Me pēhea te whai wāhi mai
How to get involved
There’s a huge number of ways to get involved in local government and making a difference for your community.
Learn what’s going on in your area
Your council/kaunihera exists to serve you. So it’s in your best interests to know about their work and all the opportunities for you to have your say.
Your council/kaunihera must run in an open and transparent manner. They need to promote the work they are doing and make information about their work available to the whole community.
Their website is a great place to start. It’ll tell you all about what the council/kaunihera is doing and planning to do, how it’s spending its funds, any consultation that is underway and exactly how you can get involved.
You can also attend public council meetings – a schedule of these meetings will be published on the website.
Have your voice heard
Whether you have an issue you care deeply about, have an idea for your community, or you simply want to discuss a community topic with someone, don’t be shy about getting in touch!
Email your councillor, meet with your community board representatives, or get in touch through your council’s social media accounts.
When significant decisions are being made about something in your community, councils /kaunihera must engage with the community, and often hold multiple meetings and discussions/kōrero with its citizens. So, keep an on your council’s website for news on the big projects or decisions they have coming up, and make sure you have your say.
Stand for election
Every three years you get the chance to stand for election, either as a councillor, the mayor or as a community or local board member. Being elected gives you direct responsibility for making decisions.
Don’t let a lack of local government experience put you off. We offer plenty of support for people wanting to throw their hat in the ring. If you care about your community and want to contribute, why not give it a shot?
Our comprehensive Candidate Guide from 2022 outlines important information about standing for local government, how councils/kaunihera work, nomination requirements and common questions.
Jill Day, Community Board Member and former Wellington City Deputy Mayor talks about what it takes to run for council, the need for diversity, and why you should make a stand.
The simplest and most effective way to get involved is to vote in your local body elections. It’s your chance to decide who you want making decisions on your behalf.
The more people that vote, the more likely it is that the people elected to make big decisions on your behalf truly reflect your community’s needs and wants.