Local Government and Stakeholders

Building trust with the community you are in is important to operating smoothly in New Zealand.

Local government in New Zealand consists of 78 local, regional and unitary councils. The elected members of these councils are chosen every three years by voters in their communities to represent them.

The local government sector consists of:

  • 11 regional councils;
  • 61 territorial authorities – 11 are city councils and 50 are district councils; and
  • Six unitary councils – which are territorial authorities with regional council responsibilities.

The 78 councils have about 1600 elected members. The key elected members’ roles are mayors, regional council chairs, councillors, and local board and community board members.

Regional councils are primarily concerned with environmental resource management, flood control, air and water quality, pest control, and, in specific cases, public transport, regional parks and bulk water supply.

Territorial authorities (city and district councils) are responsible for a wide range of local services including roads, water reticulation, sewerage and refuse collection, libraries, parks, recreation services, local regulations, community and economic development, and town planning.

Unitary councils have the responsibilities of both a regional council and a territorial authority.

Engaging with councils and communities

We can assist with your community engagement activities, providing advice on who to approach in regards on your specific situation.

As mayors and councillors are voted into office by the community they represent, they have a good understanding of current issues in their regions, and can identify individuals and groups you may want to engage with.

There are a range of other community stakeholders you may wish to engage. These vary from region to region, but can include local regional economic development agencies, chambers of commerce (business associations), and interest groups (like fishing and farming).

We can assist with your community engagement activities by providing advice on who to approach in regards to your specific situation - please contact us.

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