This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Code of Conduct'.

Code of Conduct 
for Elected 

All councils are required to have a code of 
This code does not apply to members of 
The code of conduct that follows is based on the following general principles 
conduct under the Local Government Act 
Community Boards.
of good governance:
2002, Schedule 7, Clause 15.
The objective of the code is to enhance:
This code of conduct provides guidance 
Public interest
Personal judgment
on the standards of behaviour that are 
•  the effectiveness of the council as 
Members should serve only the interests 
Members can and will take account of the 
expected from the Mayor and elected 
the autonomous local authority with 
of the city as a whole and should never 
views of others, but should reach their own 
members of the Wellington City Council. 
statutory responsibilities for the good 
improperly confer an advantage or 
conclusions on the issues before them, and 
The code applies to elected members in 
local government of Wellington City
disadvantage on any one person, or group 
act in accordance with those conclusions.
their dealings with: 
•  the credibility and accountability of the 
of persons.
•  each other
council within its community 
Respect for others
Honesty and integrity
•  the Chief Executive
•  mutual trust, respect and tolerance 
•  Elected members should remember 
between the elected members as 
Members should not place themselves in 
the respect and dignity of their office 
•  all staff employed by the Chief 
a group and between the elected 
situations where their honesty and integrity 
in their dealings with each other, 
Executive on behalf of the council
members and management.
may be questioned, should not behave 
management and the public.
•  the media
improperly and should on all occasions 
avoid the appearance of such behaviour.
•  Members should treat people with 
•  the general public.
respect, regardless of their race, age, 
religion, gender, sexual orientation, or 
disability, and should not unlawfully 
•  Members should make decisions on 
discriminate against any person or 
merit including making appointments, 
group of persons.
awarding contracts, or recommending 
individuals for rewards or benefits.
Duty to uphold the law
•  Members should also note that, once 
Members should uphold the law, and on all 
elected, their duty is to the interests of 
occasions, act in accordance with the trust 
the entire city.
the public places in them.
Members should be accountable to the 
Members must ensure that the council 
public for their actions and the manner in 
uses resources prudently and for lawful 
which they carry out their responsibilities, 
purposes, and that the council maintains 
and should cooperate fully and honestly 
sufficient resources to meet its statutory 
with the scrutiny appropriate to their 
particular office.
Members should promote and support these 
Members should be as open as possible about  proposals by example, and should always 
their actions and those of the council, and 
endeavour to act in the best interests of the 
should be prepared to justify their actions.
ii Code of Conduct for Elected Members
Code of Conduct for Elected Members iii

Deputy Mayor
The Mayor is elected by the district as a 
If the Mayor has not appointed the Deputy 
Roles and
whole and as one of the elected members 
Mayor as noted above, then the Deputy 
shares the same responsibilities as other 
Mayor must be elected by the members of 
members of council. The Mayor also has the 
council, at the first meeting of the council. 
following roles:
The Deputy Mayor exercises the same roles 
as other elected members, and if the Mayor 
•  presiding at council meetings. The Mayor  is absent or incapacitated, the Deputy Mayor 
is responsible for ensuring the orderly 
must perform all of the responsibilities and 
conduct of business during meetings (as 
duties, and may exercise the powers, of the 
determined by Standing Orders)
Mayor (as summarised above). The Deputy 
•  advocating on behalf of the community. 
Mayor may be removed from office by 
This role may involve promoting 
resolution of council.
the community and representing its 
interests. Such advocacy will be most 
Committee Chairpersons
effective where it is carried out with the 
This part of the code describes the roles and responsibilities of elected 
knowledge and support of the council
The council may create one or more 
members, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and Committee Chairpersons.
committees (this includes subcommittees) 
•  spokesperson for the council
of council. A committee chairperson 
Elected Members
Unless otherwise provided in the Local 
•  ceremonial head of council
presides over all meetings of the committee, 
Government Act 2002 or in Wellington 
ensuring that the committee acts within the 
Elected members, acting as the council, are 
•  providing leadership and feedback to 
City Council’s Standing Orders, the 
powers delegated by council. Committee 
responsible for governance, including:
other elected members on teamwork 
council can only act by majority decisions 
chairpersons may be called on to act as 
and chairing of committees
official spokespersons on issues within the 
•  the development and adoption of 
at meetings. Any individual member 
terms of reference for their committees. 
council policy
(including the Mayor) has no authority 
•  fulfilling the responsibilities of a Justice 
to act on behalf of the council unless 
of the Peace (while the Mayor holds office)
Chairpersons may be removed from 
•  monitoring the performance of the 
provided for by statute or the council has 
office by resolution of council. Council 
council against its stated objectives and 
•  lead the development of the council’s 
expressly delegated such authority.
may also appoint deputy chairpersons of 
plans (including long-term plan and 
committees, who shall fulfil the functions 
Elected members are expected to attend 
annual plan), policies and budgets 
of the chair when the chairperson is absent.
•  prudent stewardship of council resources
the meetings (ordinary and extraordinary) 
for consideration by members of the 
Elected members are also responsible for 
of Council, as well as the committees and 
territorial authority
representing the interests of the residents 
subcommittees, working parties, and 
•  appoint the Deputy Mayor
and ratepayers of the city.
external organisations to which they are 
appointed. An elected member, unable to 
•  establish committees of the council 
attend a meeting, should advise the Chair  
and appoint the chairperson of each 
or Chief Executive as soon as possible.
committee established.
iv Code of Conduct for Elected Members
Code of Conduct for Elected Members

