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He aha ngā mahi a te mema pōti

What's involved in being an elected member

Elected members play a varied role in the day-to-day running of our city, so no two days are the same. Here are some typical scenarios of the type of work elected members do.

What you will be involved in

As an elected member, you will:

  • be a part of governing the largest and most culturally diverse city in the country
  • help decide how Auckland's money is spent
  • make decisions that will help define the future for our communities
  • help Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland businesses grow and prosper
  • decide how to meet the current and future needs for infrastructure, public services and regulations
  • help manage our assets, worth $42 billion.

A day in the life of an elected member

On any given day, an elected member may: 

  • read and prepare for the upcoming week's meetings
  • vote in various decision-making meetings and committees
  • engage with the public to hear their views
  • attend events like public meetings, school prizegivings, citizenship ceremonies, or the opening of a new park or cycleway
  • represent the council at community and cultural events like Matariki, Chinese New Year, Diwali and the Auckland Pride festival
  • take part in community activities, like a working bee for a local stream regeneration project.

On top of this, there will be responsibilities that relate to your specific role. 

Watch a video: What I would do if elected


Read a full transcript of this video.


Key responsibilities

  • Promoting a vision for Auckland.
  • Providing leadership to achieve the vision.
  • Leading the development of council plans, policies, and budgets.
  • Ensuring effective engagement between Auckland Council and the people of Auckland.
  • Appointing the deputy mayor.
  • Establishing committees of the Governing Body and appointing a chairperson for each committee.

On a typical day, the Mayor of Auckland might: 

  • give an interview on breakfast radio
  • talk to media about plans for Auckland's economic recovery
  • give the opening address at a climate change conference
  • receive a briefing from staff on a new council initiative
  • meet with police and councillors to discuss community safety
  • read reports before chairing the monthly Governing Body meeting
  • attend a fundraiser for Starship Hospital.


Councillors make decisions that address the needs of Auckland as a whole.

All councillors are members of the Governing Body.

See Elected members' remuneration for more information on this process.

Key responsibilities 

  • Attend monthly governing body and committee meetings.
  • Attend hearings conducted by local boards in their ward areas.
  • Attend meetings and workshops with local boards, council employees and external parties as required for individual projects.
  • Read plans, reports and agendas, and other meeting preparation work.
  • Engage with the public, including attending events and public meetings, and liaising with residents and community groups.
  • Work alongside the chairperson and members of local boards in their ward to address issues raised by their constituents.

See Governing Body to learn more about their roles and responsibilities.

On a typical day, a councillor might:

  • attend a Governing Body or committee meeting
  • meet with water specialists to discuss options for improving water levels in Auckland's dams
  • hear an update on progress in preventing the spread of kauri dieback
  • speak to residents as part of a consultation about a new bylaw
  • talk to media about plans for Auckland's waterfront.

Local board members

Local boards make decisions on local issues like local amenities, parks and sporting facilities, setting the vision for their area that will help build strong communities.

They identify and communicate the views of local people on regional decisions and policies, and represent the board within the community and at regional level.

Key responsibilities

  • Make decisions on local matters.
  • Develop and adopt local board plans.
  • Engage with local community.
  • Propose local bylaws and local targeted rates.

Local board members may also take on responsibility for a particular area or portfolio, such as events or parks.

They may be asked to sit on local board committees such as funding committees.

On a typical day, a local board member might:

  • attend the local board's business meeting to decide on the development of a new community hall
  • meet with a community group to discuss how to obtain a community grant
  • engage community members to discuss priorities for the development of the three-year local board plan
  • workshop options with council employees to create a new local reserve
  • attend the Governing Body meeting to propose a new local bylaw
  • attend the monthly meeting of a residents' association
  • respond to media queries.

See Local board roles and responsibilities for more information.

What to expect

Being an elected member at any level is a serious commitment, even though your responsibilities and hours will vary according to the office you represent and serve.

It is also a public role and will put you in the spotlight. You will be called upon to speak at meetings and events, and the media may ask for your views on certain topics. 

If you are thinking of becoming a candidate, you should consider how you might balance the requirements and responsibilities of the role with other commitments in your life.

Elected members' code of conduct

The code of conduct sets out:

  • expectations around the conduct of members toward one another, Auckland Council staff and the public
  • how information is disclosed
  • legislation that applies to the actions of members
  • the relationship between elected members and management.

See Elected members' code of conduct for more information.

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