The Auditor-General has announced an inquiry into the exit payments for outgoing chief executives of Auckland's eight local authorities.
The announcement is in response to a request by Local Government Minister Rodney Hide.
The chief executives' roles are to end on 31 October when the super city comes into being.
Auditor-General Lyn Provost says public-sector reforms such as that of Auckland local government inevitably involve some employment-related costs.
She says that while the office always intended to consider any payments to chief executives, the inquiry has been brought forward because of Mr Hide's request.
Ms Provost says there is also parliamentary and public interest in the matter.
What councils are paying
The Manukau City Council has said that its chief executive will be paid out just for the five months that remain of his five-year contract.
The contract of Auckland City's CEO expired in June but has been extended for six months on the same terms, along with an additional payment of $50,000.
Rodney District Council will pay its departing CEO a redundancy payment of nine months' salary, or around $225,000.