There could be a silver lining to Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell's shock resignation.
That is the hope of Tauranga National MP Simon Bridges after the mayor announced he was resigning at a public meeting today.
Bridges said he was "hugely disappointed" but it was not the time to place blame.
Earlier this year Bridges urged the city's embattled mayor not to resign after a Tauranga city councillor, with the support of four others, called for Powell to stand down.
"My hope is that with the mayor and another councillor resigning, there can be a silver lining where the remaining councillors actually pull together and make it work.
"It is clear with mayor Tenby resigning, it's a big source of the conflict gone with himself and a number of councillors."
Powell resigned after the council voted to bring in a Crown manager after ongoing conflict and dysfunction among elected members. He also called for commissioners to replace the council.
It followed a scathing independent report that recommended the council seek help from the Government.
The report, which was presented to council earlier this week, referred to the elected members' internal turmoil effectively preventing the council from governing appropriately.
Bridges said he did not want to see commissioners brought in.
"Going the next step to a commissioner means zero local control for us. That would be disappointing and actually embarrassing for our city."
Powell announced he would be taking medical leave at the end of November to receive treatment and recover from prostate cancer. But he said his decision to resign was "not about my cancer".
"It is my severe hope that my resignation will facilitate the Government's intervention and I believe it is required for the future good of Tauranga Moana."
MP Jan Tinetti and former mayor Stuart Crosby called Powell's resignation a "sad day for the city".
Responding to the mayor's resignation, Tauranga Labour list MP Jan Tinetti said Powell had done a lot of the city.
"There has been a lot of other noise at the same time and that is a real shame because it has taken away from the fact that he has led some great work and built great partnerships with central government."
Tinetti said Powell had strengthened the relationship between central and local government during his tenure.
"I like Tenby's ability to get things done. He comes in, sees an issue and he doesn't muck around. He's built really strong relationships with community groups and iwi outside of council which has been appreciated."
Powell's strength was recognising Tauranga as a city with growing pains, Tinetti said.
She believed no one else had faced up to what the city has needed.
"We all know there is a lot to do but change doesn't happen overnight ... We've got to face up to these issues and we've got to face up to the fact that solutions are needed and there has to be an open and honest conversation around it."
Tinetti, who battled breast cancer a year ago, wished Powell "every good wish she had" for his own cancer treatment.
"He needs to stay positive and stay focused on him, and I wish him every success in that fight he has in front of him."
Labour list MP for Bay of Plenty Angie Warren-Clarke was at the meeting when the mayor made his announcement.
She told the Bay of Plenty Times Powell's resignation was a "loss to the community" but she understood why he made the decision.
"It's the best decision for him, Sharon and his family, but I want to thank him for his service and the work he has done alongside central government."
Warren-Clarke said Powell had been "excellent" in building strong working relationships and developing work programmes to support central government goals.
"I'm really going to miss him and I wish him all the best. I consider the man a friend."
Former Tauranga mayor and Local Government New Zealand president Stuart Crosby said the situation was sad for both Powell's family and the city.
"But I think he made the right decision for himself. Now we just have to wait and see how the Minister of Local Government will react.
"In the long term, I hope the current group of elected members can improve the governance of the city."
Crosby said his observation was Powell had a "good heart".
"He had the best interests of the city at heart. It has been challenging for him."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said at the end of the day, the "show must go on" because there were pressing issues the city must address.
"The council is starting its most important Long Term Plan since the GFC. We have critical housing and transport pressures that will only get worse if nothing is done.
"The business community needs to know the council's plan considering businesses are being looked to help fund the $2 billion funding deficit.
"The chamber wishes Tenby all the very best for his recovery with his cancer treatment."
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chairman Doug Leeder said the situation faced by the city council would ultimately come at a cost to the ratepayer.
"In anybody's eyes, the commentary from the independent observers was really sad commentary of Tauranga.
"There is only going to be one casualty and that is the ratepayer because ultimately, the ratepayer will have to stand in the market or stand-in for poor decisions or no decisions being made at a governance level."
Western Bay of Plenty mayor Garry Webber said he and Powell had worked closely together since last year's election.
"I'm not really surprised. I'm amazed Tenby has lasted as long as he has."
Webber referred to the behavioural issues and conflict that were highlighted in an expert report, presented on Tauranga City Council on Tuesday.
Webber said he was concerned at the potential impact Powell's departure could have for the future of the city, with key projects and plans still yet to be finalised.
"My real concern is someone like Tenby could see what the real issues are [infrastructure, housing, transport]. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to convince some of the councillors. I think he came in trying to do the right thing, trying to take people with him but some people are locked into the past.
"It's a sad day for local government."