Elected Government Representative Māngai ā-Pōtitanga
Elected government representatives are elected by the people of a specific area to help govern a city, region or country.
Elected government representatives may do some or all of the following:
- act on behalf of individuals or groups
- study reports, proposals, complaints and petitions
- present, debate and vote on new laws and policies
- attend meetings and public events, make speeches and give interviews
- work with officials to develop policy.
Some elected government representatives also hold extra positions, such as junior or senior whip (who manage a political party's members of parliament).
Useful experience for elected government representatives includes:
- work as a local government representative
- work as a union official or delegate
- work for a political party or pressure group
- debating experience.
Any work in economics, law, education or another specialist field, such as health or social work, is also useful.
Elected government representatives need to be:
- excellent communicators and debaters
- skilled in making decisions
- good at planning and organising
- able to evaluate and interpret information
- able to inspire confidence and trust in others.
Elected government representatives need to have knowledge of:
- political, economic, social and cultural aspects of New Zealand
- the region they are representing
- official parliamentary procedures.
Knowledge of tikanga Māori (culture and customs) is also useful.
Elected government representatives:
- usually work full time, though some, particularly community board members, work part time and do other jobs
- work in offices, council chambers, at parliament and in the communities they represent
- may travel around the country and internationally to attend parliament, conferences, seminars and meetings.
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become an elected government representative. However, te reo Māori, English, economics, and social studies are useful.
Elected government representatives may progress to become senior representatives of their council or political party.
Elected government representatives may specialise as a:
- Member of Parliament
- Members of parliament (MPs) represent the electorate in the House of Representatives (parliament). There are 70 electorate MPs, chosen by voters in the area, and 50 list MPs.
- Local Government Representative
- Local government representatives form a council, which includes a mayor or chairperson, or a community board. There are also local body board members, who represent the electorate on boards such as district health boards.
Years Of Training
To become an elected government representative, you need to be:
- at least 18 years old
- a New Zealand citizen
- enrolled on the parliamentary electoral roll
- elected by your electorate, or be elected from a party list.
Members of parliament representing a political party are chosen by the party for an electorate or a list seat.