The number of staff in the Christchurch mayor's office has more than doubled to nine, at an annual cost of $798,605.
The previous mayor, Bob Parker, had four staff at a cost of $385,952 a year.
The change was recommended by the council's acting chief executive, Jane Parfitt, just before last year's local elections.
It's seen as being in keeping with new provisions in the Local Government Act that came into force at the end of last year, seeking to lift the ability of mayors to provide strong leadership.
The changes are designed to give mayors a greater say over the make-up of their councils and to build strong coalitions among councillors so they can support mayors in doing their work.