A push for large-scale council amalgamations is deterring communities from getting behind any council restructures, says the head of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).
Three proposals to amalgamate councils have failed this year - with the latest in Hawke's Bay - and the body that represents local authorities is calling for more incremental changes.
LGNZ president Lawrence Yule said central government could tweak the law to make changes that would allow services to be shared and make it more acceptable to communities.
"I think it's nigh-on impossible for communities to actually agree on amalgamation, and the Government has clearly said that it's not going to force amalgamation. so if people want to do things around the edges with shared services, it will actually encourage that."