Allowing councils to charge rates against Crown-owned properties such as schools should be investigated, most of the country's local authorities believe.
Such a move has the strong support of the Act Party, which argues it is unfair that organisations such as schools and early childhood centres currently avoid rates that are paid by private operators.
Local Government NZ, which represents the country's 78 local and regional authorities, is holding its annual conference in Rotorua.
Its members - including Auckland Council - have voted to investigate the possibility, practicality and principle of local authorities extending rates charges to land owned by the Crown.
The same topic has also been covered by a review by Local Government NZ (LGNZ) of local government funding. A manifesto on this will be presented today.
Prime Minister John Key said the issue was long-standing. "I can't say it will never happen, but historically for very good reasons it hasn't ... probably to do with the two-way nature of the relationship between central and local government, and the services that that provides."
Local Government Minister Paula Bennett said the Crown paid full rates on a number of properties, but there were no plans to review exemptions on facilities such as schools and hospitals.
Act Party leader David Seymour is a strong supporter of charging rates on Crown land. He said that although conservation and recreational land could be excluded, as a matter of fairness schools and hospitals should pay rates because they compete with private organisations.
Mr Seymour said that although there would likely be a slightly lower rates burden on households, better and more efficient use of Crown land would be a bigger benefit.
"We have got this 430ha of Crown land [in Auckland] that allegedly could be turned into houses. Well, why have they waited so long? I suspect one of the reasons is that the Crown can keep land rates-free."
In June, a draft report by the Productivity Commission, titled Using Land for Housing, recommended the Government start paying rates on Crown land.
LGNZ's members also supported a proposal to request the Government to ban smoking outside cafes, restaurants and bars.
Lighting up inside hospitality and other workplaces was banned in 2003, and any push to extend that to ventilated outdoor areas would be controversial.
However, about 70 per cent of councils at the conference have voted to ask for a ban on smoking outside cafes, bars and restaurants.
The Maori Party has a policy to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025 and since gaining power in 2008, the National-led Government has overseen steep increases in tobacco taxes, restricted the display of tobacco in shops, cut duty-free allowances and introduced plain-packaging legislation.
A spokeswoman for Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga referred questions to the Ministry of Health, which in a statement said it encouraged businesses to consider going smokefree, "especially those restaurants and cafes where children and families are present".
Local government members also requested that the Government impose a compulsory levy on plastic shopping bags at the point of sale.