The proposal for a Super City has largely been rejected by residents across the Wellington region including Wairarapa, according to a new survey, and it is "doomed to fail" if put to a referendum.
Wellington City Council commissioned a Nielsen survey to guide its submission to the Local Government Commission, which is proposing to merge all nine councils into one and establish eight local boards.
The survey was done earlier this month and sampled 1000 people in all affected areas.
It found support for the proposal was "very weak at just 26 per cent".
Support was weakest in Wairarapa at 17 per cent and the Hutt Valley at 18 per cent, and higher in Porirua and Kapiti, at 29 per cent and Wellington at 30 per cent.
Based on the results, if a referendum was held now, the submission stated 61 per cent would oppose the proposal, 26 per cent would support it and 14 per cent were undecided.
This could signal a blow for the LGC which under legislation, has to be satisfied that it has "demonstrable support" in each affected area in order to issue a final proposal.
The threshold in a referendum to secure change has to be more than 50 per cent across all affected areas.
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the survey showed substantial opposition to the proposal, and it was doomed to fail if it was put to a referendum.
"This is a robust survey and the results are very clear: there is very little appetite among residents in the Wellington region to the Makara-to-Masterton model ... the commission's model promotes a two-tier structure that encourages friction rather than a streamlined approach.
"Wairarapa and Hutt Valley residents are fiercely protective of their sense of place, and across the whole region the public are very wary of the current proposal."
In the council's submission, which it is to discuss today, it said there was a case for change but people didn't support the proposed model, due to its limitations.
"The limitations are that it combines a number of separate communities of interest, it is one of the least efficient models the LGC considered practicable, there are serious questions in relation to how effective the 'shared governance' model actually is, and with its two-tier structure, the model blurs access to and accountability of elected members."
"While we support the use of referendum to determine change, we believe it would be a waste of resources to hold a referendum on the current proposal because the result will be clearly negative."
It said there was no guarantee local boards would have significant responsibility over local matters because it would be up to the new council to determine the responsibilities and budgets of the boards.
It also said Wairarapa's dependence on the rest of the region and the argument that it couldn't go it alone, was overstated.
It questioned how the LGC came to consider Wairarapa as having the highest rates in the region, when it used a rates per resident calculation.
"Wairarapa has 15 per cent absentee landlords (due to holiday houses) that artificially inflates the rates position."
Ms Wade-Brown said the survey also showed an alternative model, with a separate Wairarapa council, would have 50 per cent support.