News | 2 August 2022

Elections 101: What’s involved in being an elected member?

Looking for some better work stories? What if we told you that there was a job that lets you take a stand for your community, do something different every day, and directly impact Wellington’s future.

Woman smiling at the camera.

This is not your average job. We’re talking about becoming the Mayor, a Councillor, or a Community Board Member. 

What do these roles even do? 

These roles make up the 16 elected members who represent the city’s residents and ratepayers in the Council. They have the job of shaping the city and working with the community. 

Every three years, people vote for a councillor to represent their ward and elect 15 councillors and a Mayor. Residents in Tawa and in Mākara/Ōhāriu also vote to elect six members to their local community boards. 

For the first time, voters on the Māori roll will vote in the new Māori  ward.  Each councillor has the opportunity to represent a ward, but you do not need to live in that area to stand for it. 

To be eligible to stand for Council, you need to be over 18, a New Zealand Citizen and enrolled to vote. You don’t need any formal qualifications to be an elected member – it’s more about the skills and abilities you can bring to the table. 

So what will you do as an elected member? 

The mayor and councillors are responsible for: 

  • Preparing and adopting the Long-term Plan, Annual Plan, and Annual Report  
  • Setting rates and bylaws  
  • Setting strategies, policies, and plans  
  • Governing Council-controlled Organisations  
  • Consulting with and considering the views of the community  
  • Monitoring and reviewing the Council’s performance 

Your job will be to voice the opinions of your community and plan Wellington’s future. 

What skills are needed to be in the role?  

We are looking for people from all walks of life, with a desire to serve their community, to stand as a candidate for the Council elections. However, some attributes can help with running a campaign and fulfilling the role: 

  • Cultural awareness  
  • Strategic thinking  
  • Knowledge and understanding of your Council and local government  
  • Relationship building and collaboration  
  • Quality decision-making  
  • Political acumen  
  • Communication and engagement  
  • Knowledge and understanding of your community 
  • Leadership 

If you’ve got what it takes, complete and submit a nomination form before 12 noon on 12 August 2022. Find out more on our webpage