Auckland council protester and "anti-corruption campaigner" Penny Bright has the backing of Local Government Minister Rodney Hide in her drive to increase the level of transparency and accountability from local government politicians.

Her inquiries have found only a few councils have a register of interests for elected members, not all of which are available on the council websites.

Councils that declare some or all of local members' pecuniary interests include Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, Palmerston North City Council, Horowhenua District Council and Hurunui District Council.

Penny Bright, who attended the Australian public sector anti-corruption conference in Brisbane in July, said there was huge scope for abuse of public office for private gain in New Zealand.

At the very least, she said, local government politicians should be subject to the same rules as MPs and have to declare the assets, debts and gifts they may have accumulated or received.

She said New Zealand should follow measures introduced by the Labor Government in Australia, where ministers have to divest themselves of shares (except investment schemes such as diversified superannuation funds) and are forbidden from seeking government or public service work for 18 months after leaving office.

Mr Hide, who is reviewing the transparency, accountability and financial decision-making processes of councils, said he would like to see local government - especially the proposed Auckland Super City's council - subject to a register of pecuniary interests.

But he doubted he could make it a legal requirement in the current parliamentary term.

It could not be dealt with through the Local Government Act, but would require changes to the Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act 1968.

"But there is nothing to stop a council from adopting good practice and holding and running a register itself," he said.

The Manukau City Council requires councillors to declare the name of their spouse or partner, property they own, a list of company directorships or shareholdings, community organisations they belong to and travel funded by third parties.

Council chief executive Leigh Auton said the ability of elected members to make impartial, objective and transparent decisions was paramount to the community's confidence in the council's ability to govern.

The Auckland City Council requires councillors to declare an interest in organisations or investments that have the potential to be a source of real or perceived conflict of interest.

Mayor John Banks said a register of pecuniary interests should be included in legislation for the Super City. He would be happy to declare his interests.