A Rotorua councillor has been found to be in breach of the organisation's code of conduct and may be required to apologise.
However, the councillor, Reynold Macpherson, is unrepentant and claims the council is trying to stifle freedom of speech.
An independent investigation into code of conduct complaints against Macpherson found he breached the code in five broad areas.
They were breaches of obligations of: confidentiality, not to mislead, to treat council staff and elected members with respect, and not to engage in offensive behaviour.
The five complaints related to Facebook posts authored by Macpherson.
In May, the council declined a Rotorua Daily Post Official Information Act request for further details on the internal investigation, citing an "obligation of confidence".
However, the outcome of the investigation can be revealed due to documents obtained by the newspaper.
They are the investigation report by independent investigator Lachlan Muldowney and a letter from council chief executive Geoff Williams to Macpherson advising him of the outcome of the investigation.
The breaches related to five complaints, made by deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass, MDA experiences director Takurua Mutu, CNI Iwi Land Management general manager Alamoti Te Pou and John Pakes.
A sixth, from Williams, did not appear in the report.
In the report, dated April 24, Muldowney made a number of recommendations to remedy Macpherson's breaches of the code of conduct.
They included that Macpherson should make personal apologies to Mutu, Te Pou, Pakes and Thomass for offence caused.
An apology to the full council was also recommended, for breaching the code.
Muldowney recommended Macpherson immediately remove Facebook posts related to the complaints, and provide an edited version of both to the council's Audit and Risk committee to review before re-posting.
Another recommendation was for a meeting between Macpherson, mayor Steve Chadwick, Williams and Audit and Risk chair Jo Brosnahan "to discuss the code and how [Macpherson] can function effectively as an elected member within the public domain, while still adhering to the code".
He also said the Audit and Risk Committee should recommend a workshop for elected members to "reinforce the understanding of the obligations under the code".
Some allegations were not upheld by the report, including a claim from Dave Donaldson that one of Macpherson's Facebook posts was "plainly racist".
"While I consider that the post will have caused deep offence to mana whenua … I cannot safely conclude that [Macpherson's] post was racist, or racially motivated," Muldowney wrote.
"I do, however, conclude that these statements have been harmful to the relationship between iwi and [the] council."
The letter from Williams to Macpherson, dated June 18, confirmed the decisions of the Audit and Risk Committee, which had met on June 15.
They were that Macpherson be advised he had been found to be in breach of the code and recommended that he be "required to apologise to the complainants by a required date, and that the [full] council determine any further action to be taken".
The committee had also recommended the council consider a review of the code of conduct to "more specifically address social media activities" and the effect of the Harmful Digital Communications Act.
Williams' letter noted the council would consider the recommendations of the Audit and Risk Committee in a public excluded session.
"You will have the opportunity to address your fellow elected members on the resolution passed by the committee," Williams' letter concluded.
"Please note that the process undertaken by the committee remains confidential and will remain so until further instructed by [the] council."
Williams' letter also noted Chadwick had excused herself from the Audit and Risk discussion and decision-making to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.
A council spokeswoman said the date for the consideration of "code of conduct matters" by the full council was yet to be confirmed, and the date by which Macpherson would be required to make his apologies would be "for the council to consider".
Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post, Macpherson said the committee's recommendations were "all about protecting their own reputations while using a commissioned, biased and predetermined report".
He said, in his opinion, the committee had failed to provide natural justice.
"Nevertheless, I expect the mayor to use her numbers on [the] council to have me censured."
He said he had responded in detail to each of the five complainants "as required by the Harmful Digital Communications Act" and made corrections to his Facebook posts.
He said he had refused to meet with Muldowney because, in his opinion, Muldowney was "the council's paid advocate" and had acted as counsel when Macpherson challenged the 2016 local government election.
"The mayor's reported claim that she stepped aside from the discussion and decision making to avoid a perception of a conflict of interest did not constitute recusal."
On Thursday last week, Macpherson had come under fire for refusing to leave the council table after submitting on a council proposal as a private citizen.
"In my opinion, the formal complaint was a hasty, clumsy, authoritarian and political stunt on behalf of commercial allies who want to inhibit my freedom of speech.
"The report by the so-called independent investigator was based on interviews of the five 'background complainants' by the Council's paid advocate.
"To claim that he or his report is independent is farcical."
"The mayor, her political cronies and partners need to learn that I will not be silenced.
"I take any censure as a badge of honour because I exposed what many regarded as scandalous behaviours and shamed them into retaliation, which has now backfired with the application of sunlight.
"I will continue to speak the truth to power on issues as I see fit."
Macpherson's comments were put to the council, Chadwick and Williams for their right of reply.
Chadwick said the media was "not the right forum to deal with such matters".
"It would be totally inappropriate to comment while a formal process is still underway."
Williams said there was "a formal process underway".
"It would not be appropriate for me to comment."
Macpherson's comments were also put to Muldowney, who said he did not have a comment to make and referred the Daily Post back to the council.
In February it was revealed six code of conduct complaints had been laid against Rotorua Lakes councillor Reynold Macpherson, relating to three separate issues.
The first - on November 12 last year - was from council chief executive Geoff Williams about Macpherson's behaviour towards council staff and making a personal attack on Williams.
That complaint was not included in the final investigator's report.
On December 16 deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, MDA experiences director Takurua Mutu, CNI Iwi Land Management general manager Alamoti Te Pou and John Pakes laid code of conduct complaints relating to a Facebook post penned by Macpherson about a Whakarewarewa Forest shuttles tender process.
Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass also complained - on January 19 - about comments Macpherson made about him and the Rotoiti wastewater treatment plant to a LocalFocus journalist.