The Auditor-General's office says there is an unsatisfactory trend of councils not meeting their legislative obligations. Eight did not meet their annual reporting deadline last year.
A report issued on Thursday by the Auditor-General says time management at some councils was unsatisfactory and they need to be more aware of the difficulties of providing ratepayers with the best value for money.
The Auditor-General says it is important these aspects are addressed before councils finalise their long-term plans due at the end of June.
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule says councils are on track to meet their deadlines.
He says they have listened to advice given while they were being audited.