Kaipara people will be able to elect their own council in October for the first time in four years, the government's confirmed.
But it's appointing a couple of minders to make sure it doesn't stray again from the path of good governance.
The Dargaville-based council's been run by commissioners since 2012, after it bungled the expansion of the Mangawhai sewerage scheme and racked up $80 million in debt.
Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston said the commissioners had made good progress in stabilising the council's finances, and it was time to restore it as a fully-elected body.
But she will appoint a Crown Manager to handle outstanding legal actions and a Crown Observer to advise and guide the new members.
Mangawhai ratepayers who challenged the former council's unlawful borrowing and rates still have cases before the court.