Skills and qualities you need to become an Elected Member
Ngā pūkenga me ngā āhuatanga me whai koe ina tū hei mema pōti
Elected members come from diverse backgrounds, and bring a range of different skills and experiences to the role.
Who can become a candidate
You don't need any specific qualifications to become a candidate in the local elections.
You just need to be:
- a New Zealand citizen
- aged 18 years or older
- enrolled on the electoral roll.
See How to become a candidate in the 2022 elections to read more information.
Skills and qualities that make a successful elected member
You will often work outside of normal working hours, in the evenings and on weekends.
Time management skills are essential as being an elected member and representing the views of all South Waikato communities requires a lot of preparation.
You will be expected to read agendas, reports (many complex) and minutes; strategic plans, policies, bylaws and financial reports; submissions, advice, recommendations and various other materials.
You will be expected to read agendas, minutes, plans, reports, submissions, advice, recommendations and various other materials.
You will need to be flexible and able to prioritise and manage your time effectively.
Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi
Knowledge of local iwi, te ao Māori and tikanga is an asset in your role as an Elected Member.
We are committed to meeting our responsibilities under Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi and our broader statutory obligations to Māori, as well as, developing our partnership with Māori.
- You will be in the public eye as a part of your role.
- You will often be called upon to speak publicly at meetings, events and give comments to media on certain issues.
- You will need to be able to listen to, relate to, and empathise with the people you represent, and consider their views in your decision-making.
- You should be able to confidently communicate your own views and opinions when speaking publicly and when engaging with the public.
- A large part of the role will involve technology, so you should know how to use email, MS Teams, Skype, Zoom, a smartphone and a computer or tablet.
Strategic thinking and decision-making
- You need to make use of a range of sources when making decisions. For example, you will get advice from council staff, listen to the views of your community, and consider your own experience and opinions.
- You need to be able to balance conflicting views, consider the financial and long-term consequences of decisions, and keep an open mind.
- You also need to understand how the Council works, so you can get an idea of what decisions you may be able to influence.
- As a part of your role, you need to build and maintain productive relationships and networks.
- You should be willing to respectfully engage with people from different cultures and disciplines, including community members and Council employees.
If you are elected other skills will be helpful: time management, listening, reading and comprehension, asking questions, seeking clarification, relationship building, influencing and negotiating, media skills, meeting procedures, understanding of different cultures, community involvement, financial understanding and the ability to be impartial, just, prudent, responsible, efficient, open, sincere and representative of all.