In the end it came down to eight votes versus five.
The Rotorua Lakes Council yesterday voted to implement a modified version of the Te Arawa partnership model.
After a year of fierce division and argument over democracy and representation, hundreds gathered to witness the historic vote.
It was for some a battle of fundamental principles - on one hand, council voting rights should not be given away, they belong to the city's elected representatives; on the other hand Te Arawa, by virtue of its history and importance in the area, should have a role to play in decisions that affect the district.
Towards the end of the process, middle ground was sought.
The Pro-Democracy Society - formed to fight the spectre of unelected representation - conceded this month that Maori wards could work. Maori would have representation, via election.
Then the council, as reported this week, tweaked the preferred partnership model.
The ability of the key committees - on which Te Arawa representatives would sit - to make binding decisions was taken away.
Their decisions would have to be ratified by the full council.
Te Arawa's board would be elected rather than appointed, with two people nominated by the board to sit on the council's two main committees.
Those nominee choices could be vetoed by the council if they weren't seen as suitable for the positions.
This is the model the council yesterday approved. And it seems a worthy compromise.
No one is giving votes away.
The election of Te Arawa board members is tantamount to a Maori wards situation - especially when allowance is made for mataawaka or non-Te Arawa Maori. Even then those elected members have to have their recommendations voted on by the full council.
Not everyone will agree this is the right way forward - but that battle has been fought and lost.
Rotorua has spoken. Our elected representatives have listened, and voted.