•   raise concerns about employees only 
•  no other member may comment on 
with the Chief Executive, and concerns 
behalf of council without having first 
about the Chief Executive only with 
obtained the approval of the Mayor, or in 
the Mayor or the Performance Review 
the Mayor’s absence, the Deputy Mayor
and Behaviours
•  Elected members are free to express 
•  not seek to improperly influence staff in 
a personal view in the media, at any 
the normal undertaking of their duties.
time. When doing so, they should 
observe the following:
Elected members should be aware that failure 
to observe this portion of the code of conduct 
–  media comments must not state or 
may compromise the council’s obligations to 
imply that they represent the views 
act as a good employer and may expose the 
of council
council to civil litigation and audit sanctions.
–  where an elected member is making 
a statement that is contrary to a 
Relationships with the Community
council decision or council policy, 
the member must not state or imply 
Relationships with other Members
Chief Executive or his or her delegated 
Effective council decision-making depends 
that his or her statements represent 
appointee may hire, dismiss or instruct, 
on productive relationships between elected 
Elected members will conduct their 
a majority view
or censure an employee
members and the community at large.
dealings with each other in ways that:
–  media comments must observe 
•  make themselves aware of the 
Members should ensure that individual 
•  maintain public confidence in the office 
the other requirements of the 
obligations that the council and the 
citizens are accorded respect in their 
to which they have been elected
code of conduct, eg not disclose 
Chief Executive have as employers and 
dealings with the council, have their 
concerns listened to, and deliberated on in 
confidential information.
•  are open and honest
observe those requirements at all times
accordance with the requirements of the 
•  focus on issues rather than personalities
•  treat all employees with courtesy and 
Local Government Act 2002.
Confidential Information
respect (including the avoidance of 
•  avoid aggressive, offensive or abusive 
In the course of their duties members 
aggressive, offensive or abusive conduct 
Members should act in a manner that 
will receive information that they need 
towards employees)
encourages and values community 
involvement in local democracy.
to treat as confidential. Confidential 
Relationships with Chief Executive 
•  observe any guidelines that the Chief 
information includes information that 
and Staff
Executive puts in place regarding 
Contact with the Media 
officers have judged there is good reason 
contact with employees
to withhold under sections 6 and 7 of the 
The effective performance of council 
The following rules apply for media contact 
Local Government Official Information 
also requires a high level of cooperation 
•  not do anything which compromises, 
on behalf of council:
and Meetings Act 1987. This will often be 
and mutual respect between elected 
or could be seen as compromising, the 
•  the Mayor (or in the Mayor’s absence, 
information that is either commercially 
members and staff. To ensure that level 
impartiality of an employee
the Deputy Mayor) is the first point 
sensitive or is personal to a particular 
of cooperation and trust is maintained, 
•  avoid publicly criticising any employee 
of contact for the official view on any 
individual or organisation.
elected members will:
in any way, but especially in ways that 
issue. Usually, a matter will be referred 
•  recognise that the Chief Executive is the 
reflect on the competence and integrity 
to the relevant committee chairperson 
employer (on behalf of council) of all 
of the employee
for their comment 
council employees, and as such only the 
4 Code of Conduct for Elected Members
Code of Conduct for Elected Members

