Media barred from meeting

Tim Shadbolt
Tim Shadbolt
Media were asked to leave an urgent Invercargill City Council meeting last night where councillors were discussing a negotiation update of the inner city block redevelopment.

The details of the extraordinary meeting, which was only announced yesterday morning, were still a mystery when reporters turned up at 5pm.

After apologies were read out, Mayor Tim Shadbolt moved that the media be excluded.

When contacted last night, redevelopment director Scott O'Donnell was unsure what the council were discussing .

''I wouldn't have a clue'', he said.

Last month, Mr O'Donnell told the ODT he had hoped to have the first phase of the development under way, but a discrepancy in documentation and queries from ICC staff delayed the process.

The council had already approved $30million for the $180million redevelopment. Of that, $25million was for the project and a further $5million would be allocated to chief executive Clare Hadley and Invercargill City Holdings chairman Brian Woods to use if a contingency was required.

Mr Shadbolt said after the meeting last night that he could provide no further information.

Any details pertaining to the meeting would become public ''in due course'', he said.

-By Karen Pasco

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