The cost of running Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker's office has risen $45,000 in the past two years, but Parker's expenses have dropped by nearly half that.
An Official Information Act request shows the total cost for Parker and his administrative support team – including staff salaries, office expenses, catering, travel, car expenses and internal car parking – has climbed 6.2 per cent from $369,615 in a nine-month period from July 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, to $392,501 in the same 2011-12 nine-month period.
The mayor's office now costs $227,727 to operate, compared with $182,272 two years ago – a 24.9 per cent rise.
Pay for four permanent staff and staff cover increased from $178,148 to $222,532, up 24.9 per cent, while office expenses rose 28.8 per cent from $3850 to $4957.
Parker's expenses were down 12 per cent in the same period, from $187,343 to $164,774.
His nine-month pay is up 2.8 per cent from $116,042 to $119,292, but domestic and international travel costs are down from $10,299 to $1640.
Parker's catering costs have dropped significantly over the three consecutive nine-month periods, from $18,151 in 2009-10 to $10,416 in 2010-11 to $3230 in the latest period.
Subscription costs, printing, stationery, postage and courier fees have fallen from $9311 to $6176 to $4010, but telephone and fax costs varied, from $4192 down to $2927, but then up to $8130 in the latest period.
Parker's car lease has increased 11.4 per cent to $20,522 from $18,429.
Asked for comment, Parker said the earthquakes, operating from three locations in the space of a year and the need for temporary staff explained the fluctuations.
The costs of civic events and ceremonies, which sit outside the mayoral budgets, also varied between the periods, from $17,623 to $60,375 to $42,800, an overall increase of 142 per cent.
Citizenship ceremony costs, also a separate budget item, have dropped 41.4 per cent, from $23,655 in 2009-10 to $13,850 in 2011-12.