Councillor base role description

The Remuneration Authority considers these responsibilities to be part of the base role of a councillor.

Collective Duties of the Council

  • Representing the interests of the council.
  • Formulating the council’s strategic direction and relative priorities through the Long Term Plan (LTP), which determines the services and activities to be undertaken by council over a ten-year period.
  • Determining the expenditure and funding requirements of council activities through the LTP and annual planning processes.
  • Overseeing, developing and/or approving all council policies, administrative, legal, financial and strategic, including formal regional, city and/or district planning matters within the council’s geographical area of responsibility.
  • Monitoring the on-going performance of council against its stated objectives and policies (including formal sign-off of the Annual Report).
  • Ensuring prudent use of council resources.
  • Law-making (bylaws).
  • Overseeing council compliance with any relevant acts of Parliament.
  • Employing, setting performance requirements for, and monitoring the on-going performance of the council’s Chief Executive. (Under the Local Government Act 2002, the local authority employs the Chief Executive who, in turn, employs all other staff on its behalf. Elected members of council have no responsibilities for, and cannot direct, any staff employed by the council other than the Chief Executive.

Representation and Advocacy

  • Bringing the views of the community into council decision-making processes.
  • Being an advocate for community groups and individuals at council meetings.
  • Balancing the need to advocate for specific interests against the needs of the wider community.
  • Listening to the concerns of local residents and ratepayers on issues pertaining to the council.
  • Maintaining contact with community representatives and other local stakeholders.
  • Participating in any relevant consultative processes with the local community and/or other organisations.


  • Participating constructively and effectively in the good governance of the council as a whole.
  • Understanding and ensuring that basic principles of good governance are a part of the decision-making approach of the council.
  • Understanding and respecting the differing roles of Mayor (or Chair for a regional council), Deputy Mayor, committee chairs/portfolio holders and Councillors.
  • Recognising that the governance role does not extend to operational matters or to the management of any implementation.
  • Having a good understanding of the council processes set out in the Standing Orders that determine how council meetings are run.
  • Developing and maintaining a working knowledge of council services, management processes, powers, duties and constraints.
  • Participating in the setting and monitoring of council policies, budgets, strategies and service delivery through annual and long-term planning processes.
  • Ensuring familiarity with agendas and other council reports before council meetings.
  • Being familiar with and complying with the statutory requirements of an elected Councillor.
  • Complying with the Code of Conduct adopted by the council.
  • Identifying, being aware of and declaring any potential personal conflicts of interest, whether of a pecuniary or non-pecuniary nature.