This page contains information about the roles of elected members and the democratic process.
19/03/2020 11:45 a.m.
The elected Council is made up of the Mayor and 13 Councillors who represent the community.
The Mayor is elected by the community at large and as one of the elected members shares the same responsibilities as other members of Council.
In addition the Mayor is expected to provide leadership and direction to the Council and community, chair Council meetings, be the public voice of the Council, and be accountable to the community.
The Deputy Mayor exercises the same roles as other elected members. In addition, the Deputy Mayor may act on behalf of the Mayor when needed.
Elected members have two broad roles, a governance role and a representative role. This generally involves:
- The development and adoption of Council policy
- Making decisions on the allocation of resources
- Making regulatory decisions and ensuring council is fulfilling its regulatory functions
- Adopting a Long Term Plan that sets out how council will meet community expectations and exercise responsible stewardship of the community's assets
- Overseeing the strategic direction of the district
- Reviewing Council's performance against its stated objectives and policies
- Employment of the Chief Executive
- Representing the interests of residents and ratepayers
- Bringing the views of the community into the decision-making process
- Networking and communicating with the community
- Facilitating communication between the council and the community
- Promoting the overall interests of council
Unless otherwise provided for in the Local Government Act 2002 or in standing orders, the Council can only act by majority decisions at meetings. Each member has one vote.
Any individual member (including the Mayor) has no authority to act on behalf of the Council unless the Council has expressly delegated such authority.
For information about the members of Council, follow the link below.
Mayor and Councillors
Code of Conduct
The Local Government Act 2002 requires Council to adopt a Code of Conduct for the elected members of Council.
All elected members are required to adhere to this Code of Conduct which provides guidance on the standards of behaviour that are expected from the Mayor and elected members of Whangarei District Council.
The code applies to elected members in their dealings with:
- each other
- the Chief Executive Officer
- all staff employed by the Chief Executive Officer on behalf of the Council
- the media
- the general public.
Council last reviewed and adopted the Code of Conduct on 19 December 2019. The code also applies to all persons appointed to committees or subcommittees of Council.
To view the Code of Conduct, follow the link below.
Elected Members Code of Conduct [350kb]
Statutory Requirements applicable to Elected members
Section 46(1) Local Government Act 2002
Elected members can be held liable for losses resulting from negligence or unlawful action by the elected Council.
Schedule 7 clause 1 of the Local Government Act 2002
Any elected member will be disqualified if they cease to be an elector or become disqualified for registration as an elector or are convicted for an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of two years or more.
Local Authority (Member's Interests) Act 1968
An elected member may not be elected to Council, or once elected, remain a member, if the value of contracts between the Council and that member exceed $25,000 in any financial year.
An elected member may not participate in discussion or vote on a matter in which the member has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest, except an interest in common with the public.
If members are convicted of a breach of this requirement they will be automatically disqualified from office and may also be fined.
Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA)
The obligations of LGOIMA are binding on members. They apply to the disclosure of information by a member in respect of any information held by that member (in his or her capacity as a member) to a member of the public.
The underlying principle is that unless there is good reason to withhold it, information should be made available. Section 7 of the Act gives the grounds for withholding disclosure.
The Secret Commissions Act 1910
An elected member may not:
Advise anyone in respect of entering or not entering into a contract with a third person in relation to the business of the Council
Receive a gift or reward from anyone outside of council in return for advice or services in relation to the business of the Council
The Crimes Act 1961
An elected member may not:
Accept or solicit for themselves (or anyone else) any gift or reward for acting or not acting in relation to the business of the Council
Use information gained in the course of a member's duties for monetary gain or advantage by the member, or anyone else
Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013
This act applies if Council borrows money by public stock issues.
Council would be required to publish an investment statement and prospectus.
Elected members can be held both criminally and civilly liable where published documents relating to an issue of securities are found to contain false or misleading information or are likely to mislead or confuse or contain untrue statements.