Local Government Act 2002

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Reprint as at 1 December 2014

Local Government Act 2002

Public Act2002 No 84
Date of assent24 December 2002
Commencementsee section 2


Changes authorised by subpart 2 of Part 2 of the Legislation Act 2012 have been made in this official reprint.

Note 4 at the end of this reprint provides a list of the amendments incorporated.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.


1 Title

2 Commencement

Part 1
Preliminary provisions

3 Purpose

4 Treaty of Waitangi

5 Interpretation

6 Meaning of council-controlled organisation and council organisation

7 Exempted organisations

8 Act binds the Crown

8A Provisions affecting application of amendments to this Act

Part 2
Purpose of local government, and role and powers of local authorities

9 Outline of Part

Subpart 1Purpose of local government

10 Purpose of local government

Subpart 2Role of local authorities and related matters

11 Role of local authority

11A Core services to be considered in performing role

12 Status and powers

13 Performance of functions under other enactments

14 Principles relating to local authorities

Subpart 3Co-ordination of responsibilities of local authorities

15 Triennial agreements

16 Significant new activities proposed by regional council

17 Transfer of responsibilities

17A Delivery of services

Subpart 4Minister and Secretary

18 Responsibilities, powers, and duties of Minister

19 Secretary

Part 3
Structure and reorganisation of local government

20 Outline of Part

Subpart 1Structure of local government

21 Local authorities

22 Minister is territorial authority in certain cases

23 Description of local government

Subpart 2Reorganisation of local authorities

24AA Purpose of local government reorganisation

24 Scope of local government reorganisation

24A Transitional modification or suspension of certain statutory requirements after issue of final proposal for reorganisation

25 Order in Council to give effect to final proposals and reorganisation schemes

26 Power to amend reorganisation schemes

26A Duties of local authorities in relation to local government reorganisation

27 Application to be called city council or district council

27A Change of name of unitary authorities

27B Orders in Council to be published in Gazette

Subpart 3Local Government Commission

28 Local Government Commission

29 Commission is body corporate with full powers

30 Functions and powers of Commission

31 Report to Minister on matters relating to local government

31A Minister's expectations of Commission in relation to local government reorganisation

32 Review of operation of Act and Local Electoral Act 2001

33 Membership of Commission

34 Commission is Commission of Inquiry

35 Evidence before Commission

36 Further provisions relating to Commission and its proceedings

37 Appeals against decisions of Commission

Part 4
Governance and management of local authorities and community boards

38 Outline of Part

Subpart 1Local authorities

Governance and management

39 Governance principles

40 Local governance statements

Governing bodies and chief executives

41 Governing bodies

41A Role and powers of mayors

42 Chief executive

Other governance matters

43 Certain members indemnified

44 Report by Auditor-General on loss incurred by local authority

45 Local authority to respond to Auditor-General

46 Members of local authority liable for loss

47 Members may be required to pay costs of proceeding in certain cases

48 Further provisions of Schedule 7

Subpart 1ALocal boards

48A Application

48B Interpretation

48C Purpose of local boards

48D Unitary authority decision making shared between governing body and local boards

48E Membership of local boards

48F Indemnification and liability of local board members

48G Status of local boards

48H Functions, duties, and powers of local boards

Decision making

48I General scheme

48J Decision-making responsibilities of governing body

48K Decision-making responsibilities of local boards

48L Principles for allocation of decision-making responsibilities of unitary authority

Local boards funding policy

48M Local boards funding policy

Local board plans and agreements

48N Local board plans

48O Local board agreements

48P Consultation required on proposed content of local board agreement

48Q Application of Schedule 7 to local boards and their members

Disputes between local boards and governing body

48R Disputes about allocation of decision-making responsibilities or proposed bylaws

