A proposal to have some or all Auckland City councillors elected "at large" has been given the thumbs down.

At an informal workshop this week, Auckland councillors agreed to keep 20 councillors in 13 wards.

The council has been going through the statutory process of looking at its governance structure, including introducing councillors on a city-wide basis rather than in wards, and reducing the number of local boards from 21.

But neither proposal has political backing, and North Shore councillor Chris Darby said there would be no reduction in the number of local boards on his watch.


Councillors believed six years of the Super City was too short a time to look at changes.

Discussing whether to elect councillors to represent the entire region, rather than just local wards, the councillors believed it was possible to be elected locally but still act in the regional interest.

They also believe councillors elected at large would lead to more candidates aligning themselves along political lines, and too much distance between the governing body and local boards.

Darby said it would be a phenomenal task for a councillor to have a constituency stretching from Te Hana to the Bombay Hills, saying that was a task for the mayor.

"At this stage I can't seen any benefit in councillors elected at large. They would be at risk of being further disconnected from Aucklanders.

"My ward of North Shore is twice that of an electorate," he said.