Selwyn District Council serves a fast-growing population of approximately 50,000 (estimate, March 2015) across an area of 6,420 square kilometres which includes many farms and small towns.

The Council consists of 12 elected representatives – a mayor and 11 councillors - who are voted in by residents and ratepayers every three years. The elected representatives are drawn from four wards: Malvern (main town Darfield); Selwyn Central (main town Rolleston); Springs (main town Lincoln); and Ellesmere (main town Leeston).

Council Building

The District Council is actually the second tier of local government. Above it are:

  • the Canterbury Regional Council (known as Environment Canterbury) which encompasses 10 South Island local authorities from Kaikoura to Waitaki and whose elected members set the policies for managing the air, water and land environment throughout the Canterbury Region; and

  • the Canterbury Area Health Board, whose elected members set the policies for managing Canterbury's public hospitals and related services.

Below the District Council is a third tier of local government - the community board. Malvern Ward has a community board. These boards are delegated by the Council to oversee certain local services and facilities, in collaboration with their local Community committees (see below). The Ellesmere, Springs, and Selwyn Central wards have no community boards, Council oversees their local services directly, in collaboration with local Community committees.

Below the community boards is the fourth tier of local government in Selwyn - the Local Community Committee. Local Community Committees include township or residents committees, hall management committees and reserve management committees. These committees advise Council on service and facility needs in their town or community.

If you wish to make a request for information from the Council, this would be covered by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA). Our LGOIMA Guide [PDF, 2021 KB] shows you how the Council will process requests.

Code of Conduct

The Council adopts a Code of Conduct [PDF, 431 KB] to provide guidance on the standards of behaviour expected of members of the Selwyn District Council. This document is reviewed regularly.

Local Governance Statement

The Local Governance Statement [PDF, 347 KB] is required to be produced by the Council under Section 40 of the Local Government Act 2002.

The Local Governance Statement document covers information about the following:

  • functions
  • responsibilities
  • activities
  • legislation
  • electoral system
  • ward system
  • council governance structure
  • community boards
  • representation review
  • Maori Wards and constituencies
  • roles and conduct
  • conduct of meetings
  • management structures and relationships
  • consultation policies
  • requests for official information
  • policies for liaising with Maori
  • equal employment opportunities policy
  • key approved planning and policy documents
  • systems for public access to the Council and its elected members.

Purpose of Local Government

Section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002 states that the purpose of Local Government in New Zealand is to enable democratic local decision-making and action by, and on behalf of communities; and to promote the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future.

The role of a local authority is to give effect, in relation to its district or region, to the purpose of local government stated in section 10; and to perform the duties, and exercise the rights, conferred on it by or under the Local Government Act 2002 or any other enactment.

These statements reflect a number of related ideas. These are:

  • Democracy
  • Effectiveness
  • Local decision-making and local accountability
  • A broad concern with the well-being of communities

The Act sets out a series of principles relating to local authorities. These are overarching principles that apply when exercising any power or performing any duty under the Act. They do not require local authorities to undertake specific activities but more in the nature of mandatory considerations or a list of things for local authorities to turn their minds to.

  • Open, transparent, accountable conduct of business
  • Effective and efficient conduct of business
  • Consideration of community views
  • Recognition of diversity
  • Interests of future communities
  • Promoting well-being
  • Involvement
  • Cooperation with other bodies
  • Sound business practice
  • Prudent stewardship