Roles of Elected Members

Role of the council

When the term 'council' is used people are either referring to the whole organisation or to the mayor and nine councillors. In their role at council and committee meetings, the mayor and councillors make decisions that are in the best interests of the whole district that meet the currentand future needs of all its communities. In acting as the Thames-Coromandel District Council, the mayor and councillors have the following roles:

• formulating the council's strategic direction and relative priorities through the long term plan process, and determining the services to be delivered and the projects required to support those services and the council’s strategic direction over the next ten years;
• determining the expenditure and fundingrequirements of council services through the long term plan and annual planning processes;
• overseeing the development and approving council policies;
• monitoring the ongoing performance of the council against stated objectives and policies (including formal sign-off of the annual report);
• law-making (through making bylaws);
• overseeing council compliance with any relevant Acts of Parliament;
• representing the interests of the district; and
• employing, setting performance requirements for, and monitoring the ongoing performance of the council's chief executive (under the Local Government Act the local authority employs the chief executive, who in turn employs all other staff on its behalf).

The council can only act by majority decisions made at meetings. Individual members (including themayor) have no authority to act on behalf of the council unless provided for by statute or the council has expressly delegated that specificauthority.

Role of the mayor

The mayor is elected by all the electors within the district. As one of the elected members, the mayor shares the same responsibilities as the councillors.

The mayor also has the following roles:

• presiding at council meetings ensuring theorderly conduct of business during meetings;
• advocating on behalf of the community which involves the promotion of the community and representation of its interests. Such advocacy will be most effective where it is carried out with the knowledge and support of thecouncil;
• spokesperson for the council;
• ceremonial head of the council;
• providing leadership and feedback to other elected members on teamwork and chairing of committees; and
• fulfilling the responsibilities of a Justice of the Peace (while the mayor holds office).

The mayor also has the following powers:
• to appoint the deputy mayor;
• to establish committees of the council;
• to appoint the chairperson of each council committee;
• to lead the development of the territorial authority’s plans (including the long-termplan and the annual plan), policies, and budgets for consideration by the members of the territorial authority.

Role of community board members

The entire Thames-Coromandel district is represented by one of five community boards. They are Coromandel-Colville, Mercury Bay, Tairua-Pāuanui,Thames and Whangamatā. Community boards were established in 1989 as part of the last major amalgamation of local government. Since then thenames have been changed through subsequent representation reviews. The Local Government Act describes the role of community boards as:

• represent and act as an advocate for the interests of their community;
• consider and report on any matter referred to it by the council and any issues of interest or concern to the community board;
• make an annual submission to council onexpenditure in the community;
• maintain an overview of services provided bythe council within the community;
• communicate with community organisations and special interest groups in the community;
• undertake any other responsibilities delegated by council.

The council's current delegations to community boards include the following responsibilities:
community boards are responsible for the work programmes within the approved council budgets forthe following activities and sub-activities:

• harbour facilities;
• community centres and halls;
• airfields;
• public conveniences;
• community grants;
• local roading;
• parks and reserves;
• libraries;
• swimming pools;
• cemeteries;