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Code of Conduct and members' interests

The Code of Conduct provides guidance on the standards of behaviour expected from the mayor and councillors of Tauranga City Council.

Crown Commission

On 9 February 2021, a Crown Commission appointed by the Minister of Local Government took over all of the council’s governance responsibilities, initially for a term until October 2022.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has reappointed the existing four commissioners for a new commission term running from 26 April 2022 through until July 2024, when the next local election for Tauranga City Council will be held. 

The information below relates to governance of the council prior to the appointment of commissioners.

The objective of the code is to enhance:

  • the effectiveness of the Council in meeting its statutory responsibilities for good local government of Tauranga
  • the credibility and accountability of the Council within its community
  • mutual trust, respect and tolerance between all elected members and between elected members and management
  • engagement with the community in a professional and respectful manner.

The code applies to councillors and those appointed to the governance structure of Council in their dealings with:

  • each other
  • the chief executive
  • all staff employed by the chief executive on behalf of the Council
  • the public.

Mayor and councillors code of conduct (348kb pdf)

Code of Conduct Committee

A panel of six people can be called upon to form a three-person committee to consider the outcome of any elected member Code of Conduct breach.

The panel consists of Lara Burkhardt, Andrew Green, Vanessa Hamm, Rhys Harrison QC, Richard Marchant and Sue Tindal. They were appointed on 8 September 2020.

The committee has been set up to hear and decide on complaints under the council’s Code of Conduct, which is a set of standards the mayor and councillors have agreed to work to in the course of their duties.

The six panel members work as a ‘pool’, with three to be chosen to consider each complaint, based on their availability and the nature of the complaint.

Appointees will be reimbursed for their time only when complaints are heard. The term of the appointments is three years.

The panel was set up after Council agreed on 14 July 2020 to have the option of a Code of Conduct Committee to refer complaints to, as suggested by the Office of the Auditor-General. 

The Terms of Reference for the Committee are set out below:

  1. Membership of the Code of Conduct Committee to be three non-elected members appointed by the Council on the basis of relevant experience, knowledge and/or qualifications; and
  2. Delegates to the Code of Conduct Committee the following powers and terms of reference:
    1. To consider and decide on Code of Conduct complaints referred to the Committee, including the findings of an independent investigator, and determine whether or not a penalty or action should be imposed, and if so, the nature of that penalty or action; 
    2. To refer the final Code of Conduct Committee decisions to the Chief Executive for implementation;
    3. To consider any matters relating to the Code of Conduct and/or the behaviour of elected members referred to it by the Council for advice.

      And that in fulfilling the terms of reference the Code of Conduct Committee will:
    4. In considering a report from the Chief Executive, ask, if necessary, the investigator to provide briefing on their findings and invite the complainant and respondent to speak to any written submissions that might have been made;
    5. Conduct its business in open meeting, except where the alleged breach concerns matters that justify the exclusion of the public, in which case it will be a closed meeting;
    6. Ensure that penalties or actions recommended in response to a serious breach of the Code are proportionate to the breach and consistent with the actions set out in the Code.

Members' interests

The Code of Conduct requires members to complete a declaration of interest (at least annually) and these are recorded in a public Register of Interest.

Mayor and councillors register of interests

In addition to the declaration of interests, members shall complete the Regulatory Register where there is potential for members to be seen to be influencing a council regulatory and/or compliance outcome.

The Regulatory Register requires a declaration of any potential conflict of interest, actual or perceived, where members have a close relationship or involvement with, or are advocating for and on behalf of, an individual, organisation or company affected by a decision of the Council in its regulatory and compliance roles.

Gift register

Where a gift to the value of $50 or more is accepted by a member, that member must immediately disclose this to the chief executive for inclusion in the publicly available gift register.

Mayor and councillors' gift register 2016-2019 (108kb pdf)

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