Objections have been raised towards the stance the Hawke's Bay Regional Council looks likely to take towards the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill.
A draft submission to the bill is to be discussed at the full regional council meeting today but it was voted through the regional planning committee meeting last Wednesday with minor changes suggested and two councillors voting against it.
Councillors Neil Kirton and Tim Gilberston representing Napier and Central Hawke's Bay respectively, both did not support the submission which has strongly criticised the local government reforms proposed.
Lobby group A Better Hawke's Bay (ABHB) has also objected to the council's stance, saying councillors do not have the mandate to oppose the legislation.
The central government bill currently open for submissions is considered one of the largest overhauls of local government in years, and aims to refocus the purpose of local government and potentially reorganise councils.
The council's submission to the bill is strongly critical of some of the changes proposed, saying they are undemocratic, heavy handed and will make councils accountable to the minister rather than their own electorate.
The author of the draft submission, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council's Liz Lambert, said the Bill appeared to give central government "a lot more say" in what local government does and the proposed process to reorganise local government was going from one extreme to the other.
"There really should be some moderating influence ensuring that all those in the communities should have some say," she said.
Councillor Alan Dick last week stated his support for the submission.
"It is very clear, readable, and very understandable," he said.
"It may be hard hitting in some areas but I believe it is justified."
He said he agreed that the working parties central government had organised should complete their work before new legislation was put forward - an idea suggested in the submission - because of the "grave risks of unintended consequences".
But Mr Kirton said last week he would not be supporting the council's submission in its current form.
"I want to completely disassociate myself from the regional council's submission on the Bill," he said.
"I will be making a separate submission including an apology to the select committee for the ridiculous comments made by the council in its submission.
"I want to assure the select committee that there is likely to be a majority of forward thinking Hawke's Bay people who recognise that the region has to change the way its local government operates."
Councillor Tim Gilbertson voted against it, saying he supported the reforms as the present local government situation was "unsustainable".
ABHB claimed the council was ignoring regional support for reorganisation.
"To what constituency is the HBRC responding?
"Where is the public mandate for our regional council to oppose the reorganisation provisions of this legislation?
"As best we can see, they have none."
The exact wording of the council's submission to the select committee will be decided today.