A Rotorua Lakes councillor says he has "lost confidence" in the council's ability to confidently run its tender processes.
Councillor Peter Bentley made the comments at a council meeting on Thursday.
"The process is neither fair nor robust."
His words contradicted those used by council chief executive Geoff Williams in a Rotorua Daily Post article last week to describe a street lighting tender decision, which sparked passionate public debate.
In that case, Sefton Electrical owner-operator David Sefton said he was "gutted" after the council awarded its street lighting contract to Whangārei-based company McKay, which, while operating a Rotorua office, nonetheless would cost $248,000 more than Sefton's tender.
McKay's Rotorua branch hired locals for its work but was registered in Whangārei.
Its directors and shareholders were listed by Companies Office records as being based in Auckland and Northland.
Sefton Electrical was registered in Rotorua with its sole director and shareholder, David Sefton, based in the district.
Williams had defended the tender process, saying it was "fair and robust" and said at the end of the day, the tender panel had selected the "superior" bid.
Williams referred to McKay being a local company and that "the highest-ranking tenderer" was not Sefton Electrical.
In May, the council agreed to endorse pro-local procurement practices.
The council's street lighting tender decision had been made in a public-excluded section of a meeting.
At Thursday's meeting, Chadwick pointed out "a recommendation came to [the] council, which was passed unanimously".
Williams said the council could query any tender process "as to the integrity and veracity of them".
"The correct way of dealing with queries or concerns is to raise those in matters where tenders are put before council for discussion.
"If the councillor wishes a discussion around the tender process, then I would ask or suggest there is a request that is made through me for the staff to bring back to you a presentation on how that tender process works.
"If you've got a specific query or concern about a particular tender then I can't respond to that unless I have actually, the detail of it.
"I would urge you to make a complaint directly to me as to the nature of concerns that you have if those were regarding specific tender processes."
Outside the meeting, Bentley said he had voted to award the street lighting contract to McKay but that decision was based on the information he had "at the time".