The Government's plans for the Auckland Super City are an unbalanced model that concentrates powers in the hands of the few, Labour and Green MPs told Parliament yesterday.

The Labour MP for Mangere, Su'a William Sio, said Labour supported reform of Auckland local government, but National and Act had delivered the country's largest city a flawed model and a sham consultation process.

He was speaking yesterday as legislation setting up the Super City makes its way through Parliament under urgency.

The Local Government (Auckland Council) Bill sets out the broad parameters for the Super City, including representation issues and the powers and functions for a Super Auckland Council of 20 councillors, 20 to 30 local boards under the Auckland Council, a single mayor and boundary issues.

Following submissions and public hearings by a special select committee, the Government has made changes. The powers and functions of local boards have been beefed up, albeit with the Auckland Council having the ultimate say; and a proposal for eight at-large councillors on the Auckland Council has been dropped.

The Government has also backed away from a proposal from the select committee to split the Rodney District Council.

Local Government Minister Rodney Hide said the Government had not backed down on anything, but had listened to the wishes of Aucklanders.

Mr Hide said the bill was the second of three pieces of legislation to deal with decades of problems with Auckland's local government.

The first provided for an agency to redesign Auckland and the third bill would provide much of the detail for the complex task of restructuring Auckland's eight councils into a single entity by October next year.

Associate Local Government Minister John Carter, who chaired the select committee, said that the Government could take a bow when previous controversies about the structure of the Super City, local boards andat-large councillors had been resolved through the select committeeprocess.

He said the biggest challenge was empowering the local boards "and I'm pleased to say that has happened".

As National list MP Jackie Blue put it, the select committee had addressed community concerns that they would be toothless and impotent.

Green MP Sue Kedgley said if Aucklanders looked at the fine print in the bill they would realise that the 20 to 30 local boards would be subservient to the Auckland Council.

"With only four to nine members, local boards will be too tiny, too fragmented to have any real influence or power," she said.

Another Green MP, Sue Bradford, said Prime Minister John Key had back-tracked on the Rodney boundary after listening to community concerns but the powerful protests made by Maori had not resulted in Maori seats on the Auckland Council.