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Mahi koromatua me ngā kaikaunihera

Role of mayor and councillors

Role of the 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 Council is responsible for:

  • development and adoption of Council policies
  • monitoring the performance of the Council against its stated objectives and policies
  • prudent stewardship of Council resources
  • employment and appraisal of the chief executive's performance and monitoring the implementation of policy by him/her
  • representing the interests of the residents and ratepayers of the Tauranga
  • ensuring overall compliance by the Council with its obligations and responsibilities under the Local Government Act 2002 and all other legislation that prescribes statutory duties for territorial authorities
  • promoting good relationships with neighbouring local authorities.

Members, as individuals, must comply with the requirements of the Code of Conduct and Standing Orders and other applicable rules of law.

Role of the mayor

The mayor is elected by the city as a whole.

Section 41A of the Local Government Act 2002 states that the role of a mayor is to provide leadership to other members of the Council and to the people in Tauranga. It goes on to say that the role of a mayor is to lead the development of the Council’s plans (including the long-term plan and the annual plan), policies, and budgets for consideration by the members of the Council.  

Clause 3 of the section 41A of the Local Government Act 2002 provides for the mayor:

  1. To appoint the deputy mayor
  2. To establish committees of the Council
  3. To appoint the chairperson of each committee established
  4. May appoint himself or herself to the committees

However, nothing in this section limits or prevents a Council from discharging or reconstituting committees or chairpersons of those committees established by the mayor by way of Council resolution at a later date. The mayor can decline to exercise the powers outlined above.  

The mayor is the ceremonial head of the Council and is often the first point of contact for ratepayers and interest groups on political matters. The mayor is also responsible for:

  • presiding at Council meetings and ensuring the conduct of meetings is in accordance with standing orders
  • keeping Council informed of matters brought to his/her attention and formally presenting to Council those matters that need to be considered
  • advocacy on behalf of the community. This role may involve promoting the community and representing its interests. Such advocacy will be most effective where it is carried out with the knowledge and support of the Council
  • providing leadership and feedback to councillors on teamwork, information sharing and chairmanship.

Role of the deputy mayor

The deputy mayor may either be appointed by the mayor or, if the mayor declines to use the powers to appoint, the deputy mayor can then be elected by the members of Council. This must occur at the first meeting of the Council.

The deputy mayor exercises the same role as any other members. If the mayor is on a leave of absence or incapacitated, the deputy mayor must perform all of the responsibilities and duties of the mayor and may exercise the powers of the mayor. The deputy mayor may be removed from office by resolution of the Council.

Role of committee chairpersons

A committee chairperson exercises the same role as any other member. They’re also responsible for presiding over all meetings of the relevant committee to ensure the committee acts within the powers it has been delegated.

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