What does it cost for a seat at a local government table?

Well, it depends on which council, and which table, but upwards of $700 for each chair.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council has spent more than $20,000 on new chairs for the council chambers.

The new chairs, which are used by councillors, council staff, committee member and the media during council and committee meetings, each cost $710 plus GST, a council spokesperson told Hawke's Bay Today.

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The HBRC purchased 26, which accommodates the Regional Planning Committee, the largest regional council committee.

Including GST that adds up to a cost of $21,229.

The old chairs being used during a council meeting. Photo / File
The old chairs being used during a council meeting. Photo / File

If $700 sounds pricey for a councillor's comfort, eight years ago Hastings District Council bought 26 chairs at a cost of $917 each.

The HDC spent $23,842 but have more councillors than the HBRC.

The regional council spokesperson said the new chairs, used for the first time in a full regional council meeting on Wednesday, have a 15-year warranty.

The old chairs had been used by the councillors since the regional council was set up 10 years ago.

"They were in a very bad state of repair," the council spokesperson said.

"Several of them wouldn't meet the height of the table and didn't go up and down."

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The council also planned to purchase new tables for the council chambers in the near future.

"The tables will be replaced in the near future to make the room more versatile and mobile, when we require the set up for a larger meeting or different layout.

"Tables that fold down and are on castors are being considered."

Chair of the regional council, Rex Graham, sitting on one of the old chairs at a meeting. Photo / Paul Taylor
Chair of the regional council, Rex Graham, sitting on one of the old chairs at a meeting. Photo / Paul Taylor

"Currently regional council staff have to lift and drag the tables when the room needs to be extended or set up in a different layout.

"This is time-consuming and not ideal from a health and safety perspective."