The Canterbury Regional Council will not return to full elections until 2019, with the details on how the Government will restore democracy to the authority announced this afternoon.
Councillors were sacked in 2010, and replaced with government-appointed commissioners.
In March, Environment Minister Nick Smith released a draft discussion document on the transition back to elected councillors.
Today in Christchurch, Dr Smith and Associate Local Government Minister Louise Upston confirmed the council will move to a mixed governance model of seven elected and up to six appointed councillors in 2016, as a transition to a fully elected council in 2019.
The public will have a further opportunity to make submissions later this year, when the decisions made today are included in a parliamentary bill.