One Wanganui district councillor says he is "genuinely disappointed" that a council committee went behind closed doors this week to discuss a report from the Waimarie Operating Trust.
The strategy and finance committee meeting on Tuesday excluded the public when it discussed the latest report.
However, Councillor Ray Stevens said he could see no valid reason for the committee to take the item behind closed doors.
"It's a democratic decision and I'll accept that but I do not accept the council discussing any matters relating to ratepayer money in committee," he said.
Mr Stevens said he would not divulge anything about the item.
"But regardless of what the issue is, or who's involved, if ratepayer money's involved then this council must be transparent in all its dealings."
The Chronicle asked Mayor Annette Main for an explanation and she said the item was taken in confidence because it involved "commercial matters".
"Decisions on the matter will be made at the council meeting on October 23 and may be publicly released at that stage," Ms Main said.
This item was one of a number discussed behind closed doors at Tuesday's meeting.
Other items that the public have been excluded from include reports from Wanganui Gas Ltd and Wanganui District Council Holdings Ltd, along with a business case development around the Wanganui Glass School transition along with the regular council debtors update.
In May the council again went to the aid of the paddle-steamer, giving its operating trust a $30,000 grant from its economic development budget.
It has provided a further $70,000 in its annual plan.
Ms Main told the Chronicle in May that the $30,000 grant would help keep the PS Waimarie functioning while the operating trust looked for other income sources.
She said the trust was developing a comprehensive business plan and would report regularly to the council. Other options being explored include trimming costs, finding financial business partners, revising sailing days and working in with other attractions.
The trust had told the council that poor weather conditions in February and March had been reflected with lower than expected passenger numbers which meant a reduced cash flow. It also meant business had still not caught up with previous years' losses.
It is not the first time the council has financially assisted the restored paddle boat. In March 2010 the then-trust sought the council's help after years of falling passenger numbers and operating losses left it with no money at all.
The Waimarie stopped sailing that June and soon after the council agreed to provide $70,000.