The vice-chancellors of the country's two biggest universities have spoken out against government plans to reduce the size of universities' governing councils.
The heads of Auckland and Massey universities say the Government needs to front up with evidence councils need to be cut from a maximum of 20 members to between eight and 12.
Vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland Stuart McCutcheon says the world's leading universities have generally bigger councils than New Zealand universities and there is no evidence smaller councils are better.
Steve Maharey, vice-chancellor of Massey University says it is not clear what problem the Government is trying to fix and there is a risk that students and staff will be left off councils.
"At the moment I think most of us are saying could we be clearer about what we're trying to fix?
"So we know that if there is going to be a change it will fix the problem."
Mr Maharey says he does not want to see councils become less representative.