A council meeting today is proposing a "bureaucratic monstrosity" of up to 52 decision makers - half of them unelected - to decide the future of the Hauraki Gulf.
"It's a lot of bureaucracy and a lot of cost, but not much democracy," said councillor Mike Lee.
The council proposal, for today's Auckland Plan committee meeting, is one of two options on the agenda for the Hauraki Gulf Spatial Plan's project steering group - which is additional to a stakeholder forum, an expert advisory group and a project team.
The first alternative is to have 26 Maori representatives and 26 representatives of councils and government agencies, such as the Ministry of Fisheries. The second option is eight of each, in which case Auckland Council's representation would be limited to just two.
Councillor Lee said there already existed a statutory body of 21 members, 15 of them democratically accountable, to deal with Gulf issues - the Hauraki Gulf Forum - and it was bizarre to suggest setting up a "bureaucratic monstrosity" dominated by unelected people in its place.