Manukau City Council met for the last time on Thursday before being absorbed into the new Auckland Council.
Manukau City includes some of the region's wealthiest and poorest communities and councillors have praised its almost half century of progress.
Mayor Len Brown said he hopes the city's ability to bridge racial, ethnic and religious differences will be a lesson for the region.
Manukau City came into being 45 years ago. However, the meeting ended with expressions of anger about the city being called a disaster.
The comment from another Mayoral contender, John Banks, came in a televised election debate with Mr Brown.
Former Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis said the comments by Mr Banks were demeaning and showed he does not understand the social dynamics of Manukau.
Councillor Arthur Anae said Mr Banks shot himself in the foot with the comment, and Sir John Walker said he "lost it".