The Tauranga City council has been accused of looking stupid over its handling of which siren system should be used to warn coastal residents of an approaching tsunami.
City councillor Murray Guy was responding to Mayor Stuart Crosby revealing on Friday that the number of electronic sirens need to cover the 20km coastline would cost too much. It followed the completion of the design and consenting work carried out by Meerkat Alert Systems.
Cr Guy said the the council had failed to manage the process effectively and had been made to look stupid again.
"There are a lot of questions to be answered."
He was determined to raise the issue at Monday's projects and monitoring committee meeting, including how much the first stage of Meerkat's contract had cost ratepayers.
Meerkat was the preferred contractor and would have installed the electronic sirens if the council signed off on the design and consent phase.
Cr Guy said he only learned by email from the mayor on Thursday night that the consenting process had raised a lot of hurdles - and put air raid sirens into contention.
"It concerns me that those in the know have chosen not to keep all elected members informed."
He said a more complete disclosure was warranted sooner rather than later.
Cr Guy highlighted the millions of dollars that had been spent on planning for other projects that had ended up being dropped, like the museum on a pier, the Mount Hot Pools redevelopment and the investment in the Coronation Pier replacement.
The biggest supporter of air raid sirens, Councillor Bill Grainger, dismissed the suggestion that 25 sirens would be needed, saying that he had been assured that 10 to 12 would do the job.
He was also frustrated with how the tender process had been handled, as a package deal that had pushed the manufacturer of the air raid sirens out of contention.
Meerkat's managing director Wilfried Roding would not disclose how much the design and consenting work had cost the council, except to say that consenting had cost $25,000.
Sound level assessments had also shown that additional siren power would have been required at some locations. The costs would have exceeded the council's budget.
Papamoa resident Chris Berry, 35, was relieved that the council would reconsider air raid sirens, adding electronic sirens were heard all the time which could be confusing. "At least you can hear them (air raid sirens). Your ears prick up straight away, you know it is a warning."
Mr Crosby was unable to be contacted for comment.