Background

A Councilor is not capable of undertaking the role of Councillor until they have taken the oath or affirmation of office.

New requirements under the Local Government Act 2020

The Local Government (Governance & Integrity) Regulations 2020 can be found here. The Act and Regulations provide the manner and wording of the oath or affirmation.

Councillors have the option of taking an oath (this may include with a Bible or Koran or other religious document in hand) or making an affirmation which is a non-religious based declaration. An oath may be taken or an affirmation may be made in the accordance with the form outlined below:

Form of oath

I (NAME) swear (or promise) by Almighty God (or the person may name a god recognised by the person's religion) that I will undertake the duties of the office of Councillor in the best interests of the municipal community. I will abide by the Councillor Code of Conduct and uphold the standards of conduct set out in the Councillor Code of Conduct. I will faithfully and impartially carry out and exercise the functions, powers, authorities and discretions vested in me under the Local Government Act 2020 and any other Act to the best of my skill and judgement.

Form of affirmation

I (NAME) solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will undertake the duties of the office of Councillor in the best interests of the municipal community. I will abide by the Councillor Code of Conduct and uphold the standards of conduct set out in the Councillor Code of Conduct. I will faithfully and impartially carry out and exercise the functions, powers, authorities and discretions vested in me under the Local Government Act 2020 and any other Act to the best of my skill and judgement.

The following table provides the Parts of the Act that are new requirements or have changed. These are shown in bold.

Section 30 Oath or affirmation of office** (replaces section 63)

(1) A person elected to be a Councillor is not capable of acting as a Councillor until the person has taken the oath or affirmation of office in the manner prescribed by the regulations.

(2) The oath or affirmation of office must be—

(a) administered by the Chief Executive Officer; and

(b) dated and signed before the Chief Executive Officer; and

(c) recorded in the minutes of the Council, whether or not the oath or affirmation was taken at a Council meeting.

Clause 31 Failure to take oath or affirmation of office** (replaces section 64)

The office of a Councillor becomes vacant if a person elected to be a Councillor does not take the oath or affirmation of office within 3 months after the day on which the person was declared elected.

**Local Government Act 1989 requirements for the code of conduct are addressed separately in the Local Government Act 2020 under Part 6 Division 5.

Commencement of arrangements

Local Government Act 2020 –

Section 30 and 31

commence 24 October 2020

Local Government Act 1989 -

Sections 63 and 64

repealed 24 October 2020

Transitional arrangements

Not applicable.