Local Government Minister Rodney Hide says he has put Hamilton City Council on notice that the Government has its eye on it and will seek to replace it if necessary.
Last month a report from Audit New Zealand into the V8 Supercars event was critical of council management.
Mr Hide said he was concerned about the Audit New Zealand findings.
"The report highlighted a number of issues with the council's expenditure on the races, governance structures and reporting processes.
"It is crucial for local democracy that ratepayers have confidence in their councils. For that to happen, councils must have the right governance structures and delegations. Councils must maintain transparent and robust decision-making processes and act in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 and other relevant laws.
"I have discussed the issue with the PSA and the local MPs, Tim MacIndoe and David Bennett, who share my concerns,' Mr Hide said in a statement.
Former Hamilton mayor Margaret Evans, backed by another former mayor, called on Mr Hide to sack councillors and reappoint Mayor Julie Hardaker as the city's commissioner.
In a report released last month into the V8 Supercars event, Audit New Zealand blamed council management - including former Hamilton City Council chief executive Michael Redman and his deputy Blair Bowcott - for poor reporting, spending millions of dollars without authorisation and keeping the council in the dark over significant issues.
Mr Redman has said he was made a scapegoat. The report also found councillors had agreed to the deals without seeing copies of the contract and had made too many decisions in meetings closed to the public.
Mr Hide said he met Ms Hardaker, chief executive Barry Harris and councillor Martin Gallagher today.
"The elected mayor represents the new leadership for Hamilton. She has assured me that the council is committed to taking action to remedy their practices and restore their ratepayers' confidence. I support her approach. The entire council must work with the leadership team to fix the problems. The mayor has told me that the council will be looking at options for pursuing any civil and criminal liabilities. I support them in this," Mr Hide said.
Ms Hardaker would report to him on how the council intended to respond to the Audit New Zealand report and a timeline for action.
"I and the new Minister of Local Government will be expecting regular updates," he said.
"Hamilton ratepayers deserve to have this matter fixed, so that we never see this type of failure again."