A "clash of personalities and ideologies" has led to Rotorua district councillor Mike McVicker resigning from the committee of the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society.
Mr McVicker, who co-founded the society with fellow councillor Rob Kent and Rotorua academic Reynold Macpherson, said he could no longer be a member of the committee but would remain a party member.
"Right from the start of the society I've had a number of issues with the direction it's taken," he said yesterday.
"I've always wanted and tried to suggest, it should be a one issue party and [the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal] is the issue. Others in the party, particularly Reynold Macpherson, have wanted to make it a bigger, wider society/party.
"I've at times had to say 'hold on guys'. We may be critical of some things council has done but there are many people in our city who think they've done a lot of good changes for the better in a relatively short time and that's not been held in any esteem.
"I've had many occasions where we've banged heads."
He said he still wanted to be a member of the society as he still believed in the principal aim of democracy. "I'm not going to relent on that at all."
He said he had backed off from the committee over the last couple of months but a story in the National Business Review last week, which he said was instigated by Mr Macpherson, was the final straw.
"Academics have a different view of how the world works. It was a clash of personalities and ideologies."
Mr Macpherson said he couldn't comment on Mr McVicker's resignation.
"He's not yet contacted the committee," he said.
Four councillors - Mr Kent, Mr McVicker, Peter Bentley and Glenys Searancke - are members of the society. Mrs Searancke is the chairwoman.
Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams said they would not be excluded from voting when the council voted on the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal on May 26, but they needed to make it clear they did so with an open mind.
"The risk for council is that a disaffected party, based on the decision, may choose to challenge that decision."