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Te āhua o tā tātou whakahaere

Our governance model

When it comes time to make decisions for Auckland, elected members can draw on the guidance of Auckland Council staff (including council-controlled organisations), the advisory panels and the Independent Māori Statutory Board.

Elected members for our city and region

The elected members of the Governing Body and local boards make decisions about Auckland for all Aucklanders.

The mayor, councillors and local board members are all elected by Aucklanders to represent the specific interests of the region and its diverse communities.

Once elected, they spend the next three years serving as representatives.

Gathering the necessary information

Representing our many communities is a very important role, so we make sure that elected members have all the information they need when it comes to decision-making.

Infographic that shows the relationship between Auckland Council and the different elected and non-elected entities.

Governing Body

The Governing Body focuses on the big picture and on region-wide strategic decisions.

It is made up of the mayor and 20 ward councillors, elected by voters from the 13 Auckland wards.

Independent Māori Statutory Board

The Independent Māori Statutory Board  is separate to Auckland Council. It makes sure we are honouring our partnership under the Treaty of Waitangi, taking the views of Māori into account in decision-making.

Auckland Council Organisation

Our staff provide support for the elected members. We provide advice on decisions being made, and make sure their decisions are implemented.

Local boards

Local boards represent the communities in their area and make decisions on local issues, activities, and facilities.

Each of the 21 local boards has between five and nine members, elected by voters from the area they represent.

Advisory panels

The advisory panels offer advice on issues important to their communities.

There are nine advisory panels.

Council-controlled organisations (CCOs)

Like our staff, the CCOs advise elected members on special areas of decision making.

These areas include:

  • transport
  • water
  • development and tourism
  • events.

How the parts work together

When making decisions for Auckland, elected members use all or some of the parts of the council group to help guide them.

To ensure they are aware of all the important information when making a decision, elected members work with, for example:

  • our staff (including CCOs)
  • the advisory panels
  • the Independent Māori Statutory Board.

Let’s find out a bit more about each of these groups.

What CCOs do

Council-controlled organisations look after:

  • special council assets
  • services
  • infrastructure.

They work separately from the Auckland Council organisation, but they are accountable to the Governing Body.

Specialists in their fields of expertise

You can think of the CCOs as teams that specialise in their areas of expertise. They keep everything running on behalf of the council and then report back to the Governing Body.

The Governing Body makes sure that the CCOs are doing the best job possible.

Have a look at the different CCOs and what they do.

Watercare logo. 

Watercare services - All things water

Watercare looks after all of the water and wastewater services for Auckland – next time you turn on a tap you can thank Watercare!


Tātaki Auckland Unlimited - all the fun stuff!

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited looks after arts, culture, heritage and sports venues and facilities. That includes the Auckland Zoo and our museums!

Auckland Transport logo.

Auckland Transport - how we get around

Auckland Transport looks after the buses, trains, cycle paths, footpaths, and parking in Auckland.

We all use these everyday so it’s a big job!

Eke Panuku logo. 

Eke Panuku - building the best Auckland

Eke Panuku focusses on development throughout our city and region.

They make Auckland a great place to live through projects like Wynyard Quarter.

More information about CCOs

To find out more about what each of the CCOs, head to their websites to see what projects they are working on at the moment.

A voice for Māori in Auckland

The role of the Independent Māori Statutory Board is to provide advice to council on ways to promote important matters to Māori and to make sure that we honour our partnership and obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi.

Set of four coloured speech bubbles which say Who? When? What? and Where?

Issues of significance for Māori

The Independent Māori Statutory Board have produced a lot of important documents throughout their work, such as the Māori Plan.

The Māori Plan is a 30-year plan that describes how they and council will continue to be a voice for Māori values and aspirations in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland.

Watch a video about the Māori Plan


Read the full transcript of this video.

Important local government-led projects and initiatives

Here are some examples of projects and initiatives we lead:


Safeswim provides up-to-date safety information on the levels of risk for swimming locations around Auckland.

Next time you are heading to the beach, check out the website and make sure it is safe to swim.

Safeswim is a joint initiative between the Auckland Council, Northland Regional Council, Surf Life Saving, Watercare and Auckland Regional Public Health Service.

Learn more on the Safe Swim website.

Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Action Plan

Auckland’s Climate Action Plan is the way we respond to climate change.

The plan outlines how we are going to approach climate action for Auckland and how we can reduce emissions as well adapt to climate change.

The plan outlines priorities and how we plan to implement actions.

Learn more about Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Action Plan.

Auckland Emergency Management

Auckland Emergency Management provides coordinated approaches to significant risks and hazards across Auckland.

Hazards are things like floods, tsunamis, volcanos, earthquakes, severe weather, pandemics and other hazards.

We work with emergency services and other organisations through Auckland Emergency Management to make sure everyone is informed, alert, and safe.

Learn more on the Auckland Emergency Management website.

City Rail Link

The City Rail Link is a new underground rail line that will connect the city centre to the existing western line.

This project will make moving around the city easier and help towards the reduction of cars on the road.

The City Rail Link will at least double Auckland’s rail capacity!

This is a joint venture between Auckland Council and central government.

Learn more on the City Rail Link website.


Read next topic - Advisory panels - advocating for our diverse communities.


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