Wellington City Council is moving its massage room elsewhere following outrage the rubdowns were happening at the expense of a dedicated parents' room.

Correspondence released to the Herald under the Local Government and Official Information Act revealed a parents' room at council headquarters was turned into a massage room.

The thinking was that any mum needing to breastfeed or express milk could use the first aid room instead.

"I'm just hoping we don't get into a situation where there is someone unwell in this room and then a mum needing to use it. Probably best for any mum to first check if the parents room is available, I can't remember exactly how many days a week it is out of action with the massages", Community Services manager Jenny Rains wrote in an email.


A public policy researcher slammed the move, saying it sent the wrong message and called for the decision to be reversed.

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons resorted to expressing milk in her car for her newborn daughter Kate because there were no obvious council facilities.

The council confirmed today the room in question was now solely the parents' room, with staff massages being taken off the floor and an alternative room found.

A spokesperson said the council viewed massages as a wellbeing initiative.

They said it was beneficial for addressing physical and mental work demands, poor posture, non-work injuries, emotional wellbeing and sleep disruption.

Massages were done in staff members' own time and were not paid from the ratepayers' purse.

"We support mothers wishing to breastfeed in all council facilities. If customers are looking for a place to breastfeed, our staff are always available to help them find a location", the spokesperson said.

Fitzsimons said she was thrilled with the council's decision to relocate the massages.


"It's a great outcome for Wellington parents that they will have a dedicated space at the new council building.

"I don't anticipate that it will be used that much for breastfeeding but it will definitely be used for changing children and a space for parents to be with their children."