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Guide to Councils


Community consultation

Councils can use community consultation to help them make important decisions. Most consultation methods used by councils include the opportunity for direct participation from the community. The Local Government Act requires councils to call for public submissions in a number of circumstances outlined under Statutory consultation.

Councillors and the community

Individual councillors are already likely to have well developed networks of community contacts and involvements. They attend community meetings and events, hold ward or community forums and represent the council at community functions.

As a result of being available and approachable in this way, a councillor may be asked to bring matters of concern to an individual or a group to the attention of the council. Depending on the issue, such a request might be:

  • passed on to the council’s CEO for attention or advice
  • raised informally with other councillors or at a councillor briefing
  • raised at a formal council meeting
  • referred to an external body.

Links with other authorities

Councils maintain contacts with other authorities that can impact on decisions about council activities. Key contacts include:

Memberships of other bodies

Councils also participate in broader groups and processes that can have an impact on their decisions. Examples include council membership of:

  • groups formed around particular issues
  • local government peak bodies
  • regional bodies.