A plan to split Hastings into two wards for next year's Hawke's Bay Regional Council election has worried some politicians who say the move would mix rural and urban constituents, making it difficult to meet each community's needs.
The regional and Hastings district councils have released reviews to the public which suggest changes to better represent their constituents.
In the case of the regional council, it wanted public feedback on its proposal to split Hastings into north and south wards. Each would comprise urban and rural areas, to provide a better split for the two councillors working in each ward.
The split would mean the regional council would move from four wards, to five, but retain the name number of councillors, nine.
The Hastings District Council met this week to discuss the regional council's proposal and decided it would lodge a submission asking for changes.
Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers said the regional council's Hastings South ward would lump Havelock North in with rural areas south of the district: "So what we are concerned about is that it may split Havelock North away from urban Hastings, when Havelock North's focus is towards urban and not rural Hastings.
"What we may suggest is that they look at creating a Hastings rural ward and a Hastings urban one. There should be three councillors representing Hastings urban and one for the rural," Cr Bowers said.
She and councillors Mick Lester and Tania Kerr are preparing a report to present to the Hastings council on September 13, which would then be submitted to the regional council.
Cr Bowers was disappointed at her own council's representation model, which was released to the public based on the status quo.
She had led a working party which suggested major changes including reducing councillor numbers and introducing community boards. But she was on holiday when the council voted against the changes and in favour of the status quo.
"I think our councillors failed to grasp the opportunity we had to start positioning our community for some form of amalgamation in the future.
"It will happen at some point, whether people like it or not, and getting community boards in place would help to cope with that."
Cr Bowers said she was also disappointed that two of the councillors on her working party, who moved and seconded the proposed new model, changed their minds when it came to a final vote around the full council table.
She said people still had a chance to say whether they wanted changes to the council's political set-up by writing submissions which would be reviewed at a hearing this year.