A Rotorua Lakes councillor says some other councillors are "embarrassing themselves" with a lack of familiarity around the council's standing orders.
Merepeka Raukawa-Tait made the comments after Cr Reynold Macpherson raised four urgent items at the beginning of Thursday's Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting.
How meetings run is laid out by the council's standing orders, a document which provides guidance on proper proceedings. In every council meeting, councillors can raise urgent items not on the agenda.
Taking that opportunity, Macpherson said the points he was raising were "regarded as very urgent by ratepayers".
"The first one is the clarification of health and safety regulations relevant to the [lakefront boardwalk] walkway.
"A qualified engineer has assured me that the regulations indicate that if the gap between the level of the walkway and the water is more than a metre there must be health and safety gates, fences and so on."
He asked if the council wanted that advice provided to it.
Committee chairwoman Tania Tapsell said it wasn't an urgent item.
"Through the consenting process everything's been deemed fine, we have followed health and safety procedures as required."
Macpherson's second item was that the indicative rating examples page in the 2021-2031 Long-term Plan "apparently contains an error".
"I'd like that confirmed and secondly how do we intend to respond to ratepayers who are also finding significant differences between the rates increases authorised and what they're being asked to pay in their rates bill?"
Tapsell said that was also not an urgent item and invited district leadership and democracy deputy chief executive Oonagh Hopkins to respond on behalf of organisational enablement deputy chief executive Thomas Colle, who was away sick.
Hopkins said there was no error on the page.
"Where there has been a misunderstanding is that the properties used in the higher capital values have not been indicative properties of the actual increase in capital value. So they haven't shown the true percentage of that capital value movement.
"To remedy this, we have gone back to the sample and selected properties that do show more indicative increase in capital value to show the relationship of capital value to the rates increases."
Macpherson's third issue was what he referred to as the "significant changes" to Rotorua Economic Development's (Red) role – referring to an extension of Red's role to enable it to support what the council had previously referred to as "transformational place-making projects", including two apartment buildings in the city's CBD.
Macpherson asked if it would be notified for public consultation.
"Half of it's going to be redirected into becoming a property development company. That is a massive, highly significant change."
Cr Sandra Kai Fong said Red was not going to become a property development company.
District development deputy chief executive Jean-Paul Gaston agreed with Kai Fong, and said the changes to Red were "a minor adjustment to the objectives and terms of reference" for the council-controlled organisation.
He said council officers had sought in-principle support for the change and had not evaluated it as significant. Council officers were also going to come back to elected members with details of how it would operate, which would be presented at the next Strategy Policy and Finance Committee meeting.
Tapsell said that too was not an urgent item and the finance committee meeting might be a better time to raise concerns.
A report for the July 8 committee meeting where the idea was first floated stated the decision may be significant in accordance with the council's significance policy because if approved, there could be future financial or land requests to support projects.
Macpherson then moved to his fourth item.
"I refer now to the planning methodology related to wellness plans ... This is crucial to a lot of people in Lynmore - can it please be modified to include legitimate stakeholders in addition to mana whenua prior to the publication of a draft wellness plan."
Cr Mercia Yates said "that is not relevant", which Tapsell agreed with.
Tapsell said the Eastside Wellness Plan had been presented to the council and there had been "ample time" to discuss it.
It was approved by the council on July 29.
Council community wellbeing, deputy chief executive Jocelyn Mikaere said the Eastside Wellness Plan went through an approximately six-week consultation process, involving input from Tatau Pounamu, which included at least 10 organisations.
Raukawa-Tait said it would be "helpful that councillors familiarise themselves with what actually constitutes an urgent item".
"Otherwise, we're using good time here, because the items are not urgent and getting knocked back.
She suggested sending the guideliness to councillors "so they could familiarise themselves and actually stop embarrassing themselves".
Macpherson said it was "perfectly legitimate" for him to raise urgent items "on behalf of ratepayers".
"I will persist in doing that despite these disparaging and irrelevant comments."
Tapsell said elected members couldn't use urgent items "as an opportunity to relitigate decisions".
WHAT IS AN URGENT ITEM?
After the meeting, Local Democracy Reporting asked the council what the definition of an urgent item was.
Rotorua Lakes Council district development and democracy deputy chief executive Oonagh Hopkins said a committee chair's decision would be based on:
• What is being requested and whether a decision is required
• Whether the item is in fact general business that could and should be raised under the appropriate deputy chief executive section of the operations report
• Whether it could be referred back to staff to bring to another meeting supported by a report
• Whether it could be dealt with in a conversation between the councillor and the appropriate deputy chief executive.