Traditionally members interact with the public in two ways:
Governance decision-making - many governance decisions require consideration of the views of those affected or interested in the decision. This can include giving the public the opportunity to comment on council proposals and ensuring those comments are carefully considered prior to a decision being taken. More detail on how the council consults its communities can be found in the Significance and Engagement Policy. See also Section 10: How council decisions are made.
Constituency role - members of the public are free to contact an elected member with questions, queries or complaints. Depending on the issue, the public could contact a local board member, a ward councillor or the mayor. In general, if an issue is purely local it is best to approach a local board member; if an issue is of regional consequence it may be more appropriate to approach a ward councillor or the mayor.
Elected members should act in a manner that encourages and values community involvement in local democracy .
The mayor has an important statutory role in leading council engagement with the public. In addition to the role shared with all other elected members, the mayor is charged with ensuring there is effective engagement between the council and the people of Auckland (including those too young to vote, of different ethnicities, cultures, interests and location) .
Local boards have a statutory role to engage with their communities as part of their role to make decisions on local matters, provide local leadership and support strong local communities .