The Auckland Transition Authority sends everyday letters on paper costing almost 17 times as much as regular office supplies.
The ratepayer-funded authority set up to manage the region's council merger buys 500 sheets of "replica goatskin parchment" from Office Max for $118. Warehouse Stationery and other suppliers offer 500 sheets of A4 paper for $6.99.
The Aucklander has received responses to Official Information Act requests on the expensive paper throughout the ATA's 15-month tenure.
The responses are not on letterhead, but appear to be simple documents produced from an office printer.
We tracked the paper down after holding a letter up to the light and noting a barely discernible watermark showing a goat.
The colour appears to be Grecian tan rather than shades such as marble white or faint Corinthian green.
We asked ATA's communications director, Clive Nelson, about the costs of the "replica parchment" and the reasons for the agency's choice, but he declined to comment.