Fear of domination by rich and famous may lead to more ward-elected councillorsThe Auckland Super City council could get more local representation as a result of plans being discussed today.

The Herald understands the Cabinet will consider fast-tracking legislation through Parliament that could result in fewer councillors being elected "at large" by the whole region rather than local wards.

There are fears that electing councillors at large will favour political blocs and that many candidates will be drawn from the rich and famous who can afford to run city-wide campaigns.

Sending one letter to the region's 500,000 ratepayers will cost a candidate $250,000 in postage alone.

Prime Minister John Key and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide have supported eight of the 20 councillors being elected at large to give the new council a regionwide voice.

The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance recommended a mix of 10 ward and 10 at-large councillors.

But it is understood the Government and Mr Hide could live with a council of ward-only councillors if that were the strong view of submitters.

Another option is to increase the number of ward councillors to 18 and reduce at-large councillors to six.

The region's mayors, with the exception of John Banks in Auckland City, favour a full ward system.

A select committee could hold several weeks of public hearings in Auckland to judge the mood between at-large councillors and more local focus.

The decision on the number of wards may have to be fast-tracked to give the Local Government Commission time for consultation and drawing-up boundaries.

The commission also has to draw up the boundaries for the second tier of 20 to 30 local boards.

The possible fast-tracking of the representation issue comes when the Government is being criticised for its lack of consultation with Aucklanders and growing calls for a referendum.

Other contentious issues such as Maori representation and powers for local boards are less time-sensitive.

The rethink comes as Labour and the Greens are planning to campaign strongly on the Super City in the June 13 byelection in Mt Albert.

The Government is planning two other pieces of legislation.

It is likely to pass a bill under urgency next month to set up an establishment board with the complex, and controversial job of restructuring the eight councils into the super council in less than 18 months.

Victorious Rugby World Cup captain-turned-businessman David Kirk, former Commonwealth Secretary-General Sir Don McKinnon and NZ Post chief John Allen are being mentioned as possible board heads.

Other names mentioned are Fletcher Building chairman Roderick Deane, who is believed to have turned down the job, Professor John Hood, former vice-chancellor of Auckland and Oxford universities, former Labour Cabinet minister and Wellington Mayor Fran Wilde, and accountant Brian Roche, who has scored a raft of public sector appointments and is familiar with Auckland's problems.

Mr Hide said the Cabinet would decide the make-up of the establishment board on May 4. It could have three members. It would appoint a chief executive and staff to oversee the transition.

The cost of the transition, to be paid by Auckland ratepayers, is unknown.