The Horowhenua mayor's troubles are likely to only get worse, following a deputy mayor pick that left the council bitterly divided.
Last night's council meeting saw new mayor Michael Feyen challenged by Horowhenua district councillors.
Feyen's pick for deputy, Ross Campbell, was first voted down by council, then reinstated by Feyen, before being stood down by the other councillors.
The matter was then put on hold, while the council sought legal advice.
Local Government president Lawrence Yule has dug through the rules to find the answer. He said the mayor has been outvoted, and that was the end of it.
"If the council has made that decision to overturn deputy mayor's recommendation and appoint someone else, that is the final position in law.
"The council absolutely has the majority say."
Yule said the public farce was a risk Feyen had taken, when trying to appoint his deputy without consulting the rest of the council.
"The mayor has got one vote, around the council table.
"So while the mayor is a figurehead role and will be elected to lead the council and be the principal spokesperson for the council, apart from that they only have one vote like any other councillor."
While the matter may now be settled, Massey University Public Management Group director Andy Asquith said the dispute may have caused irreparable damage.
"The deputy mayor is the engineer who keeps the council turning and working away in a positive fashion.
"If the mayor picks someone who quite clearly isn't going to do that that - I think you have to question the mayor's judgment, is the most polite way I can think to put it."
Asquith said picking a deputy that was clearly unacceptable to the rest of the council may have turned Feyen into a lame-duck mayor.
"It's a first time mayor, and I think they've demonstrated their lack of experience and poor judgement.
"I would argue that the mayor is dead in the water before he's even out of the starting blocks."