A former high school teacher says he's been barred from contacting Auckland Council because its staff don't like "intelligent questions".

Gary Osborne is one of 31 people who have restrictions on calling or sending emails to Auckland Council.

The Te Atatu South resident, who taught at Kelston Boys' High School from 1970 to 1996, can now only contact one person at Auckland Council: issues resolutions advisor Dayle Muru.

"I don't think it's at all fair," the 70-year-old told the Herald.


"If I ring the call centre they won't answer my questions about anything, they put me through to Dayle Muru."

He said the council was adverse to "intelligent people asking intelligent questions".

Auckland Council said 31 people have their communication formally restricted.

Each case is reviewed every six months to determine whether the communications should remain.

In 2013, the council adopted the Unreasonable Complainant Conduct Policy to manage customer conduct which "negatively and unreasonably impacts on the organisation and staff".

Reasons given for restricting a person's contact with the council were: unreasonable persistence, unreasonable demands, unreasonable lack of cooperation, unreasonable arguments and unreasonable behaviours.

Osborne said his latest request to council was to ask about an official information request regarding council staff's salaries.

He claimed the council had taken too long to reply.

"I'd leave a call asking someone to call me back, but no one would ever call back, and then they say that I've been making 30 calls in three days.

"Well, if you aren't getting a reply and you are ringing in the morning, lunch and the afternoon, during normal business hours, then you are going to be making a lot of calls."

The Auckland Council would not comment specifically to the Herald on individual customers, but customer experience manager Sally Woods said in a "very small number of cases, the behaviour of customers with complaints can become unreasonable, vexatious or abusive".

"When this happens, Auckland Council takes proactive and decisive action to manage any customer conduct that negatively and unreasonably impacts on the organisation and its staff."

She said the council worked to perform its functions effectively and efficiently, while maintaining the health, safety and security of its staff, and allocating resources fairly across all received complaints.

Osborne said since the SuperCity was formed in November 2010, contact between ratepayers and council has disintegrated.

"I used to think nothing could be worse than Waitakere Council, but I was wrong - Auckland Council is far worse.

"The SuperCity was supposed to provide transparency and accountability from Auckland Council but ratepayers have not seen any of that."

In March 2013, Auckland Council investigated claims senior staff were intercepting and blocking emails addressed to councillors, following complaints by Osborne and one other.

And in August 2012, Osborne also complained his water bill was nearly four times what more than expected because condensation on the meter had made it difficult to read.