6.6.1 Formal decision-making


Local board business meetings

  1. Local boards make their decisions at formal public business meetings. These meetings are advertised publically and members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend [1]. Most local boards hold one formal business meeting a month.

  2. These meetings are run under the Standing Orders of each board [2]Standing orders set out the meeting rules and cover such issues as how the meeting will be chaired, the quorum required, how debates operate and a number of other rules to help meetings run smoothly, efficiently and effectively. A formal vote is always required, even where the board is in consensus.

  3. All such business meetings have a formal agenda which sets out the subjects being discussed at the meeting. For other than procedural items each agenda item is accompanied by a written report. There are three ways that reports can arise:

    • through the local board asking for a report

    • through the chief executive (or delegate, i.e. local-area manager) arranging for a report

    • through the chair or portfolio holder providing a report.

  4. These reports set out the issues under consideration, provide analysis and consideration of options, give advice on the various decisions to be made, and provide staff recommendations. After debating issues a board will make decisions by passing formal resolutions. These resolutions are recorded in formal minutes which are confirmed for accuracy at the next scheduled meeting.

  5. In its decision-making, a local board must comply with Part 6 of the Local Government Act 2002 as if it is “local authority”. To meet the requirements of the Act, elected members should expect reports and advice that:

    • identifies options to achieve the objective of the decision

    • includes an assessment of the pros and cons of these options

    • incorporates engagement with Maori with respect to significant decisions in relation to land or a body of water and

    • includes consideration of the views and preferences of those affected by or who have an interest in the decision.

  6. There are other legislative requirements and legal principles that apply to local board decision-making. Auckland Council requires its staff to meet the council's Quality Advice Standards [3].

  7. The staff support required to enable local boards to meet these requirements depends on the circumstances. The council’s Significance and Engagement Policy applies to decisions made by local boards. For a detailed explanation of the council’s approach to consultation and engagement refer to Section 10: How council decisions are made.

  8. Only matters on the agenda can be discussed; this is an important component in transparency and the public’s ability to hold board members accountable. Extraordinary business is an exception to this and is permitted only for issues that are urgent and where a decision cannot wait until the next scheduled meeting [4].

  9. Standing orders provide for members of the public to present petitions, make deputations or address the board on an issue of concern. The practice for dealing with petitions, deputations and public forum session in meetings varies between boards.

  10. A board may delegate responsibilities, decisions, duties and powers to a member of the local board to aid efficient and effective conduct of business.



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