Wellington and Northland will not be reorganised into "super cities" but Hawkes Bay will follow in Auckland's footsteps.
The Local Government Commission decided not to proceed with its draft proposals for single councils in Northland and Wellington, instead it would return to those communities to work with them and seek to develop other options to address the challenges those regions face.
The Commission has issued a final proposal for reorganising Hawkes Bay's local government.
Commission chairman Basil Morrison said different regions had different challenges and required different responses.
"All three communities have indicated some change in local government is needed to ensure regions can be more effective and efficient and make decisions about what will be needed in future.
"We believe in Hawke's Bay there is community support for reorganising local government, that the final proposal will promote good local government, and is in the region's best interests." Local Government Commission chief executive Sandra Preston said there was little support for the major structural option proposed for Wellington but there was a widespread mood for some form of change.
In Northland the councils had also made progress in identifying alternative ways to provide good local government since the draft proposal was released and the commission hopes to work with the community in building on that momentum.
As required under the Local Government Act, if this process results in new options for reform with community support the Commission would then prepare new draft proposals for wider consultation in Wellington and Northland.
The Green Party welcomed the news that Wellington would not be reorganised into a single local government body.
"People in the Wellington region have sent a clear message that they do not want an Auckland type super-city," the Green Party said today.
"The Local Government Commission needs to pay attention to the vast majority of submitters who opposed the super-city idea," said Green Party local government
spokesperson Eugenie Sage
"It is important that any change is driven by the community rather than imposed on the community.
"It is also important that any change strengthens rather than reduces local democracy as the super-city and local boards would have done."
Ms Sage said it was possible some form of amalgamation might occur in the future.
"It is quite clear however, from the submissions received, that this will not be an Auckland type super-city."
In Northland, the decision was welcomed by the Northland Regional Council.
Chairman Bill Shepherd said today's announcement ended months of uncertainty over the process.
"We told the Local Government Commission during its reform hearings in March last year that we couldn't support its draft proposal as it stood at that time; we asked it to do more work and then issue a fresh draft.
"The ball has been in its court since then."
Mr Shepherd said a general election and other reorganisation proposals elsewhere, including Wellington, had meant the fate of the original draft had taken much longer to resolve than many Northlanders would have liked.
"But at the end of the day, we've now got some certainty going forward, as well as an acknowledgement that some local government change is necessary to ensure regions like ours can be more effective and efficient in future."
The heart of the council's opposition to the draft was the commission's heavy reliance on 'community boards' with the council keen to see much stronger 'local boards' with their own powers and budgets introduced, Mr Shepherd said.
The regional council also felt any final proposal should have included a wider range of options for Maori representation and decision-making.