How many Auckland Council staff does it to take to change a plan? About 40 when it comes to updating the blueprint for the Super City, otherwise known as the Auckland Plan.

On February 22, 37 council middle managers attended a workshop on the issue. An online search and council documents show most staff invited had the words "adviser", "strategic" and "analyst" in their job titles.

Auckland Plan strategy and research general manager Jacques Victor said the plan was the overarching, 30-year strategic document coming up for a six-yearly review in 2018.

An evidence-based review, he said, needed to reflect changes that had occurred since it was adopted in 2012, such as new Census data and the Auckland Housing Accord.


"This requires input from different experts across the organisation and workshops are used as the most efficient and effective way to ensure expertise is shared across the organisation," Mr Victor said.

A senior officer who raised the matter with the Herald said "40 people to work on a document like that is just unbelievable".

Mayoral candidates Vic Crone and Phil Goff are concerned about what the workshop says about council.

"Council shouldn't be having meetings for meetings' sake," Ms Crone said. "They need to focus on delivering core services and value for money for ratepayers."

Mr Goff said he had heard from officers and some councillors there was too much of a culture at the council of talking and not enough decision-making and getting things done. "We need a change in thinking and a change in culture." Mr Goff questioned the need to tie up 37 staff when the review was two years away.

A Local Government NZ spokeswoman said "councils can do what they wish about plan renewals and Auckland is often different from everyone else because they are bigger - and Auckland".

Staff at the council numbered 11,380 at the last count.