Minister for Planning and Local Government Simon Coveney has said the boundary row between Waterford and Kilkenny is a "political hot potato", which he agrees is frightening some people.
Speaking in Waterford, Mr Coveney said it is his job to try to find a solution to allow Waterford city expand.
He said he knows a recently-published report on the issue has caused controversy for people in south Kilkenny.
The Report of the Waterford Boundary Review Committee recommends that around 20,000 acres and 4,500 people in south Kilkenny become part of Waterford as the city expands.
The minister said he understands the very strong attachments people have to their own county and agreed there are some frightened people in south Kilkenny.
He urged people to make submissions on the matter to his department, which can be done until the St Patrick's Day deadline.
South Kilkenny Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has threatened to resign his Dáil seat if the boundary change goes ahead and said Fine Gael would lose significant support in south Kilkenny.
Fianna Fáil TD in south Kilkenny Bobby Aylward has ridiculed the proposed boundary changes, while fellow Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said no one from Waterford or anywhere else would take "one inch of south Kilkenny".
He also likened it to an act of war.
Kilkenny County Council Chairperson Matt Doran has said the whole process was skewed entirely towards the requirements of Waterford city.