Mayor Barbara Arnott says the Government is preparing to push its Local Government Reform bill through with "no changes" despite a lengthy select committee hearing being used to gauge community feedback.
Mrs Arnott said she felt it was a waste of time and airfares travelling to Wellington last week to present to the select committee, when a meeting with the Local Government Minister David Carter suggested the bill would be approved as is.
"I was speaking with David Carter less than a week prior to going down to the select committee and the Napier council covered off the issues which I have raised to the select committee," Mrs Arnott said.
"At the end of the time the council had with Mr Carter, he said to myself and the councillors that the reform bill is going through as the Government has stated, with no changes.
"So when I was speaking to the select committee I said to them I wondered why I was paying airfares to see them sitting around a table when their own minister had already decided there would be no change."
Napier's major problem with the reforms was a new voting system to determine if neighbouring councils should merge. The reform proposed a 50 per cent approval vote across a region where amalgamation was proposed.
The existing rule required that each city or district had to achieve 50 per cent approval in each area.
Mrs Arnott said it would be unfair to small communities, such as Napier.
"I think the normal vote is going to be taken away from us. A community should be able to vote for the way it wants to see its future."
Mrs Arnott said comments from a number of other councils speaking to the select committee were "compatible with ours".
"We would like to think that the number of submissions they've got might make them think harder whether or not it should go through with the reforms in the current state."
Mr Carter said he made it clear to the Napier council that the most important aspect of the legislation was to provide "a more focused purpose statement" which met the future needs of communities for good-quality infrastructure, public services and performance of regulatory functions.
It would replace the current statement which called for a broad promotion of social, cultural, environmental and economic values.
"I am well aware that Napier council has concerns about the reorganisation proposals contained in the bill. I explained to the mayor and councillors the select committee process is the appropriate channel to raise any issues and particularly the issue of a voters' poll."
Mr Carter said there were "hundreds of submissions" on the proposals and the report-back time to Parliament had been extended.
"Once the select committee makes its recommendations, the bill will be further debated by Parliament. I would expect there will be further changes."