Local Government New Zealand denies that rising rates are the result of fulfilling 'wellbeing' requirements, such as environmental, social and cultural, that are in the current law.
Representatives appeared on Thursday before a Parliamentary committee hearing submissions on proposed changes to the Local Government Act.
Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule was asked by MPs why council assets and spending have increased by about $2 billion in the past decade.
Mr Yule said that's mainly because of demand for better infrastructure.
He also said councils will be vulnerable to court action if the services they can provide are curtailed.