Council Role and Responsibilities

The Tasman District Council is a public benefit entity whose primary objective is to provide goods and services for community or social benefit. This page explains the Council's role and responsibilities.

Councils are required to make decisions and set directions for promoting the social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing of their communities. They also have a responsibility to lead, provide for and contribute to the good governance of their communities.

In meeting the described requirements Council must:

  • Provide directly or on behalf of central government, adequate, equitable and appropriate services and facilities for the community
  • Ensure that the services provided are managed efficiently and effectively exercise community leadership
  • Exercise its functions in a manner that is consistent with and actively promotes the principle of cultural diversity
  • Manage, protect, develop, restore, enhance and conserve the environment
  • Account for and manage assets for which it is responsible
  • Facilitate involvement of councillors, member of the public, users of facilities and services and council staff in the development, improvement and co-ordination of local government
  • Raise funds for local purposes by way of rates, charges and fees and investments, loans and grants
  • Keep the local community informed about its activities
  • Ensure that in the exercise of its regulatory functions it acts without bias
  • Act as a responsible employer.

Tasman District Council is a Unitary Authority

Tasman District Council is one of only five Unitary Authorities in the country.

There are two kinds of local government councils in New Zealand - the territorial authority and the regional authority. Each has different responsibilities. Most local governments in New Zealand are made up of a separate regional council with several territorial authorities (city or district councils) within its borders. The Wellington Regional Council, for example, has nine local councils in its region.

A unitary authority is a territorial authority that also has all the responsibility of a regional authority - unifying both roles in one local government body which covers one geographical area.

Territorial Authority Functions

  • Fresh water
  • Rubbish collection and disposal, litter control
  • Sewage treatment
  • Parks, reserves and leisure facilities
  • Roads and streetlighting
  • Control of land subdivision
  • Building and resource consents processing
  • Dog control
  • Libraries and museums
  • Food premises and liquor licensing

Regional Authority Functions

  • Biosecurity/pest control
  • Civil defence/emergency management
  • River and flood control
  • Environmental protection
  • Regional land transport
  • Water quantity and quality regulation
  • Maritime navigation and safety
  • Some building control and consents processing (for example, dams)

Functions of Both Types of Authority

  • Elections and public meetings
  • Local bylaw administration

One Rate, Two Roles

Most New Zealand property owners pay two rates - the territorial and the regional. Tasman ratepayers pay just one, a combined rate, as a result of the services being provided by one authority.

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