Council's role and responsibility

Our local government has two important tasks set by central government:

  • make possible democratic local decision-making and action by and for the people of our community;
  • play a broad role in meeting the current and future needs of our communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions.

Delegations Register

The Delegations Register was last amended by Council on 9 February 2023.

Delegations Register (953KB PDF)

Governance Statement

Download the Governance Statement 2022-2025 (2.4MB PDF)

The Nelson City Council’s governance statement sets out information about the processes that the Council uses to engage with the residents. It outlines how the Council makes decisions and how residents can take part in the decision making process. It provides the public with information on how to influence local electoral and democratic processes and contains the following broad categories of information:

  • Function, responsibilities and activities of the Nelson City Council.
  • Electoral arrangements.
  • Governance structures and processes.
  • How the Councillors make decisions, and how they relate to each other and Council’s management.
  • Key policies of the Nelson City Council.
  • The governance statement is a requirement of Section 40 of the Local Government Act 2002. A new governance statement is required six months after each triennial election.

Two roles in one

Unitary Authority - a dual role for Nelson City Council

As a Unitary Authority, the Council has combined responsibilities as a Local and Regional Council. This is different from most other local governments in New Zealand; more often a Regional Council is a separate organisation with several local authorities (city or district councils) or community boards within its borders. Auckland Regional Council, for example, has seven local councils in its region.

As Regional Council. ..we manage such things as pest control, civil defence, river and flood control, environmental protection, and regional transport. A big part of the task is planning - such as developing a Resource Management Plan to guide decisions about future growth, and setting key goals for the environment in the Regional Policy Statement.

As Local Council. ..we have many other duties, including:

  • Elections, meetings and public consultation
  • Care of city property and equipment
  • Community health and wellbeing
  • Making decisions for the good of Nelson
  • Making plans for the future
  • Working with central government, community organisations and businesses

Read more about the Council's responsibilities as a Unitary Authority

See Nelson City Council's physical boundaries.

Essential services and amenities

Services that the Council provides for the Nelson community:

Co-ordinating the provision of essential services

  • Water supply to provide clean water for home, business and emergency use
  • Sewage disposal systems to process sewage waste in a safe way
  • Stormwater and flood protection to protect Nelson from floods as best as practical and affordable
  • Roading and transport to maintain a safe transport network which meets our needs
  • Emergency management to reduce the possibility of disasters and rural fires, and their social and economic costs
  • Solid waste management to see that garbage is disposed of safely

Managing and protecting the environment and public health

  • Environmental management to take care of community resources such as water, air, and open-space
  • Establish and enforce rules to help people be safe and healthy, such as liquor licensing, dog licenses and restaurant food safety
  • Parks and city landscape to keep Nelson a beautiful and lively outdoor region
  • Recreation and leisure services to help the Nelson community stay healthy and happy by promoting active recreation and providing facilities such as swimming pools, playing fields and tramping tracks
  • Special purpose facilities to provide desirable community services and amenities that are not offered by business. For example, the Nelson public libraries, or public toilets.

Improving community well-being

  • The council works with community groups and agencies, to help reach our common goals
  • Economic development encouraging a strong economy
  • Community development and advocacy supporting social services that help make Nelson a safe, healthy community
  • Heritage and arts to advance the identity and special character of the Nelson community; to protect and celebrate our heritage and quality of life.

Standing Orders

For meetings of Local Authorities and Community Boards. These are issued to assist those local authorities required to comply with Part 4 and Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 and Part VII of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

These Standing Orders were adopted by Nelson City Council at a meeting held on 29 October 2013 and apply to all meetings of this Local Authority, its committees and subcommittees.

Download Nelson City Council Standing Orders (1.8MB PDF). Adopted by Council on 22 June 2017, last updated by Council resolution 12 August 2021.

Councillor's expenses

The Council’s expenses policy for elected members, as approved by the Remuneration Authority, and a summary of the Elected Members travel and training expenditure for the current triennium, are available below:

Code of Conduct for Councillors

The Code of Conduct sets out principles of good conduct and standards of behaviour for the elected members and also the relationship between the elected members and the public. Councillors have agreed to abide by these principles and standards when carrying out their roles and functions as elected community representatives.

Download the Code of Conduct (314KB PDF)