Officials have been slammed for spending more than $3 million on offices and technology packages for members of Auckland Council's local boards.
The council spent more than $2.9 million refitting 19 of the 21 board offices, $367,900 on technology packages and $333,598 on furniture.
The technology packages include a high-end laptop, printer, modem and BlackBerry smartphone.
Members could choose to have $500 put towards their own equipment but only 19 of the 149 members went for this option.
Mission Bay-Kohimarama Residents Association secretary Ron Hamilton said the total gave him "a nosebleed". He was not "anti-board" but the cost seemed "a bit silly".
"A lot of our members are on fixed incomes. We've got members worried about how they're going to pay their rates."
Former Eastern Bays Community Board member Adriana Gunder said she could do her job properly without an expensive office and cellphone.
"The community board didn't have any of that at all. I think that figure is a bit much."
Beach Haven-Birkdale Residents Association secretary Keith Rogers said community meetings used to take place in the Birkenhead library, and he asked why existing council facilities weren't used.
Board members and council staff defended the spend.
Howick board member Jim Donald said he used the new office "most of the time" but technology was the way forward for other members.
Auckland Council local board services manager Karen Lyons said the spend was a prudent use of ratepayer money.
She said the board offices were built to a professional rather than lavish standard and, where possible, existing council buildings were used.