Environment Canterbury is publishing credit card expenditure on their website in a bid to increase its "openness and transparency."

It said that after media requests for the information, it now recognised the "public interest" in credit expenditure.

The data was published last week and showed about $4000 of spending over June and July.

There were six dinner meetings charged over the three cards at the restaurants such as Twisted Hop, Rydges Latimer, Chinwag, Empire and at the Local Government New Zealand Conference at a combined cost of $389.

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ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield spent $36,103 on rate payers card, which deemed reasonable by head commissioner Dame Margaret Bazley. Photos / Christchurch Star
ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield spent $36,103 on rate payers card, which deemed reasonable by head commissioner Dame Margaret Bazley. Photos / Christchurch Star

ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield (paid back $34 for two wines at the Rydges Latimer.

In March, The Star challenged ECan to publish their credit card spending online - as the city council and Government departments do after publishing details of Mr Bayfield's $36,103 ratepayer-funded credit card spending since 2012.

Receipts showed regular spending on dinners with alcohol, with more quirkier purchases including self-help books such as How to Become a Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees.

His spending was deemed reasonable by ECan's head commissioner Dame Margaret Bazley but criticised by former ECan chairman Sir Kerry Burke who said he had "no idea" how Mr Bayfield had spent so much.

Mr Bayfield said there was a "clarification" around what can be claimed when staff conduct business over a meal on its credit card policy that started July 2015 - which he led.

The policy states: Alcohol consumed by the cardholder is considered personal and should not be charged to the card.

"However, situations may arise where the full cost of engagement may include alcohol. Where this occurs the cost may be charged to a council credit card and paid for by the council, subject to approval by the chief executive," it said.

In the situation of Mr Bayfield's expenditure, it would be approved by chair.

By comparison, the city council's and Waimakariri District Council spending policies do not allow for alcohol purchases to be made through credit cards, while the Selwyn District Council allows for one beverage purchased with a meal to be reimbursed.

ECan has three credit cards issued to Dame Margaret, Mr Bayfield and finance manager John McClelland.

Also included among the credit card spending online, ECan director of operations Don Rule received a $404 Air New Zealand Koru membership.

Mr Bayfield said that Mr Rule had a membership so he could access emails and work contacts while travelling.