The Governance Role Of The Waimate District Council
The Council has the overall responsibility and accountability for the management of the Council's activities that support and enhance community outcomes.
This responsibility includes:
- Producing and maintaining the Long Term Plan (LTP) that outlines the strategic direction for this district as jointly formulated by the community and council.
- Defining and executing the services and activities undertaken to support the LTP.
- Managing principle risks that may hinder successful achievement of the plan.
- Monitoring progress on delivery of the LTP.
- Administering various regulations and up-holding the law.
- Ensuring the integrity of internal management control systems.
- Safe guarding the public interest.
- Reporting to ratepayers.
- Ensuring effective succession of elected members.
There are five types of meetings that Councillors are required to attend. These are:
Ordinary Council Meetings
Ordinary Council Meetings operate on a six weekly meeting structure..
The purpose of the ordinary Council Meetings is to devise District Policy, make decisions that enhance the community's well-being, monitor management activities and to ensure the affairs of the Council are being conducted in accordance with legislative mandate and Council objectives.
Extraordinary Council Meetings
Extraordinary meetings of Council are called from time to time for specific purposes such as the adoption of rates or to meet a deadline that the normal full Council meeting does not effectively match. Otherwise they are similar in format to a full Council Meeting
Emergency Council Meetings
Emergency meetings are called rarely and must have a specific urgent reason for taking place. They are only called if there is insufficient time for an Extraordinary Meeting to be called. The requirements for public advertisement are relaxed but the results of these meetings must be fully publicised.
Council has three Committees which report to the Council and operate on a six-weekly cycle with membership consisting of all elected members. These are:
Environmental Services and Finance Committee: Chairperson Cr S. Cain; Deputy Chairperson Cr J. Guilford. Functions: Regulatory and Environmental Services, Building Control, Dog and Animal Control, Property, Investments and Finance, Forestry, Audit and Risk, Information Technology
District Infrastructure Committee: Chairperson Cr M. Morton; Deputy Chairperson Cr T. O'Connor. Functions: Three Waters, Waste Management, Roading and Footpaths, Rural Fire, Parks and Public Spaces, Swimming, Camping, Cemeteries.
Community Services and Development Committee: Chairperson: Cr P. Collins; Deputy Chairperson Cr D. Owen. Functions: Library, Promotions, Resource Management, Strategy, Governance - Community
Council's Audit and Risk Committee meets four times a year and consists of an Independent Chair S. Halliwell; Deputy Chair Cr S. Paul, Cr D. Anderson and Cr J. Guilford. The aim of the Audit and Risk Committee (the Committee) is to give assurance to Elected Members, management and the public that Council processes operate in an efficient and effective manner and ensure the integrity of all transactions.
Sub Committee Meetings
Sub Committees are special groups, usually created for a specific activity. Their meetings are held whenever convenient and whenever their operations demand it.
Representation, Community Support, Civil Defence Emergency Management, Economic Development,
Agendas for all scheduled public meetings are available from the council offices at least two working days before each meeting.
Public Excluded Sessions
All meetings may have a publicly excluded session otherwise known as "In Committee", where public and representatives of the press are required to vacate the meeting. However such sessions can only be called under a set of circumstances limited to the following:
- To protect individuals privacy.
- To protect information that would disclose trade secrets.
- To protect information that would unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of individuals.
- To protect information which is subject to an obligation of confidence.
- To avoid measures which would reduce the health and safety of members of the public.
- To avoid causing material loss to the members of the public.
- To protect people against harassment.
- To maintain legal professional privilege.
- To enable the WDC to carry out commercial activities and negotiations.
- To prevent the disclosure of official information for improper use.
The Council is required to make decisions that range from day-to-day operational matters through to those surrounding the whole Community's long term vision.
The processes for dealing with decision-making require us to look at each issue and then see which of the following two groups it most closely fits into:
- Those that require community consultation and/or community knowledge to complete.
- Those which the Council can proceed to make without the need for specific consultation.
Each group has its own requirements for how a decision will be reached and greatly different expected resulting timescales. Council has policies in place setting out how it operates and/or interacts with the wider community on certain issues.
When the community must be consulted, the process used is known as the Special Consultative Procedure. This is, in reality, not a fixed process, but rather, a group of possible methods from which one or more are chosen to fit the specific circumstances.