A new smiley face logo for the Porirua City Council has cost ratepayers...wait for it... $98,000.
An Official Information Act (OIA) received by the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union confirmed this.
The logo, which the Taxpayers' Union is describing as a "limp and childlike smiley face", was unveiled in April.
The union is questioning the value of the brand makeover. In a statement, the union said: "When Porirua ratepayers gaze long enough into the face, the council's five percent annual rate hikes gaze back".
"Councils do not need to engage in corporate branding exercises."
The statement continues: "Unlike businesses, councils are monopoly service providers and do not need to market themselves to their ratepayers, who are already a captive audience".
According to the OIA, the 'smiley face logo' is from a series of social media avatar files, which were designed and supplied to the council for $875.
The council, in the OIA, said the full rebrand project began in January 2017. The rationale for the logo design was to reflect with the city's "youthful population".
A breakdown of the rebrand:
Strategy and brand development, and brand guidelines - $30,000
Design of collateral, print and electronic templates, animation stationery, advertising, banners, certificates, rates latter and assessments - $28,775
Brand architecture - $8,850
Photo library based on the new brand "look and feel" - $24,991
Update to brand guidelines - $5,260.