Cabinet has ruled out dedicated Maori seats on the new Auckland super city.

Prime Minister John Key said ministers had given consideration to the issue, but decided against it.

ACT leader Rodney Hide had threatened to quit as Local Government Minister if seats had been reserved for Maori.

Mr Key said that had been a factor in ministers' consideration of the issue, but not the dominant factor.

The move will leave the Maori Party disappointed as they had lobbied hard for some form of elected Maori representation on the council.

Mr Key said Mr Hide and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples had now been given the task of finding another way to get effective Maori representation on the council.

Mr Key said he had looked at the issue of reserved seats but there were a number of arguments against them.

Maori seats on the council would not have been consistent with National's views on Maori seats at the central government level and also if there were local council Maori seats it would be wrong to have them just in Auckland.

Mr Key did not believe having two Maori seats would give Maori an effective voice on the council, and other ways such as a statutory board would be considered.

A board would ensure there was consultation with Maori, but it would not have the power to over rule the council.

The Royal Commission which reported on Auckland's local government structure recommended reserved Maori seats but the Government scrapped that when it set out its plans for the city.

Dr Sharples said this morning resigning was not an option for him or co-leader Tariana Turia at this point.

While he respected Mr Hide's view, he disagreed with his resignation threat over a small part of the super city proposal that was important to Maori.

One option proposed but rejected by Mr Hide was that the seats be set up via an amendment that he could vote against.

"I am really, totally disappointed that he's put his Cabinet post on the line like this because I think that's unfair," Dr Sharples said.

Mr Key was unruffled by Mr Hide's ultimatum, which followed the prime minister sounding him out about the possibility of a changed position on the seats.

Mr Hide had assured Mr Key that ACT would not threaten the stability of the Government and the confidence and supply agreement would remain in place.

Mr Key said he did not know if Mr Hide would repeat the resignation threat over other issues, but politicians making such moves had consider them "carefully".

- NZPA