The Government is considering placing Canterbury's regional council in a limited form of democracy at next year's local body elections.
The Government removed the regional councillors in 2009 and replaced them with commissioners.
The Local Government Minister, David Carter, says he's expecting a report from officials within a couple of weeks on whether to appoint some members of the council next year, rather than allow all of them to be elected.
Mr Carter says if the Government proceeds with that option it would need a law change.
Labour Party local government spokesperson Annette King says it would be another example of the Government undermining local democracy.
She says reforms already before parliament give central government greater control over local government and this seems to be another move to restrict to role of local people making local decisions in their local area.