The Chief Executive is responsible for 
release of this information under the Local 
Government Official Information and 
Wellington City Council seeks to promote 
Meetings Act 1987. 
the highest standards of ethical conduct 
amongst its elected members. Accordingly, 
Elected members should be aware that 
elected members will:
failure to observe confidentiality will impede 
the performance of council by inhibiting 
•  claim only for legitimate expenses as 
information flows and undermining public 
laid down by any determination of 
confidence in the council. Failure to observe 
the Remuneration Authority then in 
these provisions may also expose council to 
force, and any lawful policy of council 
prosecution under the Privacy Act 1993 and/
developed in accordance with that 
or civil litigation.
•  not influence, or attempt to influence, 
Conflicts of Interest 
any council employee to take actions 
that may benefit the member, or the 
Elected members shall ensure they comply 
member’s family or business interests
with the provisions of the Local Authorities 
(Members’ Interests) Act 1968, which 
•  not use council resources for personal 
covers financial interests, and with other 
business (including campaigning)
requirements relating to non-pecuniary 
•  not abuse the advantages of their 
conflicts of interest. Members should 
official position for personal gain, or 
ensure they are familiar with the guidance 
solicit or accept gifts, entertainment, 
contained in the Council publication 
rewards or benefits that might 
Conflict of Interest Guidelines. 
compromise their integrity. 
Members shall, within 30 days of a request 
by the Chief Executive, or following the 
triennial election, complete a declaration of 
interests. That declaration shall be updated 
Elected members who are declared bankrupt 
whenever members’ interests change. 
shall notify the Chief Executive as soon as 
practicable after being declared bankrupt.
6 Code of Conduct for Elected Members
Code of Conduct for Elected Members

This will include ensuring that members 
named in an allegation are given an 
opportunity to consider and respond to that 
Once adopted, a code of conduct continues 
allegation. If, following the opportunity to 
in force until amended by the council. 
respond to the allegation, it is considered 
The code can be amended at any time 
that an allegation of a breach of the code 
but cannot be revoked unless the council 
is well-founded, the Mayor shall inform 
replaces it with another code. Once adopted, 
and Review
the member concerned and take any 
amendments to the code of the conduct, 
appropriate lawful action, such as censure.
or the adoption of a new code, require a 
resolution supported by 75 per cent or more 
Any alleged breach by the Mayor shall be 
of the members of the council present.
reported in a timely manner to the Chief 
Executive, who shall consider and deal 
Council will formally review the code as 
with the allegation, seeking advice as 
soon as practicable after the beginning of 
appropriate.  The Chief Executive shall 
each triennium. The results of that review 
consider each allegation in a manner that is 
will be presented to council for their 
fair to all parties involved in the allegation, 
consideration and vote.
by the Auditor-General under the Local 
including ensuring that due process is 
Authorities (Member’s Interests) Act 1968
respected. This will include ensuring 
Elected members must comply with 
that the Mayor is given an opportunity to 
the provisions of this code of conduct.  
•  breaches which result in the council 
consider and respond to that allegation.
Members are also bound by the Local 
suffering financial loss or damage may 
Government Act 2002, the Local Authorities 
be reported on by the Auditor-General 
If an alleged breach is considered to be of 
(Members’ Interests) Act 1968, the Local 
under the Local Government Act 2002, 
a serious enough nature, or if there is an 
Government Official Information and 
which may result in the member having 
allegation of repeated breaches of the code, 
Meetings Act 1987, the Secret Commissions 
to make good the loss or damage
the Mayor (or in the case of an alleged breach 
Act 1910, the Crimes Act 1961 and the 
by the Mayor, the Chief Executive) may 
Securities Act 1978. The Chief Executive 
•  breaches relating to the commission of 
instead refer the matter to council. Council 
will ensure that an explanation of these 
a criminal offence may leave the elected 
will be asked to consider and determine 
Acts is made at the first meeting after 
member liable for criminal prosecution.
whether a breach of the code has occurred 
each triennial election and that copies of 
and, if so, what consequences for the elected 
these Acts are freely available to elected 
Breaches of non-statutory provisions 
member should arise from that breach. 
members. Short explanations of the 
In completing a report to Council, fairness 
Any alleged breach by a member of the 
obligations that each of these Acts has with 
to all parties involved, and due process, 
provisions of the code for which there is not 
respect to conduct of elected members is 
will be respected, including ensuring the 
a process and penalty provided elsewhere 
attached in Appendix 1 to this code.
member named in the allegation is advised 
shall be reported in a timely manner 
of the allegation and given an opportunity 
to the Mayor in the first instance. The 
to consider and respond to it before the 
Breaches of statutory provisions
Mayor, in concert with the Chief Executive 
matter is considered by council. Council’s 
Where there are statutory provisions:
(where appropriate), shall consider each 
consideration of the matter will comply 
allegation in a manner that is fair to all 
with statutory requirements relating 
•  breaches relating to members’ interests 
parties involved in the allegation, including 
to matters such personal privacy, or 
render members liable for prosecution 
ensuring that due process is respected.  
confidentiality of information.
8 Code of Conduct for Elected Members
Code of Conduct for Elected Members

