Some small businesses in Auckland fear they will lose valuable contracts when the city's eight local bodies are merged in a single, region-wide council.
Companies and some local politicians are concerned that a single council with bulk-buying powers is more likely to deal with big suppliers.
Waitakere City Council says it has a buy-local preference which sees it spend $34 million with firms inside its boundaries, creating nearly 200 jobs in the wider community.
North Shore City Mayor Andrew Williams says many smaller firms will find it harder to compete for big regional contracts.
He says he hopes the proposed community boards will be able to spend money locally.