Local government

There are 78 local authorities representing all areas of New Zealand, including 11 regional, 12 city, 54 district councils and Auckland Council.

Key websites


Key legislation

  • Local Government Act 2002
  • Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968

The Auditor-General’s Inquiry into the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme (2013) describes how Kaipara District Council (KDC) managed the Mangawhai community wastewater scheme between 1996 and 2012, and found major management and governance failings. See the IoD press release and the LGNZ President, Lawrence Yule’s, response about the need to improve local governance.

The Inquiry into property investments by Delta Utility Services Limited at Luggate and Jacks Point (2014) looked at investment decisions, managing conflicts of interest, and relationships between a Council and a subsidiary company.


Conflicts of interests

The Auditor-General has a role in administering the Members’ Interests Act and has also produced guidance Conflicts of interest – A guide to the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968 and non-pecuniary conflicts of interest (2004).


Governance development

Victoria University’s Institute for Governance Policy Studies has established a National Dialogue on Local Governance in 2015. Their website contains a range of news articles, resources, discussion papers and a discussion group which you can request to join.

Local Government, Governance and Raising the Quality of Public Debate, 2014, by Peter McKinlay and Stephen Selwood with the support of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies.

Innovation in local government and governance: observations on emerging practice in New Zealand, By Peter McKinlay examines the evolution of local government and governance in New Zealand, and provides observations of the potential future roles and functions of local government and governance.