The Government's legislation setting up Auckland's new "Super City" council was passed by Parliament today on a vote of 64 to 58 after a long debate under urgency.

Ministers had hoped to get it through last night but a 9am to midnight sitting wasn't enough, with Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party opposing the bill.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide launched the debate on the bill's third reading, its final stage, this morning.

The new council would deliver decisive leadership, robust infrastructure and the facilities and services of a world class city, while local boards would ensure communities could deal with local issues, he said.

He acknowledged there had been strong debate about the structure and powers of the council.

"We listened to what people had to say and responded to their ideas and concerns," Mr Hide said.

Labour MP Shane Jones warned the chief executive of the new council would have immense powers while the local boards under the unitary council would not have the resources or powers to deal with issues.

As legislation goes, the 40-page bill is relatively short. But Opposition parties disagreed with so much of it, and put up so many amendments, that it didn't complete its committee stage before midnight.

The Maori Party focused on the Government's refusal to allow reserved Maori seats on the new council.

Labour and the Greens complained about the power the new mayor would have, the structure of the ward system, and numerous other provisions they considered were being rammed through without due consideration.

There were strident warnings that Auckland's assets would soon be sold off under a hidden agenda of privatisation.

Among Labour's file of proposed amendments was one that would have established a Pacific Advisory Board.

Another would have established an Auckland Youth Council.

Labour MPs argued that the select committee process, when the views of Aucklanders were sought at meetings in and around the city, had been rendered useless by decisions taken by the Government - some even before the committee had reported its recommendations.

National marshalled its MPs to support and debate the contentious clauses.

All the Opposition amendments were defeated.

The bill put in place a unitary council with 20 members elected from wards and between 20 and 30 local boards.

There will also be a mayor with executive powers and the power to appoint committee chairs and a deputy, the mayor's office will also get a separate budget and staff.

A third bill on the Auckland council will come before Parliament later this year that will fill in detail and finalise transition arrangements.

- NZPA