48S Local Government Commission to determine disputes

Subpart 2Community boards

49 Establishment of community boards

50 Membership of community boards

51 Status of community boards

52 Role of community boards

53 Powers of community boards

54 Application of other provisions to community boards

Part 5
Council-controlled organisations and council organisations

55 Outline of Part


56 Consultation required before council-controlled organisation established


57 Appointment of directors

58 Role of directors of council-controlled organisations

59 Principal objective of council-controlled organisation

60 Decisions relating to operation of council-controlled organisations

61 Activities undertaken on behalf of local authorities

62 Prohibition on guarantees, etc

63 Restriction on lending to council-controlled trading organisation

Statements of intent

64 Statements of intent for council-controlled organisations

Monitoring and reporting

65 Performance monitoring

66 Half-yearly report

67 Annual report

68 Content of reports on operations of council-controlled organisations

69 Financial statements and auditor's report

70 Auditor-General is auditor of council-controlled organisations

71 Protection from disclosure of sensitive information

71A Application of Part to listed companies

72 Application of Act to related companies

Transfer of undertakings

73 Transfer of undertakings to council-controlled organisations

Application of Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and Ombudsmen Act 1975 to council-controlled organisations

74 Official information

Part 6
Planning, decision-making, and accountability

75 Outline of Part

Subpart 1Planning and decision-making

Significance and engagement policy

76AA Significance and engagement policy


76 Decision-making

77 Requirements in relation to decisions

78 Community views in relation to decisions

79 Compliance with procedures in relation to decisions

80 Identification of inconsistent decisions

81 Contributions to decision-making processes by Māori


82 Principles of consultation

82A Information requirements for consultation required under this Act

83 Special consultative procedure

83AA Summary of information

83A Combined or concurrent consultation

84 Special consultative procedure in relation to long-term plan [Repealed]

85 Use of special consultative procedure in relation to annual plan [Repealed]

86 Use of special consultative procedure in relation to making, amending, or revoking bylaws

87 Other use of special consultative procedure

88 Use of special consultative procedure in relation to change of mode of delivery of significant activity [Repealed]

89 Summary of information [Repealed]

90 Policy on significance [Repealed]

Community outcomes


91 Process for identifying community outcomes [Repealed]

92 Obligation to report against community outcomes [Repealed]


93 Long-term plan

93A Use of special consultative procedure in relation to long-term plan

93B Purpose of consultation document for long-term plan

93C Content of consultation document for adoption of long-term plan

93D Content of consultation document for amendment of long-term plan

93E Additional content of consultation document for adoption or amendment of long-term plan where section 97 applies to proposed decision

93F Form and manner of presentation of consultation document

93G Information to be adopted by local authority in relation to long-term plan and consultation document

94 Audit of long-term plan

95 Annual plan

95A Purpose and content of consultation document for annual plan

95B Combined or concurrent consultation on long-term plan and annual plan

96 Effect of resolution adopting long-term plan or annual plan

97 Certain decisions to be taken only if provided for in long-term plan

Subpart 2Reporting

98 Annual report

99 Audit of information in annual report and summary

99A Pre-election report

Subpart 3Financial management

100 Balanced budget requirement

101 Financial management

101A Financial strategy

101B Infrastructure strategy

102 Funding and financial policies

103 Revenue and financing policy

104 Liability management policy

105 Investment policy

106 Policy on development contributions or financial contributions

107 Policy on partnerships with private sector [Repealed]

108 Policy on remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land

109 Rates remission policy

110 Rates postponement policy

111 Information to be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice

Subpart 4Borrowing and security

112 Interpretation


113 Prohibition on borrowing in foreign currency

114 Constraints on receiver

115 Rates as security

116 Register of charges maintained by local authority

Protected transactions

117 Protected transactions

118 Certificate of compliance

119 Good faith in relation to protected transactions

120 Saving provision in respect of power of court

Miscellaneous provisions

121 The Crown not liable for debts

122 Disclosure document and loan documents to contain statement that the Crown does not guarantee financial products or loan

Part 7
Specific obligations and restrictions on local authorities and other persons

