Thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversation. We are now considering your comments.

Council has updated its Election Period and Public Transparency policies to ensure compliance with the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act).

This year’s election period is from 24 September to 26 October 2024.

Under Section 69 of the Act, Council is required to include in its adopted Governance Rules an Election Period Policy outlining prohibited Council decisions during the election period.

Section 57 of the Act outlines the requirements of Council’s Public Transparency Policy which:

  • describe the ways in which Council information is to be made publicly available
  • specify the Council information that must be publicly available, including all policies, plans and reports required under the Act or any other Act
  • include any other matters prescribed by the regulations.

Council is sharing both updated policies with the community for comment. A summary of each set of changes is available below and you can view the updated policies in the document library.

What are the updates?

Election Period Policy

The Election Period Policy outlines the responsibilities and expectations of candidates and the Council administration. During the election period it is expected that:

  • Council and Council Officers will not make prohibited or inappropriate decisions contrary to the Election Period Policy or the Act.
  • Council will limit public consultation, public meetings, civic and ceremonial events and Advisory Committees in order to facilitate Council’s day-to-day business while avoiding any express or implied links to the election.
  • A Councillor or Council Officer will not print, publish or distribute electoral matter contrary to the Act.
  • Council resources, events and activities must not be used at any time for election campaign purposes, or in a way that might improperly influence the result of an election.
  • Information, assistance and advice by Council will be equally and transparently available and accessible to all candidates.

The Election Period Policy has been reviewed and updated to reflect the requirements of section 69 of the Act so responsibilities and expectations of both candidates and council administration are clearly outlined.


Amendments proposed


  • Inclusion of prohibited decisions as outlined in the Act.


  • Inclusion of key terms as outlined within the Act and appropriate to the Policy.


  • Inclusion of upcoming election period commencing from 24 September to 26 October 2024.

Election Period Policy

  • Inclusion of inappropriate decisions, which are not to be made during the election period.
  • Inclusion of Officer Delegated Authority Decision framework.
  • Inclusion of invalid decisions as defined under section 69(4) of the Act.
  • Clarification of Councillor-candidate obligations.

Election Period Statements

  • Amended to reflect prohibited decisions under the Act.

Council Resources

  • Definition of Council Resources updated.
  • Clarification of provisions regarding role of Council officers and use of Council equipment and resources.

Council Publications

  • Inclusion of prohibited publication materials.
  • Removal of CEO certification for publications.
  • Updated provisions regarding council staff responsibilities for Council website and social media.
  • Clarification on various elements of Council’s approach to media channels and communications.

Access to Council Information

  • Clarification of provisions relating to Council information and equality for candidates.

Public Consultation, Meetings and Events

  • Clarification of provisions relating to consultation, meetings, events.

Candidate Information

  • Inclusion of expectations of Council Officers and members of advisory committees standing as a candidate.
  • Inclusion of improper conduct provisions for breaches under the Act.


  • Inclusion of reference to community engagement requirement under section 60(4) of the Act.

References and Related Legislation

  • Inclusion of relevant legislation and council policies.

Public Transparency Policy

The following public transparency principles, as per section 58 of the Act, include that:

  • Council decision making processes must be transparent, except when the Council is dealing with information that is confidential by virtue of this Act or any other Act.
  • Council information must be publicly available unless:
    • the information is confidential by virtue of this Act or any other Act or
    • public availability of the information would be contrary to the public interest.
  • Council information must be understandable and accessible to all members of the community.
  • Public awareness of the availability of Council information must be facilitated.

The review of the Public Transparency Policy has been carried out in accordance with its policy review schedule. Proposed amendments are outlined below.


Amendments proposed


  • Align with the Act.
  • Minor alignment to current organisation structure.


  • Inclusion of new definitions.

Public Transparency Policy

  • Clarify availability of identified Council information.
  • Clarify accessibility of identified Council information.
  • Define ‘not in public interest’.
  • Clarify Councillor access to information.
  • Clarify process for accessing Council information.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Minor alignment to current organisation structure.


  • Inclusion of engagement requirements under Council’s Community Engagement Policy.

Appendix 1

  • Inclusion of a summary of Council information to be made publicly available to the public either on Council’s website or upon request.