Local Government Act 2002

The purpose of the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA 2002) is to “provide for democratic and effective local government that recognises the diversity of New Zealand communities”. The Act provides the general framework and powers under which New Zealand’s 85 local authorities - regional, district and city councils - operate.

The Local Government Act 2002 provides the basis for the existence and operation of local Government governance and management in New Zealand.

The Act

LGA 2002 made significant changes from the earlier Local Government legislation and set a direction to recognising the role of local government as an instrument in local governance. The then minister of Local Government, Sandra Lee, in her first reading speech introducing the local government bill had this to say:

“Mr Speaker this Bill is, above all, about 'empowerment'.

Not as some might imagine, the empowerment of councils to exert greater influence and authority over their electors, but rather, empowering New Zealanders within their local communities to exercise ever greater control over their lives and over the environments in which they live.”

Two key sections of the Local Government Act 2002 that set out the purpose and principles under which our representative councilors act:

10 Purpose of local government
The purpose of local government is—
(a) to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of, communities; and
(b) to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future.

Achieving community well-being requires effective, responsible and accountable local government.

The Act promotes engagement with local communities and responsiveness to their wishes through community outcomes processes and the long-term council community plan (LTCCP).

14 Principles relating to local authorities
(1) In performing its role, a local authority must act in accordance with the following principles:
(a) a local authority should—
(i) conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner; and
(ii) give effect to its identified priorities and desired outcomes in an efficient and effective manner:
(2) If any of the(se) principles, or any aspect of well-being referred to in section 10, or in conflict in any particular case, the authority should resolve the conflict in accordance with the principle in subsection (1)(a)(i).

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License