123 Outline of Part

Subpart 1Specific obligations to make assessments of water and sanitary services

124 Interpretation

125 Requirement to assess water and other sanitary services

126 Purpose of assessments

127 Information required in assessment of sanitary services [Repealed]

128 Process for making assessments [Repealed]

129 Extent of information in assessments [Repealed]

Subpart 2Obligations and restrictions relating to provision of water services

130 Obligation to maintain water services

Closure or transfer of small water services

131 Power to close down or transfer small water services

132 Eligibility to vote in referendum

133 Responsibility for conduct of referendum

134 Criteria for closure of water service

135 Criteria for transfer of water service

Contracting out of water services

136 Contracts relating to provision of water services

Joint local government arrangements and joint arrangements with other entities

137 Joint local government arrangements and joint arrangements with other entities

Subpart 3Restrictions on disposal of parks, reserves, and endowment properties

Parks and reserves

138 Restriction on disposal of parks (by sale or otherwise)

139 Protection of regional parks

139A Further provision in relation to regional parks

Endowment property

140 Restrictions on disposal of endowment property

141 Conditions applying to sale or exchange of endowment property

Subpart 4Public libraries

142 Obligation to provide free membership of libraries

Part 8
Regulatory, enforcement, and coercive powers of local authorities

Subpart 1Powers of local authorities to make bylaws

143 Outline of Part

144 Bylaws Act 1910

Powers of territorial authorities to make bylaws

145 General bylaw-making power for territorial authorities

146 Specific bylaw-making powers of territorial authorities

147 Power to make bylaws for alcohol control purposes

147A Criteria for making or continuing bylaws

147B Criteria for making resolutions relating to bylaws

147C Signage for areas in which bylaws for alcohol control purposes apply

148 Special requirements for bylaws relating to trade wastes

Power of regional councils to make bylaws

149 Power of regional councils to make bylaws

Power of local authorities to prescribe fees

150 Fees may be prescribed by bylaw

150A Costs of development contribution objections

Bylaws proposed by local boards

150B Local boards may propose bylaw

150C Local board must consult on proposed bylaw

150D Local board may propose amendment to bylaw

150E Local board may propose revocation of bylaw

150F Joint bylaw proposals

General provisions applying to bylaws made by a local authority

151 General provisions applying to bylaws made under this Act

152 Effect of Building Act 2004 on bylaws

The Crown bound by certain bylaws

153 The Crown bound by certain bylaws

154 Power of exemption

Procedure for making bylaws

155 Determination whether bylaw made under this Act is appropriate

156 Consultation requirements when making, amending, or revoking bylaws made under this Act

157 Public notice of bylaws and availability of copies

Review of bylaws made under this Act or the Local Government Act 1974

158 Review of bylaws made under this Act or the Local Government Act 1974

159 Further reviews of bylaws every 10 years

160 Procedure for and nature of review

160A Bylaw not reviewed within specified time frame revoked

Transfer of bylaw-making power

161 Transfer of bylaw-making power

Subpart 2Enforcement powers


162 Injunctions restraining commission of offences and breaches of bylaws

Removal of works

163 Removal of works in breach of bylaws

Seizure of property

164 Seizure of property not on private land

