A report from the Auditor General has found local government debt has reached a new high of $10.8 billion.
That's up from $10.1 billion the previous financial year, but total revenue has also climbed to more than $9 billion a year.
The report found local authorities were spending too much on operational costs, and not enough on infrastructure.
President of Local Government New Zealand Lawrence Yule said there were no nasty surprises in the report.
"Debt levels are going up slightly, but I'd sort of put it in context. Out of a total asset base of just on $120 billion, the total debt of local government New Zealand is very modest."