The governance model under the Local Government Act 2002 is representative democracy. The community elects individuals to make judgements on behalf of the community about what will promote community well-being.
Elements of governance
There are three elements to governance:
1. Representing the community
- Making decisions to promote community well-being
- Keeping in contact with the community and ascertaining its views
- Advocating for the community
- Explaining council decisions to affected parties.
2. Setting Policy
What activities should the Council engage in and why, and what regulatory intervention should the Council make and why etc?
The rule of thumb is that the Elected Members decide what the Council should be doing, staff provides policy advice on issues and carries out the decisions and the Elected Members review the performance of the organisation in achieving its objectives.
3. Monitoring and Review
The most visible review mechanism is the local authority's KDC Annual Report 2015/2016 2.6 MB, which sets out the performance of the local authority against its objectives over the preceding year.
The Council has published a Local Governance Statement 175 kB, updated dated in March 2017.
Why do we have consultation?
Consultation is, in the main, about a willingness to listen. It helps the Council make better-informed decisions on behalf of the community.
Bearing in mind that local government charges a compulsory tax, it is appropriate that people know and understand what Council is doing on their behalf.
Policy on Significance
In 2014, Council adopted the Significance and Engagement Policy , designed to assist it in assessing significance consistently and match Council's consultation and consideration of issues to community expectations. This can also be accessed in the LTP 2015 - 2025 12.9 MB, under the Policies Section.
The more significant the issue, the greater the level of consultation required.
Local Government reform
Sweeping changes were made in 1988/89 to the legislation affecting local government. On April 1, 1989, the Kawerau Borough Council resolved to change its name to Kawerau District Council. The local government commissioner did not make any changes to the boundaries or the name of Kawerau District Council on November 1, 1989, when many other local authorities were forced to amalgamate.
The Council can delegate to a committee, member or officer of the Council any of its duties, powers and responsibilities, with some exceptions (listed below), so the business of the Council is carried out as effectively and efficiently as possible. The Delegations Register sets out the delegations to the Council's committee and staff, and may be viewed at the District Council offices.
Exceptions from Delegation:
- The power to make a new rate
- The power to make a bylaw
- The power to borrow money or purchase or dispose of assets other than those approved in the Long-Term Council Community Plan
- The power to adopt a Long-Term Council Community Plan, Annual Plan or Annual Report
- The power to appoint a chief executive officer
- The power to adopt policies required to be adopted and consulted on under the Local Government Act 2002 in association with the Long-Term Council Community Plan or developed for the purpose of the Local Governance Statement.
Standing Orders cannot be displayed here because of copyright issues. To view a copy of Council Standing Orders, please visit our offices.
Standing Orders are a set of rules of debate that provide greater formality in the way a Council conducts its meetings. They are also a way to record the Council-agreed principles of behaviour within meetings. Using Standing Orders as a guide to the way that the Council conducts its meetings helps promote teamwork by:
- Allowing structured discussion of topics.
- Ensuring respect for the opinions of others.
- Ensuring tact and appropriate language is used in resolving conflict.
- Promoting the use of persuasion and influencing skills to gain a team outcome.
All Councils are required by Clause 27, Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2003 to adopt a set of Standing Orders that controls the way in which Council meetings are conducted.
Elected Members must abide by the Standing Orders adopted by the Council.
Code of conduct
The code of conduct provides guidance on the standards of behaviour that are expected from Elected Members of Kawerau District Council in their dealings with one another, the Chief Executive Officer, staff employed by the Chief Executive Officer on behalf of the Council, contractors undertaking work or commissions on behalf of the Council, the media and the general public.