- This Code of Conduct is a requirement made under Clause 15 of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002. Councillors must note that they are legally bound to comply with the provisions of this Code of Conduct.
- The Code of Conduct applies to Councillors in their dealings with:
- each other.
- Council officers.
- the public.
- the media.
- Without good working relationships any democratically elected organisation will have difficulty succeeding. No council will be effective unless mutual respect exists between the public, elected leaders and management staff. This Code seeks to facilitate more effective working relationships. Resolution of alleged breaches of the Code is to be made in the interests of the good governance of the Council, not for the personal interests of Councillors.
- The objectives of this Code are to enhance:
- the effectiveness of the Council as the territorial authority with statutory responsibilities for the good government of the City of Christchurch.
- the credibility and accountability of the Council within its community.
- mutual trust, respect and tolerance between Councillors as a group and between Councillors and Council officers.
- This Code of Conduct seeks to achieve its objectives by agreeing upon:
- general principles of conduct for Councillors.
- general standards of behaviour.
- specific codes of conduct applying to particular circumstances or matters.
- This Code shall apply to Councillors acting in their capacity as a Councillor, and not as private citizens.
- In this Code the word “Councillors” includes the Mayor.
- This Code does not apply to the members of the Community Boards of Christchurch City unless Community Boards choose to adopt it. Christchurch City Council Community Boards have decided to adopt their own Codes of Conduct.
- This Code is based on the following principles of public life.
- Councillors should serve only the interests of the district as a whole and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any one person.
Honesty and integrity
- Councillors should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.
- Councillors should make decisions on merit including making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits. Councillors should also note that, once elected, their primary duty is to the interests of the entire district, not the ward that elected them.
- Councillors should be accountable to the public for their actions and the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, and should cooperate fully and honestly with the scrutiny appropriate to their particular office.
- Councillors should be as open as possible about their actions and those of the Council, and should be prepared to justify their actions.
- Councillors can and will take account of the views of others, but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them, and act in accordance with those conclusions.
Respect for others
- Councillors shall not discriminate unlawfully against any person on the grounds of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or opinions and beliefs. They should treat people with respect and should respect the impartiality and integrity of the Council’s staff.
Duty to uphold the law
- Councillors must uphold the law, and on all occasions, act in accordance with the trust the public places in them.
- Councillors collectively must ensure that the Council uses resources prudently and for lawful purposes, and that the Council maintains sufficient resources to meet its statutory obligations.
- Councillors should promote and support these principles by example, and should always endeavour to act collectively in the best interests of the community.
- Councillors shall respect the confidentiality of any confidential information they may receive.
Attached as Appendix 1 is a summary of the legislative requirements that have some bearing on the duties and conduct of Councillors that have not already been referred to in this Code.