Our Council structure

Our elected Council comprises the Mayor and 10 Councillors, with each Councillor representing a specific ward. We also have two Community Boards, who represent communities in the Ahuriri and Waihemo wards. Council elections are held every three years.

For more information about our current Mayor and Councillors, please go to the Mayor and Councillors page.

The Mayor

The Mayor is elected by all the district's voters. Mayors, like Councillors, are elected for a three-year term. They cannot be removed from office by Council. As one of the elected members, the Mayor shares the same responsibilities as other members of the Council. The Mayor also has the following roles:

  • Presiding at Council meetings. The Mayor is responsible for ensuring the orderly conduct of business during meetings (as determined by Standing Orders);
  • Advocating on behalf of the community. This role may involve promoting the community and representing its interests;
  • Spokesperson for Council;
  • Ceremonial head of Council;
  • Providing leadership and feedback to other elected members on teamwork and chairing of committees;
  • Fulfilling the responsibilities of a Justice of the Peace (while the Mayor holds office).


Councillors are elected to represent their communities for three-year terms. There is no limit on the number of terms they may serve. Councillors responsibilities include:

  • Representing the interests of Council
  • Formulating the Council’s strategic direction and relative priorities through the Long Term Plan (LTP), which determines the services and activities to be undertaken by Council over a ten-year period
  • Determining the expenditure and funding requirements of Council activities through the LTP and annual planning processes
  • Overseeing, developing and/or approving all Council policies, administrative, legal, financial and strategic, including formal district planning matters within the Council’s geographical area of responsibility
  • Monitoring the ongoing performance of the Council against its stated objectives and policies (including formal sign-off of the Annual Report)
  • Ensuring prudent use of Council resources

Councillors can make decisions either as a full Council, or by delegating some matters to a committee of Council, a community board, or a Council organisation.

Deputy Mayor

The mayor has the power to appoint the deputy mayor The deputy mayor exercises the same roles as other elected members, and if the mayor is absent or incapacitated, the deputy mayor must perform all of the responsibilities and duties, and may exercise the powers, of the mayor (as summarised above). The deputy mayor may be removed from office by a resolution of the Council.

Committee Chairpersons

The mayor may establish committees of the territorial authority. In addition, the Council may create one or more committees (this includes subcommittees) of the Council. The mayor of a territorial authority has the power to appoint the chairperson of each committee established by the mayor.

A committee chairperson presides over all meetings of the committee, ensuring that the committee acts within the powers delegated by the Council. Committee chairpersons may be called on to act as official spokespersons on issues within the terms of reference for their committees. Chairpersons may be removed from office by a resolution of the Council. The Council may also appoint deputy chairpersons of committees, who shall fulfil the functions of the chair when the chairperson is absent.

Community Boards

We have two community boards in Waitaki – one in Waihemo and one in Ahuriri - to help represent and advise Council on community views. For more information please go to the community boards page.

The Local Governance Statement

The Council is required to have a local governance statement that includes information on the functions, responsibilities and activities of the Council, bylaws under its control, the electoral system, elected members’ roles and management structures.

Waitaki District Council Local Governance Statement 2019