A microscope has been put over the finances of a Christchurch City Council-owned foundation.
A review ordered by the council criticised the Christchurch Foundation over a lack of transparency in its financial reporting, and for incurring high costs.
Established in 2017, the foundation paid for its day-to-day operations through a $600,000 a year council grant, something the council had promised to continue doing until 2023, when it expected it to be self-funding.
Wanting to know how it was tracking towards meeting this goal, the council asked accountants Deloitte to review it, including comparing it to similar trusts.
The results did not make encouraging reading.
Stripping out the millions raised following the mosque attacks, in order to provide a valid comparison, for every dollar the foundation raised, it incurred 56 cents in costs.
Compare that to the Auckland Foundation's costs of 22 cents for every dollar raised or Momentum Waikato at 40 cents.
Councillor Yani Johanson told Chris Lynch of Newstalk ZB he thinks the Deloitte report was excellent.
"What I've been asking for is to understand what the annual reporting procces has been.
"When I saw a few of the things in the annual report, it concerned me, and a few other councillors as well, that we were approving a very very expensive operation for questionable benefit."
Christchurch Foundation chief executive Amy Carter did not respond to RNZ's request for an interview.
But in a statement she came out swinging, saying Deloitte "had little experience reviewing not-for-profits", something she believed required a "specialist skill set".
She said Deloitte "struggled to quantify" the value the trust brought to the city and noted there were no issues raised by its auditors, PWC or the Charities Office.
Carter said they were making great progress in reducing their reliance on the council for funding and for this financial year were asking for $60,000 less from ratepayers.
• The future of the council's contribution, and perhaps that of the foundation, would be discussed at a council committee meeting this Thursday.
- Additional reporting RNZ