A proposal for councils in Wellington and Wairarapa to combine to form a super city has been met with criticism, some saying the voice of the region has not been heard.
The Local Government Commission yesterday released its draft proposal suggesting the nine councils should merge into one - the Greater Wellington Council.
Power would be shared between the governing body (a mayor and 21 councillors) and 60 members of local boards that would be created for Wairarapa, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Kapiti Coast, Porirua-Tawa, Ohariu, Lambton and Rongotai.
The mayor would be elected by voters of greater Wellington, while councillors and local board members would be elected from eight defined geographic areas.
The mayor and councillors would be responsible for high-level decisions affecting all of Wellington and Wairarapa.
The local boards would control council budgets and decisions for local matters in established communities.
Hutt City Mayor Ray Wallace strongly opposed recommendations to turn Wellington into a super city. "I'm clearly disappointed that the Local Government Commission has not listened to the region.
"Sure there are some who would like to see a super city in Wellington, but the very vast majority do not want [it]."
Mr Wallace said the region was already working well together. "It's unfortunate that clearly the Local Government Commission does not understand how this region works."
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the proposal appeared to go against the wishes of those in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa.
"The Wairarapa councils were very clear that they wanted to be a unitary [authority] on their side of the Rimutaka and this commission has not been able to fulfil that local desire," she said. "The draft proposal is for an uber-council from Miramar to Masterton and I have consistently said that is too far for one council."
The commission said a proposal for a standalone Wairarapa council failed to meet required tests.
The commission was not satisfied such a council would have the resources to carry out all local government functions in the future.
Commission chairman Basil Morrison said the shared decision-making model of a unitary authority with local boards was the best of several options considered.
"This proposal offers the greatest opportunity to address the significant future issues facing the region."
The deadline for public submissions is March 2.