The Rangitīkei District Council has put forward its preferred option for the future make-up of the council, after a representation review detailed four options on how to establish designated Māori constituencies.
At last week's council meeting, the council resolved to consult the community on the proposal for a body made up of 12 elected members, including the mayor.
The decision comes after a representation review was conducted to determine the appropriate number of councillors around the table, as well as whether or not those elected officials represent designated wards.
The most recent review was conducted prior to the 2019 local body elections, but the council's vote to establish a designated Māori ward earlier this year meant a new review was required.
Currently, the 12-person council is made up of the mayor and 11 councillors from three wards - Northern, Central and Southern.
The latest representation review put forward four options for the council's makeup - all of which included two designated Māori seats.
At the meeting last Thursday, the council voted in favour of putting forward Option B for public consultation, which retains the existing ward structure, with the loss of two general ward seats and the addition of two Māori seats.
If adopted, Option B would see five councillors remain in the Central ward, which includes the townships of Marton and Hunterville.
The Northern ward (including Taihape and Mangaweka) and Southern ward (Bulls, Rātana and Turakina) would have two seats each, down from three.
Bulls-based councillor Brian Carter moved the motion in favour of Option B, saying it was the most logical approach to take.
"It's very similar to what we have at the present. We'll have 11 councillors, two from the Maori wards," Carter said.
"The more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned."
That was a view shared by Hunterville-based councillor Richard Lambert.
"I think with the geographical size of our region, the more councillors the better."
"We're not underworked as councillors, and if you want to address a problem, you often have to drive to it. The more feet on the ground, the better."
Taihape-based councillor Angus Gordon said the council's current representation was an example of why it wasn't necessary to fix something that was not broken.
"The one great thing we have about our council is diversity - we tick almost all the boxes. We need to keep that diversity at the fore. This is the option that gives us the best chance of achieving that - through ethnicity, gender, age or geographic spread."
Taihape-based councillor Gill Duncan opposed the move, questioning whether 11 councillors were too many.
"I think this is a lot of councillors. We have got a relatively small number of people we are representing," Duncan said.
"I still think that a total of 12, with our mayor, is a huge number of councillors to have, and I wonder if it's a little bit unwieldy," she added.
All four options, including the council's preferred option, now go out for public consultation, with submissions to be heard by the Policy and Planning Committee on October 14.