Term Description

Advisory panels

The council establishes advisory panels to engage with specific groups, based on demography (eg the Seniors Advisory Panel) or sector (eg the Rural Advisory Panel). These are established by the Mayor at the beginning of each electoral term to advise the council on decisions that affect the represented groups.

Annual Plan

An Annual Plan sets what the council will be working to achieve in a financial year, how it will spend its money, the level of service to be provided, and the level of rates and other revenue required to fund that spending


An item of value, usually of a physical nature, that has a useful life of more than 12 months and has future economic benefits over a period of time. An asset is considered a major asset if it is valued over $10 million.

Auckland Plan

The Auckland Plan delivers the 30 year spatial plan for Auckland. It is reviewed every three years.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)

Business Improvement Districts are created by business associations and supported by Auckland Council to improve the local business environment. BID funding is raised by a targeted rate.


Auckland Council has the power to create bylaws for the region to regulate activities to protect the public from nuisance, maintain health and safety, and minimise offensive behaviour. Auckland Transport makes transport-related bylaws.

Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct addresses expected conduct of the Mayor, governing body, and local board members.


Co-governance describes the negotiated arrangements between iwi, central government, local government, and/or local groups to achieve effective resource management outcomes

Conflict of interest

Elected members are expected to separate their personal interests from their duties as elected members of Auckland Council. Members are expected to declare any financial or non-financial conflicts of interest, and stand aside from any related decision-making.

Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)

CCOs are organisations in which the council controls 50 per cent or more of the votes or has the right to appoint 50 per cent (or more) of directors or trustees. They report quarterly to the governing body.


Ward councillors are elected from the 13 ward areas. The 20 councillors and Mayor form the Governing Body to make regional decisions. Some wards have more than one councillor

Customary rights/interests (tikanga)

Many policies and legislation require decision makers to consider customary rights, interests and practices of Maori.

Development contributions

Development contributions are fees charged by the council for extra community and network infrastructure needed as a result of development projects. The money collected from development contributions pays for the cost of public infrastructure that is needed to meet the additional demand from growth.

Elected Member

Any local board member, councillor, or mayor can be generally referred to as an eelcted member.

Extraordinary business

Matters to be considered by a committee that are not on the agenda are considered extraordinary business. Reasons must be provided explaining why the item was not on the agenda, as well as the urgency for the matter to be addressed.

Funding impact statements

Funding impact statements must be included in annual plans and long-term plans. They state the sources of funding, and where the funding will be applied.

Governing body

The governing body is made up of the mayor and 20 councillors. It shares its responsibility for decision-making with the local boards. The governing body focuses on the big picture and on Auckland-wide strategic decisions.

Have Your Say event

Have Your Say events are a new consultation method used for issues of significance, such as the Long Term Plan. These events are less formal than traditional hearings and tend to involve facilitated roundtable discussions.

Local board

There are 21 local boards which share responsibility for decision-making with the governing body. They represent their local communities and make decisions on local issues, activities and facilities

Local board chairs and members

There are 149 local board members who are elected every three years to represent the 21 local board areas in Auckland. There are between five and nine local board members on each local board. The chair and deputy chair are chosen by the local board members.

Local board funding policy

Through the Governing Body, Auckland Council is required to adopt a local board funding policy as a part of its long term plan. This policy outlines the formula used to allocate funds to each local board.

Local board plans

Each local board is required to develop and adopt a local board plan at the start of each electoral term. Plans reflect the priorities and preferences of the community, and provide a basis for accountability of the local board to its communities.

Local board subdivision

Larger local board areas are divided into subdivisions. They are elected by residents living in that subdivision as representative members on the overall local board.


Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, which legislates the availability of information held by local government agencies as well as the ability for the public to attend meetings.

Long-term Plan (LTP)

The Long Term Plan describes the future focus of council activities, how those activities will be funded, and the intended community outcomes, covering a period of 10 years. It informs the Annual Plan and is reviewed every 3 years

Mana whenua

Mana whenua are Māori with ancestral relationships in certain areas in Tāmaki Makaurau where they exercise customary authority.

Māori Plan

The IMSB produces the Māori Plan as thirty year action based document, describing how they will achieve improvements on issues of significance

Māori responsiveness framework

Auckland Council’s Māori Responsiveness Framework, Whiria Te Muka Tangata, enables the council family to identify and progress activities that will deliver on the Auckland Plan’s transformational shifts including the Māori transformational shift.


Mataawaka are Māori living in the Auckland region whose ancestral links lie outside of Tāmaki Makaurau.


The minutes of a committee meeting record Elected Member attendance, decisions, and public input. Supporting documentation not included in the meeting agenda amy also be included.

Notice of motion

Members must provide notice of any motion that they propose to move at a meeting. The notice must be signed by the mover and delivered to the chief executive at least five clear working days before the meeting.

Official information

Official information is information held by council, including written documents and correspondence, recordings, and staff knowledge including information exchanged through conversations.

Pre-election period

The pre-election period commences three months prior to local body elections. Elected Members are required to comply with the Local Government Election Year Policy, which distinguishes between their roles as elected members and as candidates running for office.


The minimum number of  members that must be present for a meeting to commence. Business is to be suspended should quorum be lost at any stage of the meeting.

Rating information database

Records on rating information are held by the rating information database. These records are available for public inspection.


A resolution is the decision made by elected members. A resolution may be made by division, where each member at the table will be asked individually to declare their vote, or on the voices, where the chair will call for those supporting and opposing the motion to vocalise their vote as a group.

Shared governance

Auckland Council operates under a model of shared governance. Responsibilities and powers are allocated and delegated between the local boards and governing body to ensure local and regional needs are balanced.

Significance and Engagement Policy

The Significance and Engagement Policy determines the significance of any proposals, and outlines how Auckland Council will consult with communities.

Standing orders

The standing orders of the council set rules and conventions for the conduct of meetings, including acceptable behaviours, voting protocols, and public participation.

Statement of Intent (SOI)

A Statement of Intent sets out the CCO’s strategic framework, activities and performance measures for the next three years in order to deliver on our role, and contribute to Auckland Council’s targets and priorities.

Substantive Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs)

A substantive CCO is a CCO that either delivers a significant service or activity on behalf of council, or manages assets with a value of over $10million. Auckland Council's substantive CCOs are: Auckland Transport (AT), Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), Panuku Development Auckland, Watercare, and Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA).

Targeted rates

Targeted rates are collected to fund a specific activity. Targeted rates are only charged to people who will benefit from the activity.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference are adopted by the Governing Body at the start of the council term. They outline of the responsibilities delegated to each committee.

Ultra vires

Resolutions passed that are outside of the functions of the governing body are considered to be ultra vires.

Unitary Plan

The Unitary Plan supports the Auckland Plan. It stipulates what residential and commerical activity can be undertaken and where, while providing for rural activities and maintaining the natural environment.