165 Seizure of property from private land

166 Conditions for exercise of warrant to seize property on private land

167 Return of property seized and impounded

168 Power to dispose of property seized and impounded

Powers of arrest, search, and seizure in relation to liquor

169 Powers of arrest, search, and seizure in relation to alcohol bans

Matters of proof in relation to bylaws prohibiting alcohol in public place

169A Proving substance is alcohol in relation to alleged breach of alcohol ban

170 Conditions relating to power of search

Powers of entry

171 General power of entry

172 Power of entry for enforcement purposes

173 Power of entry in cases of emergency

174 Authority to act

Recovery for damage

175 Power to recover for damage by wilful or negligent behaviour

176 Costs of remedying damage arising from breach of bylaw

Administration of enforcement functions

177 Appointment of enforcement officer

Powers of enforcement officers

178 Enforcement officers may require certain information

Administration of enforcement may be contracted out

179 Contracting out administration of enforcement

Enforcement of regional council bylaws

180 Enforcement and administration of regional council bylaws

Subpart 3Powers in relation to private land

Construction of works

181 Construction of works on private land

Powers of entry

182 Power of entry to check utility services

Powers relating to owners and occupiers of land

183 Removal of fire hazards

184 Rights and obligations if notice given under section 183(1)

Default by owner or occupier

185 Occupier may act if owner of premises makes default

186 Local authority may execute works if owner or occupier defaults

Recovery of costs

187 Recovery of cost of works by local authority

188 Liability for payments in respect of private land

Compulsory acquisition of land

189 Power to acquire land

190 Compensation payable by local authority for land taken or injuriously affected


191 Local authority not authorised to create nuisance

Subpart 4Powers in relation to water services and trade wastes

Water supply

192 Wastage of water

193 Power to restrict water supply

194 Power to stop water services [Repealed]

Discharge of sewage and trade wastes

195 Discharge of sewage

196 Discharge of trade wastes

Subpart 5Development contributions

197AA Purpose of development contributions

197AB Development contributions principles

197 Interpretation

Contributions may be required by territorial authorities

198 Power to require contributions for developments

198A Restrictions on power to require contributions for reserves

199 Basis on which development contributions may be required

199A Right to reconsideration of requirement for development contribution

199B Territorial authority to notify outcome of reconsideration

199C Right to object to assessed amount of development contribution

199D Scope of development contribution objections

199E Procedure for development contribution objections

199F Appointment and register of development contributions commissioners

199G Removal of development contributions commissioners

199H Who may decide development contribution objections

199I Development contribution objection hearings

199J Consideration of development contribution objection

199K Additional powers of development contributions commissioners

199L Liability of development contributions commissioners

199M Residual powers of territorial authority relating to development contribution objection decision

199N Objector’s right to apply for judicial review unaffected

199O Territorial authority to provide administrative support for development contributions commissioners

