Invercargill City Council member Wayne Harpur is calling for a single agency to govern all of the Southland district, including Invercargill city.
The area is currently served by four councils, with more than 130 elected representatives looking after 80,00 people.
Mr Harpur says the problem is highlighted by water. Southland Regional Council is grappling with how to prioritise city supplies over the needs of big commercial users.
The four councils are Gore District Council, Southland District Council, Invercargill City Council and Southland Regional Council.
Mayor Tim Shadbolt says the idea has merit and should be investigated.