Governance Manual

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4.4.4 The mayor’s role in relation to the conduct of elected members


  1. The mayor has a broad role in upholding the integrity and expected conduct of members generally, and a specific formal role as chair in regulating the conduct of elected members during governing body meetings.

  2. At governing body meetings, the mayor is the chair of the meeting, and has all the usual powers and responsibilities of a chair to run the meeting.

  3. The mayor does not have a formal role or powers in relation to regulating conduct of elected members outside governing body meetings. However, as the leader of the council the mayor has a particular interest in the integrity and conduct of elected members.

  4. The mayor also has specific powers that may be used to respond to conduct issues and so influence the conduct of elected members generally.

    • If the mayor is of the opinion that an elected member has breached the Code of Conduct of Elected Members, the mayor may raise the issue by making a formal complaint to the chief executive.[1]

    • The mayor may also refer a matter to the Office of the Auditor-General if it relates to conflicts of interests (especially financial interests) [2], concerns the use of the council’s resources [3], or has resulted in the council suffering financial loss or damage [4].

    • The mayor may take various action in response to elected member conduct that is in breach of the Code of Conduct of Elected Members, or otherwise inappropriate.

      i) The mayor may remove an elected member from any governing body committee (or sub-committee), from the role of chair of any governing body committee, or from the role of deputy mayor [5] (noting that a local board member may be appointed on a governing body committee [6]).
      ii)The mayor may censure the member publicly or instigate the governing body taking that action.

    • Generally these mayoral powers should be exercised following a formal complaint process outlined in the Code of Conduct of Elected Members [7]Were the mayor to exercise these powers unilaterally, this exercise would need to be lawful, fair and reasonable in the circumstances, and take account of the interests of the elected member in natural justice. 

  5. The mayor conducts meeting of the governing body in accordance of standing orders.

  6. The mayor may also raise persistent non-attendance at governing body meetings by a member as amounting to a breach of the Code of Conduct of Elected Members [8], by making a formal complaint to the chief executive [9].



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