What does a Regional Councillor do?

Greater Wellington Regional Councillors decide the Council’s overall policies, and Greater Wellington’s management provides advice to the Council and is responsible for carrying out the resulting decisions.

The Council and its various committees meet every six weeks to receive reports from Greater Wellington staff, debate issues and decide on policy. In general, meetings are open to the public and meeting dates are advertised in local media and available on the Greater Wellington Regional Council website. Regional Councillors are publicly elected in local government elections every three years. The Council’s Chair is elected by the Councillors.

Greater Wellington Regional Council is looking for 13 people to represent the Wellington region for the next three years. The Council is a statutory body made up of 13 regional councillors, representing six constituencies:

Pōneke/Wellington  5 councillors
Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai/Lower Hutt 3 councillors
Porirua-Tawa  2 councillors
Kāpiti Coast 1 councillor
Te Awa Kairangi ki Uta/Upper Hutt   1 councillor
Wairarapa 1 councillor

Elected members take part in legally constituted meetings of the Council and committees. Collectively the members exercise the powers, duties, authorities and responsibilities vested in the council by the Local Government Act and other Acts.

The salary councillors will be paid for 2019/20 has been set by the Remuneration Authority:

Chairperson $170,291
Deputy Chairperson/Committee Chairperson $90,990
Committee Chairperson (3) $80,961
Portfolio Leader (1) $77,569
Chairperson, Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee and Portfolio Leader $80,961
Committee Chairperson, Chief Executive Employment Review Committee $77,569
Chairperson, Wairarapa Committee $77,569
Councillor $64,755

A regional councillor’s responsibilities

Most committees and Council meet once every six weeks (eight times per year), with additional meetings held as required.  Several committees meet quarterly, and one or two more frequently than six-weekly.

Most meetings are held in the Greater Wellington offices, off upper Cuba Street (15 Walter Street), but two are regularly held in the Wairarapa, and one rotates across locations in the region.

Committee and Council meetings generally commence at 9.30am or 10.00am, with a couple for afternoon commencements at 1.30pm and 4.30pm.

Meetings take as long as necessary to get through their agendas. Some can be reasonably short, and others quite long, depending on the size of the agenda and the matters needing to be considered. An estimate of average duration would be two-and-a-half to three hours per meeting.  Very few would go over four hours over the course of a year.

Applying a six week period for a Councillor appointed to a minimum of say two committees might present an indicative workload, as follows:

Week 1: Two days of Council workshops for all Councillors (9.30am to 4.00pm)

Week 2: One committee meeting and workshop (9.30am to 1.30pm)

Week 3: One committee meeting and workshop (9.30am to 1.30pm)

Week 4: Council meeting (9.30am to 1.30pm)

Weeks 5 and 6: free of governance meetings and workshops

The above is indicative meeting attendance time. It does not include time spent in preparing for the meeting (reading the reports, discussing with officers and other Councillors, etc.), and time spent in travelling to and from the meeting.

Also, in addition to the governance commitment a Councillor also has representative responsibilities, for example attending local meetings and events, and meeting with constituents on matters of local concerns. The workload in this area will be driven by the engagement approach of each individual Councillor.