Doug McKay, right, at the 2013 local board meeting where Shirin Brown, left, was sworn in. Photo Liz Waters

Former Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay has apologised following comments he made during a meeting last week in which he said Waiheke was “full of lunatics and activists.”

In a call to Gulf News the chairman of the Bank of New Zealand and Eden Park Trust, said his comments were regrettable.

“I would like to say my comments were flippant and regrettable, and although they were made privately, they ended up public. It was inappropriate, and I should not have said them in any context.”

Mr McKay was attending an Auckland Council Finance and Performance committee meeting on Skype last Thursday when his embarrassing hot-mic blunder took place. Julie Cairns of the Waiheke Health Trust was called on to speak but, before she got the chance, Doug could be heard talking to four of his colleagues in the Eden Park Trust meeting room. Mr McKay didn’t realise his microphone wasn’t muted, and council meeting attendees listened to him say “Waiheke was a spot when I was running the council and it’s just full of activists and lunatics. And the other people who go over there just go over for the weekend. You know, lock up their baches and go away. These lunatics stay there.” • Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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