More than half of submitters have said "no" to Napier City Council setting up Māori wards in the city after a consultation process.
But the fact that 40 per cent supported it, shows just how far the community has come, an organiser of a movement to encourage the council to establish them says.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets after council voted in April not to begin the process of establishing Māori wards in time for the next election.
Hastings District Council and Hawke's Bay Regional Council voted to establish Māori wards and have been working through the Representation Review triggered by this, as did Tararua District Council.
Central Hawke's Bay District Council has plans to explore the topic in 2023 as part of an already scheduled Representation Review, while Wairoa District Council already has three Māori seats which were established ahead of the 2019 election.
Napier City Council resolved earlier this year to undertake consultation with the view to making a decision by November.
The results of a month-long consultation were released publicly on Monday and found 54.4 per cent - or 715 of 1314 submitters - were not in favour of Māori wards being set up.
The majority of those who voted against were enrolled on the general roll, with more than 95 per cent of those on the Māori electoral roll in favour of establishing wards (along with 30.8 per cent of those on the general roll).
Those against the wards said it would be "undemocratic", "unnecessary" and "unequal" to establish dedicated Māori seats, and raised concerns about the process.
Those for Māori wards supported the increased representation and said it was the right thing to do and long overdue.
Submitters were not asked specifics about ward boundaries or councillor distribution - these would be part of a Representation Review for council to consider in 2024.
NCC is set to consider the results of these findings and hear from submitters over the course of a three-day hearing starting on Monday.
Following the hearing, councillors will vote on which of the three proposals to pursue; resolve to establish Māori wards for the 2025 election, resolve not to establish them, or defer a decision until late 2023 with the option to consider further engagement activity.
Alayna Hokianga who helped organise the April hīkoi, said it was a "huge step up from 2017" when a previous council consultation found 78 per cent of those who offered feedback were against the establishment of Māori ward.
"It's definitely positive growth since then."
She said the results from this most recent survey provided a "pretty much even split".
There were many who were still "hurt" by council's earlier decision to delay the process for consultation, and the hīkoi had provided a platform to voice their views and had encouraged more people to get involved in local politics.
"It's building awareness.
"Although 2022 is gone, 2025 is just around the corner."
Hokianga, who plans to speak to her submission on Tuesday, said it would be interesting to see what council finally decides.
A spokesperson for NCC said council will be considering all feedback, including that from mana whenua and mana whenua entities, "acknowledging the importance of the relationship council has with mana whenua in Ahuriri".
A report to council notes a vote of "no" would impact relationships with Māori and make NCC an outlier in the region.
It also noted a claim has been raised with the Waitangi Tribunal against the Crown, covering (among other things) council's decision to postpone considering Māori wards until later this year.
A determination around an urgent hearing is still pending.