The main responsibility of a regional council is to manage environmental, resource and transport planning issues for the whole region. A region may include a number of territorial authorities. A regional council manages:
Territorial authorises (city and district councils)
There are two types of territorial authorities, City councils represent a population of more than 50,000 that is predominantly urban-based, District councils have a smaller and more widely dispersed population. Territorial authorities typically manage the following services for their communities:
A unitary authority is a territorial authority that also has the powers and responsibilities of a regional council. There are six unitary authorities in New Zealand, these are:
Many territorial authorities have community boards. These help represent community views and provide advice to the council. Community board members are elected at the same time as councillors. The powers of a community board are given to it by the council. These powers differ between councils. Community boards are not the same as the local boards in Auckland.
In addition, many local government activities are governed by separate Acts of Parliament, such as the Resource Management Act 1991, the Building Act 2004 and the Bio-security Act 1993.
A local authority has the power to make local bylaws. These enable the council to enforce local rules that help to:
All councils are required to publish a long-term plan (LTP) once every three years. The LTP describes the council’s activities, priorities and work programme for the next 10 years. It is a key planning tool that outlines everything a council intends to do, how it will fit together and what it will cost.
Councils need to distribute a summary of the draft LTP so that everyone in the community is aware of what is proposed and have the opportunity to make submissions. Submissions provide the council with important feed-back on its future direction and priorities.
In the two years when an LPT does not need to be produced, councils produce an annual plan. The annual plan sets out what the council plans to do in the next 12 months and how this relates to the most recent LTP. Like the LPT , the draft annual plan is open for public submissions.
Councils are also required to produce an annual report. This tells the community how the council performed in relation to the LTP and annual plan.
Both the LTP and annual plan are adopted before the start of the financial year in July. Annual reports must be adopted by the 31st of October each year. All LTP and annual report documents are audited.
All of these draft and final documents may be viewed on your council’s website.
If you are 18 years old or older , you may:
At any age, you may?
Local authority elections take place every three years on the second Saturday in October. You can find our about candidates standing in your area from your councils website. To vote you must be:
Standing for election
You can stand for a mayoralty or membership of a council or community board if you are
To stand as a candidate i the local elections you need to have two electors for that area nominate you. Public notices are given for when nominations must be received. Becoming a candidate costs $200. This may be refunded, depending on how many votes you receive.