Shifting furniture for one meeting a year leaves ratepayers with a $14,000 bill.

Moving furniture between the Town Hall and Henderson for Auckland Council meetings - described as an "absolute bargain" by mayor Len Brown - has cost ratepayers more than $14,000 since the Super City amalgamation.

The Herald on Sunday revealed in August that the Auckland Council was paying for desks, chairs and other equipment to be packed and taken on a return journey to Henderson so the council could hold one meeting a year in West Auckland.

The council was not able to give details on the cost at the time. But information obtained under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings' Act put the cost at $14,089.

That paid for 25 desks, 14 seats, three monitors or screens, 30 microphones and a media output box to be moved between the two venues.


Some councillors have spoken of their anger at the furniture to-and-fro. George Wood described it as "symptomatic of a malaise" in the organisation.

Council spokesman Glyn Walters told the Herald on Sunday buying new furniture for Town Hall meetings would cost about $100,000.

"So moving furniture once a year is cost-effective and delivers on the commitment to take governing body meetings to the people of Auckland, by rotating them north, south and west once a year each."

He was not able to give a breakdown of the $100,000 cost, but said it would have covered a custom-built desk unit to seat 20 councillors and five staff, with individual microphones, sound system and recording ability.

Computer access for 25, and data projection, including large screens, would also have been needed, as well as furniture to seat reporters and support staff.

Brown is holidaying overseas with family and his spokeswoman, Melanya Burrows, said the mayor's office did not have anything to add.

Auckland Council has been heavily criticised since Brown announced in August extreme measures to cut $2.7 billion off the city's $13.1b debt over the next 10 years.

The council has since been scolded by some after the Herald on Sunday reported the council had blown its wages and salaries budget by $50 million last year.

It has also been reported that the number of people employed by the council and the number earning six-figure salaries increased this year.