A Rotorua councillor says new proposals for Maori representation would make the district authority undemocratic.
There are plans to replace the Te Arawa Standing Committee with another mana whenua group.
Councillor Mike McVicker said it was being suggested two members would have voting rights - but they would be unelected and therefore unaccountable.
He said while the two Maori members would be accountable to their tribes, they would not be answerable to the ratepayers.
Mr McVicker said he was strongly against what he called 'race-based privileges'. However, he said he commended mayor, Steve Chadwick, for the positive way she dealt with iwi.