Ko wai mātou
Who we are

Our vision is for Aotearoa New Zealand to be the most active and inclusive local democracy in the world.

Communities and councils/kaunihera across our nation need a way of uniting to provide local input into national conversations/kōrero. A way to channel the strength of local knowledge and community interests into achieving positive outcomes for all.

They need a perspective that reflects what it is really like in the rohe/district, villages, towns, and cities of Aotearoa and representation that can be heard across the motu/country – from the Beehive to every corner of the nation.

We are Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), a membership body for Aotearoa’s councils/kaunihera, and we provide that perspective and representation.

We’ve been around since 1988 to represent councils/kaunihera and to lead best practice in the local government sector. Today, we advocate for local government across the country, we support elected members to be more effective, and we help communities participate in local democracy.

Our purpose is to champion, connect and support local government.


  • We advocate for the national interests of local government on critical issues.
  • We generate a national conversation about key local government challenges by commissioning research and developing thought leadership.
  • We speak out for local government in the media – on issues like rates rises, local government funding and harassment of elected members.
  • Our expertise help councils to decode policy and make submissions.
  • We operate in a political environment – but we’re nonpartisan and build a strong relationship with the government of the day that supports members’ engagement.


  • Our sector and zone meetings connect local government leaders and put elected members in front of central government politicians and experts.
  • Our networks – Te Maruata, Young Elected Members and CBEC – connect members and provide targeted support.
  • Our must-attend conference brings everyone in local government together.


  • We’re the home of Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, which has placed thousands of young people into employment and training.
  • Through Ākona, we tailor professional development and induction for local government’s exact needs and provide every elected member access.
  • We develop templates and guides that councils can use or adapt – from standing orders to codes of conduct.
  • We support elected members and councils when they're stuck. We’re who you call when things get tough and messy. We work behind the scenes to support elected members, councils and local democracy.
  • Member councils receive financial benefits from participating in initiatives like our Street Light Profiles or the Moata Carbon portal.
  • We're a partner in the Road Efficiency Group –Te Ringa Maimoa, which is a unique partnership focused on better activity management and decision making while building capability across the transport sector.

Our structure and funding

Governance of LGNZ is provided by a National Council made up of mayors and elected members from around the country. Representation comes from each of the council zones, sectors and a member each from the Te Maruata and Young Elected Member committees.

The LGNZ constitution outlines the rules for how the organisation operates.

LGNZ is funded through membership fees and funding from agencies active in local communities such as the Department of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade.   

In the 2023/2024 financial year, we received the following funding:

Department of Internal Affairs sector engagement $1,250,000
Department of Internal Affairs libraries $112,500
Ministry of Social Development - Community Employment Programme (MTFJ) $10,000,000