Two Northland councils have appointed commissioners to hear submissions on local government reform.
The Far North and Whangarei District Councils have proposed two unitary authorities in the north.
The councils have appointed retired judge Sir Peter Trapski and former National Party leader and Reserve Bank governor Don Brash to hear about 1000 public submissions and write a report.
Northland's two other councils have rejected the reform process, and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide has said it is unlikely to succeed without unanimity.
The Whangarei council says the commissioners will begin reviewing submissions this week and begin public hearings on 1 July.