issue has attracted letters to the editor.

One letter writer said they believed council meetings weren't the right time to raise personal grievances.