Local Government Minister David Carter says it is possible some local elections could be delayed next year, if council mergers are close to taking place.
Several councils are considering mergers to create bigger authorities under legislation currently before Parliament.
The Bill would allow local elections for a particular authority to be postponed if an amalgamation was close to being finalised.
Mr Carter says that could happen at the next local elections in 2013.
Mr Carter says stalling an election would have to have the support of the Local Government Commission and the affected councils.