Bitter division over council amalgamation in Hawke's Bay is behind a bill seeking to change the way such mergers are approved.
Labour MP Stuart Nash's new bill aims to restore individual referendums to affected local council areas.
Current rules mean a simple majority across all proposed merger regions is enough to approve an amalgamation.
Mr Nash said his bill is 99 percent inspired by the situation in his region, where the voices of those in Hastings could drown out those in Wairoa, Napier, and Central Hawkes Bay.
"Because of Hastings' superior population it could go through and I just don't think that is fair, and I don't think that is democratic."