The city council's heading into Christmas with less money in its accounts than budgeted.
Its latest financials have been revealed in a report to councillors.
Revenue is down by half a million dollars compared to budget, as at the end of September.
The council's also made less money than expected on its Waipori Fund investments, and has received less funding.
Energy costs have also been higher than anticipated.
The operating deficit for the three months to September was almost a million dollars worse than budget.