Auckland Council is the local authority that is responsible for all local government decisions and responsibilities in the Auckland region.
In New Zealand, central government has created a local government structure for every region and district in New Zealand. The key piece of legislation setting out local government responsibilities and powers is the Local Government Act 2002. The purpose of this Act is to make sure that there is “democratic and effective local government that recognises the diversity of New Zealand communities” . This is done through every region and district having a “local authority” that is accountable to their community, and plays a broad role in meeting the current and future needs of their communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions .
New Zealand has two types of local authorities – territorial authorities (comprising district and city councils) and regional councils. Auckland Council is a territorial authority which also has the responsibilities, duties and powers of a regional council . This makes Auckland Council a “unitary authority”. Other unitary authorities include Gisborne District Council and Nelson City Council. Auckland Council, like all other local authorities, is also subject to the Local Government Act 2002 and other Acts that apply to local government, but has additional legislation unique to Auckland.
Auckland Council was created in November 2010 through the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009. Auckland Council replaced seven territorial authorities and the Auckland Regional Council with the intent to deliver strong regional decision-making, complemented by decisions that meet diverse local needs and interests
Auckland Council’s governance is unique – it is the only local authority in New Zealand with a two tier governance structure comprising the governing body and 21 local boards, and where decision-making responsibilities of Auckland Council are shared between the governing body and local boards . The Independent Māori Statutory Board is another unique element in the governance structure.
The Local Government (Auckland Council) Act sets out the statutory responsibilities of the governing body and local boards. It also provides principles for the governing body to decide how to allocate non-regulatory activities to itself or local boards; and the governing body’s ability to delegate some responsibilities to local boards. For further information, see Section 10: How council decisions are made. Allocation is different to delegation. Once an activity is allocated to a local board, responsibility for that activity is with the local board, not with the governing body. The list of governing body and local board responsibilities is set out every year in the council annual plan (or the long-term plan). These can be viewed here.