Regional & Local Government
New Zealand is divided into 17 regions which are divided further into a total of around 70 districts and cities. Twelve of the regions are administered by a regional councils whose responsibilities include ensuring sustainable regional well being, the development of regional policy, the issuing of environmental resource and other consents, regional emergency management and civil defence preparedness. Four regions are administered by “unitary authorities” which combine the functions of a regional council and a territorial authority, and one (Chatham Islands) has a special territorial authority. A territorial authority is a district or city council, which forms the next tier of government underneath regional councils. Territorial authorities share some of their powers and responsibilities with regional councils, and are involved in managing local infrastructure including town planning, urban road management and community services including public health and safety and refuse collection. There are over 1,400 elected councillors and mayors in New Zealand and nearly 27,000 local government employees.