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The sector knows that in order to deliver strong local government across New Zealand, we need to raise our standards of governance and performance. While there are many strong performers we need to lift the bar higher.

LGNZ and EquiP provide best practice guidance, business solutions, governance and management support to strengthen the sector.

Standing orders

The Standing Orders for territorial authorities, regional councils and community boards are available below.  They have been updated to reflect feedback we have received from councils over the last three years as well as any relevant legislative changes.

Standing order guide

Territorial standing orders

 Regional Council Standing orders

 Community board standing orders


Code of Conduct 

The Code of Conduct, which has been developed after consultation with councils, contains several changes to previous versions. Major changes are: 

  • A clearer distinction between the code of conduct and the process for considering complaints
  • Additional criteria for assessing complaints
  • A bigger emphasis on behaviours that are inconsistent with the Code
  • Incorporation of Te Tiriti principles as relevant to local government
  • Additional case studies of behaviours found to be inconsistent with the Code
  • An optional assessment stage to quickly deal with complaints that are trivial, vexatious, or politically motivated

Please note, the template Code includes the additional assessment process (involving an initial assessor) and makes recommendations of an Independent Investigator binding on the council.  Before adopting the Code, councils will need to decide whether to include those options or not. 

Guide for Mayors and Chairs 

This guide has been prepared to assist new and returning Mayors and Chairs get up to speed with their responsibilities as early as possible.  It showcases how to apply the principles of representation and governance and a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi to improve the social, environmental, economic and cultural well-being of communities.   

Guide for Mayors' and Chairs


The Good Governance Guide 

The Good Governance Guide unpacks the role and responsibilities of governors from a local government perspective with guidance on legislation, the inner workings of kaunihera, and all the day-to-day activities of being an elected member.    

Good Governance Guide

The Good CE Guide: Recruiting and managing Council CEs 

Selecting a chief executive is seen as the most crucial decision for a council. Picking the right CEO is vital for a council to accomplish its political goals and improve the lives of its communities.  To help councils with both the recruitment process and fostering a constructive relationship with their CEO, we have revised our CEO employment guidance.

Good CE Guide: Recruiting and managing Council CEs

Council Declaration

Wairoa District Council has kindly supplied an official translation of the elected member’s declaration in te reo Māori.  You can view both the te reo Māori and English versions below.

Council Declaration - te reo Māori version

Council Declaration - English version


Guide to Community Boards

The Guide to Community Boards has been prepared by the Community Boards Executive Committee and covers the role, rights and obligations of community boards as well as how community boards can improve their effectiveness and useful tools and resources.

Guide to Community Boards

Community Board Chair Guide

The Community Board Chair Guide has been developed to explore and uncover the role of a Community Board Chair, and how to establish inclusive democracy for your local community by making participation easy.

Community Board Chair Guide

Tax Guide for Elected Members

Due to the unique nature of the relationship between elected members and their Council,  personal tax obligations are not as straightforward as you may believe them to be.
PwC and LGNZ have put this guide together to help elected members to understand these obligations.

Tax Guide for Elected Members

Guide for designing decision-making structures

The structures councils put in place for making decisions can either assist councils achieve their objectives in an open and timely manner or do the opposite, yet little guidance is available for what structures work best for the different circumstances facing councils.  This guide to decision-making structures is still a working draft but has been made available to assist councils currently considering which decision-making structures might work best for their circumstances.  

We would also appreciate any feedback on the draft that councils might want to provide, these will be considered as we work to finalise it in the new year.

Decision making guide draft summary