Councillors from Canterbury Regional Council have met two government ministers in the wake of a report highlighting serious problems with the council's management of the water allocations.
The report recommends the Government appoint commissioners to replace the councillors, and set up a new authority to deal with water matters.
Environment Minister Nick Smith and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide met regional councillors in Christchurch on Wednesday, and Dr Smith says the meeting was understandably tense.
The ministers also met local mayors and groups with an interest in the way water use in Canterbury is managed.
Dr Smith says the consensus from those meetings was that the regional council is dysfunctional and a lot of work is needed to fix the problems.