Waiheke's local board is creeping away from Auckland Council.
A pilot programme is giving the group more power to make decisions in the area for three years, starting from this weekend.
Chairman Paul Walden says it's an empowering step.
"It really has been a catalyst for the council to challenge itself. The pilot programme and the governance review process has been a resolve of that challenge for the Local Government Commission, so it's a helpful thing, it's positive."
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If the project is deemed a success, other local boards could get a chance to do the same.
"Yes there's a whole lot of bureaucracy and red tape that sits around council doing work, I get that, but there is massive potential to do things cheaper."