The Wellington super-city concept has had the thumbs down from Masterton District Council which met yesterday and, as expected, also rejected the proposal supporting a submission from Hutt City Council to the same ends.
Councillors were in a conciliatory mood yesterday and although three councillors - Gary Caffell, Chris Peterson and David Holmes - voted against a submission of rejection being forwarded to the Local Government Commission, the debate was subdued.
The council's submission rejecting the merger of nine councils to form a super-city came with an acknowledgment from councillors on both sides of the divide that some changes in local body governance would probably have to come.
Framed within the submission from council were three alternative options to a super-city.
They were re-visiting a Wairarapa Unitary Authority, combining Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa district councils while retaining a regional council and simply maintaining the status quo.
All councillors, including Pip Hannon and Brent Goodwin, who apologised for their absence, praised chief executive Pim Borren for his writing of the submission on their behalf.
Councillor Doug Bracewell said he was mindful if change was "imposed upon us" there was a need to tread careful and to engage the entire community, but "if things aren't broke, why change?"
Councillor Jonathan Hooker said he was "very comfortable" with the submission rejecting the super city proposal.
Councillor Caffell said he didn't believe the council had a mandate from the people to represent them with a joint submission.
He also questioned the veracity of survey results, particularly a Nielsen survey, parts of which were published in the Times-Age this week.
Councillor Peterson said the only alternative option in the report he could support was the status quo.
A Wairarapa Unitary Authority option was "dead and can't be revived and combining the three district councils with a regional council would not improve anything", Mr Peterson said.
Deputy mayor Graham McClymont said the campaign for a super-city had been poorly led and giving so much power to 21 elected people would only end in a "feeding frenzy for consultants".
Councillor Holmes favoured individual submissions but said supporters of a Wellington super city were "people of vision" who could see what the future could hold.
"But I quite like the amalgamation of the three district councils with the regional council. It is by far the most popular choice with the people," he said.
Councillor Simon O'Donoghue said he couldn't support a super city. Talking to people and "doing my own little surveys" had shown people did not want a super city, he said.
Councillor Mark Harris said he had done the sums and just paying for the set-up costs of a super city would mean an 8.1 per cent increase in rates for Wairarapa people.
He favoured Wairarapa district councils combining with the regional council.