A group challenging Auckland Council's rates hikes is slamming Mayor Len Brown for what it describes as "bloated council salaries".
Figures from Councillor Cameron Brewer show nearly 2000 council employees have a six-figure annual income.
And spokesperson for the Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance, Jo Holmes, says council spending is out of control.
"We were promised efficiencies from amalgamation and they don't seem to have prepared. Instead what we've seen is empire building by council staff and demand, and the philosophy of spend, spend, spend."
Ms Holmes expects financial management will be a key issue in next year's local body elections.