Local Government Official Information 
These offences are punishable by a term of 
and Meetings Act 1987
imprisonment of 7 years or more. Elected 
members convicted of these offences will 
The Local Government Official Information 
also be automatically ousted from office.
and Meetings Act 1987 sets out a list of 
meetings procedures and requirements. 
Of particular importance for the roles and 
Securities Act 1978
conduct of elected members is the fact that 
The Securities Act 1978 essentially places 
the chair has the responsibility to maintain 
elected members in the same position 
order at meetings.
as company directors whenever council 
offers stock to the public. Elected members 
Secret Commissions Act 1910
may be personally liable if investment 
documents such as a prospectus contain 
Under this Act it is unlawful for an elected 
untrue statements and may be liable for 
member (or officer) to advise anyone to 
criminal prosecution if the requirements of 
enter into a contract with a third person 
the Act are not met.
and receive a gift or reward from that 
Legislation Bearing on the Role and 
discussion or voting on any matter in which 
third person as a result, or to present false 
Conduct of Elected Members 
they have a pecuniary interest, other than 
receipts to council.
an interest in common with the general 
This is a summary of the legislation 
If convicted of any offence under this 
public. The same rules also apply where 
requirements that has some bearing on the 
Act a person can be imprisoned for up to 
the member’s spouse contracts with the 
duties and conduct of elected members. 
2 years, or fines up to $1000, or both. A 
authority or has a pecuniary interest.
Copies of these statutes can be found in 
conviction therefore would trigger the 
the council library or in the office of the 
Members may also contact the Audit 
ouster provisions of the Local Government 
Chief Executive. 
Office for guidance as to whether that 
Act 2002 and result in the removal of the 
member has a pecuniary interest, and 
member from office.
Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) 
if so, may seek an exemption to allow 
Act 1968 
that member to participate or vote on a 
Crimes Act 1961
particular issue in which they may have a 
This Act regulates situations where a 
pecuniary interest. The latter must be done 
Under this Act it is unlawful for an elected 
member’s personal interests impinge, or 
before the discussion or vote. The Chief 
member (or officer) to:
could be seen as impinging on their duties 
Executive must also seek approval from the 
•  accept or solicit for themselves (or 
as an elected member.
Audit Office for contractual payments to 
anyone else) any gift or reward for 
The Act provides that an elected member is 
members, their spouses or their companies 
acting or not acting in relation to the 
disqualified from office if that member is 
that exceed the $25,000 annual limit.
business of council
concerned or interested in contracts under 
Failure to observe these requirements 
•  use information gained in the course 
which payments made by or on behalf of 
could also leave the elected member open 
of their duties for their, or another 
the local authority exceed $25,000 in any 
to prosecution under the Local Authorities 
persons, monetary gain or advantage.
financial year.
(Members’ Interests) Act 1968. In the event 
Additionally, elected members are 
of a conviction elected members can be 
prohibited from participating in any council  ousted from office.
10 Code of Conduct for Elected Members
Code of Conduct for Elected Members 11