199P Interim effect of development contribution objection

Conditions relevant to requirement for contributions

200 Limitations applying to requirement for development contribution

Development contributions policy

201 Contents of development contributions policy

201A Schedule of assets for which development contributions will be used

202 Contents of section 201 schedule

202A Reconsideration process to be in development contributions policy

203 Maximum development contributions not to be exceeded

Use of development contributions

204 Use of development contributions by territorial authority

205 Use of development contributions for reserves

206 Alternative uses of development contributions for reserves

207 Power to use money collected and held under Local Government Act 1974 or Resource Management Act 1991

Development agreements

207A Request to enter development agreement

207B Response to request for development agreement

207C Content of development agreement

207D Effect of development agreement

207E Restrictions on use of development agreement

207F Amendment or termination of development agreement

Powers to recover unpaid development contributions

208 Powers of territorial authority if development contributions not paid or made

Refund of development contributions

209 Refund of money and return of land if development does not proceed

210 Refund of money or return of land if not applied to specified reserve purposes

211 Application of other Acts

Subpart 6Removal orders

212 Interpretation

Application of rules of court

213 Application of District Courts Rules to removal orders

214 Scope of rules made under section 213

Application for removal order

215 Application for removal order

Making of removal orders

216 Circumstances when court may make removal order

Objection to making of removal order

217 Right of objection

218 Consideration of objections

Right of appeal

219 Appeal to High Court final

Compliance with removal order

220 Compliance with removal order

221 Limits to power of entry to enforce compliance

Application of certain other Acts

222 Provisions of Resource Management Act 1991 and Building Act 2004 continue to apply

223 Relationship with Fencing Act 1978

Part 9
Offences, penalties, infringement offences, and legal proceedings

Subpart 1Offences

Offences relating to water

224 Offence relating to water wastage

225 Offences relating to waterworks

226 Liability for cost of damage

Offences relating to water meters

227 Offences relating to water meters

Offences relating to water races and private drains

228 Offences relating to water races

Offence relating to obstruction of enforcement officers and others

229 Obstruction of enforcement officers or agents of local authority

Offences by occupiers or owners

230 Offences by occupiers

231 Offences in relation to notices sent to occupiers or owners

Offences relating to property damage

232 Damage to local authority works or property

Miscellaneous offences

233 Offence relating to advertising

234 Unauthorised use of coat of arms

Offences committed by members and officers of local authorities

235 Offences by members of local authorities and local boards

236 Penalty for acting without warrant

Offences committed by members and officers of Remuneration Authority

237 Offence by member or officer of Remuneration Authority

Offences against Act

238 Offence of failing to comply with Act

Offences against bylaws

239 Offences in respect of breaches of bylaws (other than alcohol bans)

239A Breaches of alcohol bans


240 Defence to offences under this Act

Time for filing charging document

241 Time for filing charging document

Subpart 2Penalties

242 Penalties for offences

Subpart 3Infringement offences

243 Interpretation

244 Proceedings for infringement offences

245 Issue of infringement notices

245A Constables may require certain information

246 Entitlement to infringement fees

Subpart 4Legal proceedings


247 Proceedings in District Court

Judges not disqualified

248 Judges not disqualified for being ratepayers


249 Representation of local authority in proceedings


250 Service of legal proceedings on local authority


251 Evidence of ownership, vesting, or control

Recovery of debts

252 Recovery of debts

Part 10
Powers of Minister to act in relation to local authorities

253 Outline of Part

254 How this Part works

255 Application of this Part

256 Interpretation

Subpart 1Ministerial powers of assistance and intervention

Minister may require information from local authority

257 Minister may require information

Minister may appoint Crown Review Team

258 Minister may appoint Crown Review Team

258A How Crown Review Team appointed

Minister may appoint Crown Observer

258B Minister may appoint Crown Observer

258C How Crown Observer appointed

Minister may appoint Crown Manager

258D Minister may appoint Crown Manager

258E How Crown Manager appointed

Minister may appoint Commission

258F Minister may appoint Commission

258G How Commission appointed

258H Application of this and other enactments during Commission's term of appointment

258I Minister may postpone general election when appointing Commission

258J Timing of election following postponed election

258K Local authority members remain in office but must not act during term of Commission

258L Extraordinary vacancy when Commission appointed or during term of Commission

Minister may call general election

258M Minister may call general election

Subpart 2General provisions applying to Ministerial powers conferred under subpart 1

258N Minister may consult any person

258O Minister must publish list in Gazette

258P Minister must have regard to published list

258Q Notice to local authority of proposed appointment of Ministerial body

258R Notice to local authority of proposed general election

258S Notification of appointment of Ministerial body

258T Notification of change of membership of Ministerial body

258U Final report of Ministerial body

258V Remuneration and expenses of Ministerial appointees

258W Recovery of expenses from local authority

258X Minister may terminate Ministerial body or Ministerial appointee

258Y Protection from liability for Ministerial appointees

258Z Disclosure of information held by local authority

258ZA Decisions and directions of Crown Manager or Commission remain in force until local authority decides otherwise

Part 11
Regulations, other Orders in Council, and rules


259 Regulations

259A Levy to fund rules for performance measures

259B Power to refund levy

259C Auditor-General must report on disclosures made under certain regulations

259D Regulations may incorporate financial reporting standards by reference

259E Effect of amendments to, or replacement of, standards incorporated by reference in regulations

259F Proof of standards incorporated by reference

259G Effect of expiry or revocation of standards incorporated by reference

259H Access to standards incorporated by reference

259I Application of Legislation Act 2012 to standards incorporated by reference

259J Application of Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989 to standards incorporated by reference [Repealed]

