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Several sites have been considered for the council's new home, but have all been rejected.
Figures show it spent $9,715,000 on land purchases, site assessments and temporary office space.
It is still searching for a new site for the building.
Cr Graeme Bell said he could ``definitely'' understand the frustration and concerns of ratepayers.
He imagined past councillors would regret the cost becoming so high, he said.
Cr Michael Laws said he opposed the construction of a new headquarters from day one.
``By definition, any public monies spent trying to construct one would appear wasted public monies to me.''
He has suggested Port Otago's commercial development arm refurbish or construct a building for the new headquarters.
He has also advocated it be located nearer to the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes districts, where much of the council's work is based.
Cr Michael Deaker said much of the spending was investment rather than cost.
However, councillors at the time of the Birch St site investigation ``perhaps went further than they should have'' with the project, before realising it would be too expensive.
Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said he did not regret the previous costs of the search.
With the Birch St and Stafford St sites it had two valuable pieces of land to sell when it needed to secure a new headquarters site.
The Birch St site had increased in value since it was purchased, he said.
The council discussed the search in a private session yesterday.
The only update was councillors asked the chief executive to act ``with haste'', Mr Woodhead said.
In 2007 the council purchased land on Kitchener and Birch Sts for $3.35 million.
Another $3.8 million was spent on architectural plans, engineering and planning for the site.
This bid was eventually dropped.
In 2013 the council created temporary chambers in the car park of its Stafford St site.
In 2016 it began investigating other options for a new headquarters, eventually focusing on a Dunedin City Council-owned car park in Dowling St.
This investigation cost $450,000, but the bid was dropped in July.
In August, temporary chambers opened at Philip Laing House, the cost of which was $1.192 million, including fit-out, consultant fee, plus equipment and furniture.
The figures come from Dunedin man Chris Shaw who requested them under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act.
Mr Shaw said it was time the council was held accountable for the spending.