Why we need committees
As a council we have to make important decisions about a broad range of services over a large geographical area.
A committee meeting is one of the most effective ways to ensure these decisions are made:
- on the basis of good advice.
Auckland Council committees
Our committee meetings are:
- made up of councillors, and in certain cases, representatives of the Independent Maori Statutory Board
- chaired by the mayor or a councillor
- run in accordance with standard procedures
- accessible to the public.
Some committee meetings are confidential, such as those involving commercially sensitive issues.
About the Governing Body
The Governing Body is a decision-making group chaired by the mayor and made up of 20 elected ward councillors.
It is required by law to make certain decisions, such as determining property rates.
The Governing Body delegates powers to committees to enable efficient decision-making.
These committees are known as 'committees of the Governing Body.'
Read more about the Governing Body.
Types of committees
Our committees are arranged into broad subject areas to make the topic more manageable.
The Governing Body decides on each committees' responsibilities at the beginning of the electoral term.
Committees of the whole
The largest committees are known as 'committees of the whole'.
They cover the following range of activities:
- Finance and Performance
- Environment and Climate Change
- Parks, Arts, Community and Events
- *Council-Controlled Organisation oversight.
* The CCO Oversight committee is not technically a committee of the whole but all councillors are members of it.
Committees of the whole are sometimes known as 'parent committees', because smaller committees may report to them.
Read more about committees of the whole.
Reporting, sub-committees and other committees
We also have smaller committees (or sub-committees) that meet to cover other more specific topics, such as:
- regulatory matters
- civil defence
- value for money.
Reporting committees do not have a parent committee and usually report to the Governing Body.
These committees may have delegations to aid in the decision-making process.
Read more about reporting and other committees.
Audit and Risk Committee
This committee advises the Governing Body on issues of governance and risk management. It is independently chaired by someone outside of the Governing Body.
We are required by law to ensure this meeting is managed separately to avoid conflicts of interest.
Read more about the Audit and Risk Committee.
The Independent Maori Statutory Board
The Independent Maori Statutory Board appoints one or two representatives to each Governing Body committee that manages:
- natural or physical resources
- other committees at the invitation of the Governing Body.
Read more about the Independent Maori Statutory Board.
Powers of committees
The Governing Body Terms of Reference (PDF 475KB) set out which powers can be delegated to committees and which are retained by the Governing Body.
How councillors are elected to committees
Local body election voters select 20 ward councillors from 13 wards to the Governing Body.
While councillors are elected to represent their ward communities, they also sit on committees that make decisions affecting the whole region.
Read more about wards.
How committee meetings differ from hearings
Decisions relating to resource management, liquor licensing and bylaws must follow certain procedures.
If any of these process require public input, a hearing is usually held where all sides (including council, the applicant and any submitters who may support or oppose the proposal) can attend and have their views heard.
Read more about hearings.
How Governing Body committees and local boards differ
Local boards make decisions on local matters on behalf of communities within a defined area.
There are 21 local boards across the Auckland region and they have their own meetings and rules.
Local board members sometimes attend committee meetings to give feedback on matters that affect their area or represent the views of their local communities.
Read more about local boards.
When committee meetings are held
Larger committees, including the Governing Body, meet once every one or two months– usually on a Thursday.
Smaller committees meet once every two months.
View committee dates, agendas and minutes.
Meeting rules and procedures
To ensure a fair process, committees have rules and procedures called 'standing orders'.
Standing orders set out a formal process for how, who and what can be decided by the meeting.
Many of the rules in standing orders come from laws that affect public meetings of local government organisations.
The Standing Orders of the Governing Body (PDF 430KB) outline the rules and procedures for committee meetings.
The role of council staff at committee meetings
Our staff are employed to provide expert advice to elected members - both to councillors and local board members. This is to help ensure balanced and well-considered decisions are made.
Staff must consider many factors and viewpoints and only provide actionable recommendations.
Elected members are in charge of making decisions. It is up to them whether they make decisions and that may or may not align with Auckland Council staff advice.
How to get involved
You are welcome to attend open meetings and observe decisions being made.
Some meetings (including Governing Body and all of the larger committees) are streamed live.
View live streamed meetings.
How to speak at committee meetings
Members of the public can speak for up to five minutes at some meetings on a topic relevant to that committee.
You can request to speak to the committee up to one full working day before the meeting.
Read more about speaking a council meeting.
How to get assistance
Each committee meeting has a chairperson (and a deputy chairperson) who runs the meeting.
The chairperson is supported by staff who are able to guide the public through the processes before, during or after a meeting.
You can contact the Governance Advisor to answer any questions about each specific committee and the processes.
Call us on 09 301 0101 and ask to speak to the Governance Advisor's team.
Other council meetings
We have a number of other meetings to help guide and inform our decision-making responsibilities.
Read more about
Co-governance entities and
Council-Controlled Organisation meetings.