Other Orders in Council

260 Amendment of Schedule 2 by Order in Council

261 Circumstances when Order in Council may extend time or validate action taken

Rules for performance measures

261A Purpose of rules specifying performance measures

261B Secretary must make rules specifying performance measures

261C Status of rules

Incorporation by reference

261D Incorporation of documents by reference in rules

261E Proof of material incorporated by reference

261F Effect of change to, or expiry of, material incorporated by reference

261G Consultation on proposal to incorporate material by reference

261H Access to material incorporated by reference

Part 12
Consequential amendments, repeals, revocations, transitional provisions, and savings

Consequential amendments, repeals, and revocations

262 Consequential amendments

263 Water services

264 Amendment to Personal Property Securities Act 1999

265 New Schedule added to Receiverships Act 1993

266 Repeals

267 Repeal of enactments relating to special consultative procedure

268 Repeal of Local Government (Prohibition of Liquor in Public Places) Amendment Act 2001

269 Repeal of spent local Acts

270 Repeal of provisions relating to regional parks of Wellington Regional Council

271 Lake Taupo Regulations 1976

272 Revocations

Transitional provisions

273 First triennial agreement

274 First local governance statement

275 First policy on appointment of directors

276 First statement of intent and report and accounts of existing local authority trading enterprises

277 First statement of intent of other council-controlled organisations

278 First policy on significance

279 Long-term council community plan [Repealed]

280 Long-term plan for period beginning on 1 July 2006

281 Annual plan [Repealed]

282 Certain decisions to be taken only if provided for in annual plan or special consultative procedure used [Repealed]

283 Annual reports

284 First annual plan

285 First assessment of water and sanitary services

286 Waste management plan

287 Special consultative procedure

288 Decision-making processes commenced before enactment [Repealed]

289 Special orders

289A Special orders on or after 1 July 2003

290 Development contributions

291 Reorganisation proposals

292 Existing charges

293 Bylaws

294 Standing orders

295 Communities and community boards

296 Chief executive

297 Members of Commission

298 Community trusts

299 Borrowing from sinking fund

300 Cancellation of part of loan in respect of which sinking fund is held

301 Consent required for release of sinking fund

302 Provisions relating to Public Trust and Board of Trustees of National Provident Fund

303 Public Bodies Leases Act 1969

304 Sale of land purchased for commercial or industrial purposes

305 Local Authorities (Employment Protection) Act 1963

306 Local Authorities Loans Act 1956

307 Existing proceedings

308 Existing causes of action


309 Saving

310 Saving in respect of bylaws of Transit New Zealand

311 Savings in respect of bylaws made in respect of government roads

312 Savings and validation in respect of remuneration, allowances, and expenses of elected members

313 Saving in respect of Infrastructure Auckland [Repealed]

314 Prohibition of vehicles and consumption or possession of intoxicating liquor in public place

Schedule 1AA
Application, savings, and transitional provisions relating to amendments to this Act made by the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014

Schedule 1
Acts under which responsibilities, powers, and duties are conferred or imposed on Minister of Local Government and Secretary for Local Government

Schedule 2
Local authorities

Schedule 3
Reorganisation of local authorities

Schedule 4
Provisions relating to Local Government Commission and its proceedings

Schedule 5
Appeals against decisions of Local Government Commission

Schedule 6
Constitution of communities

Schedule 7
Local authorities, local boards, community boards, and their members

Schedule 8
Statements of intent

Schedule 9
Council-controlled organisations and transfer of undertakings

Schedule 10
Long-term plans, annual plans, and annual reports

Schedule 11
Matters relating to rates relief on Māori freehold land

Schedule 12
Conditions of constructing or undertaking works on private land without the owner's consent

Schedule 13
Methodology for calculating development contributions

Schedule 13A
Procedure relating to development contribution objections

Schedule 14
Procedure for making removal orders

Schedule 15
Powers of Minister


Schedule 16
Consequential amendments

Schedule 17
New Schedule of Receiverships Act 1993

Schedule 18
Enactments repealed

Schedule 19
Local Acts repealed

Schedule 20
Orders in Council revoked

Disability (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Act 2008

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2010

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2012

Local Government (Alcohol Reform) Amendment Act 2012

Reprint notes