Mayoral Forum

The members of the Mayoral Forum are the mayors of the 10 territorial authorities in Canterbury and the chair of the regional council (Environment Canterbury). Chief Executives attend Mayoral Forum meetings to support their mayor/chair and implement decisions through the Chief Executives Forum and other regional forums and working groups.

Pictured: Canterbury Mayoral Forum, 25 Nov 2022 – Back row, L to R: Peter Scott (Environment Canterbury Chair), Dan Gordon (Waimakariri District), Sam Broughton (Selwyn District), Neil Brown (Ashburton District) Craig Mackle (Kaikōura District). Front row, L to R: Craig Rowley (Waimate District), Anne Munro (Mackenzie District), Marie Black (Hurunui District – Deputy Chair), Nigel Bowen (Timaru District – Chair), Gary Kircher (Waitaki District), Phil Mauger (Christchurch City).

Mayoral Forum membership

The 11 member councils are Kaikōura District, Hurunui District, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Ashburton District, Timaru District, Mackenzie District, Waimate District, Waitaki District (part of which lies within the Canterbury Regional Council area), and Environment Canterbury.

The Chair of the Forum in this local government term (2022–25) is Nigel Bowen, Mayor of Timaru District. The Deputy Chair is Marie Black, Mayor of Hurunui District.

The Canterbury Local Authorities’ Triennial Agreement 2022–25 (233KB PDF) was ratified in February 2023.

What does the Mayoral Forum do?

The Mayoral Forum provides a mechanism for local authorities in Canterbury to:

  • stand together and speak with ‘one strong voice’ for Canterbury and its communities
  • identify and prioritise issues of mutual concern and foster co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration to address them
  • advance regional economic and social development through leadership, facilitation and advocacy
  • work together, and with central government and other key sector leaders in Canterbury, to meet the needs and expectations of our communities at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers.

The Forum meets quarterly and is supported by a permanent secretariat hosted by Environment Canterbury.

Regional strategies

The Forum launched its Plan for Canterbury 2023-2025 in April 2023. Building on the previous Plan for Canterbury 2020-2022, this Plan summaries the interests and priorities of local government leaders for Cantabrians focused on three priority areas:

The Forum’s 2020-2022 Plan for Canterbury replaced the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy (2MB PDF) and set out the Forum’s vision for the region. It focuses on five priorities where it can make a difference through leadership, advocacy and enabling partnerships.

  • Sustainable environmental management of our habitats (land, air, water and ecosystems), focusing on land use and freshwater management.
  • Shared economic prosperity – through sustainable, value-added primary production, high-value manufacturing, high-value tourism, growing attracting and retaining a skilled workforce and attracting new businesses.
  • Better freight transport options – mode shift to optimise movement of long-distance freight by rail and coastal shipping to improve road safety, decrease carbon emissions and reduce wear and tear on the region’s roads.
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation – reducing our carbon footprint, building community resilience and making our infrastructure as strong as it can be.
  • Three Waters services – securing safe drinking-water supplies, and ensuring that infrastructure, institutional arrangements and regulation enable the sustainable management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater in Canterbury.

Read a summary of the achievements of the Mayoral Forum during 2019-2022 (422KB PDF).

In 2008, the Mayoral Forum initiated the Canterbury Water Management Strategy (CWMS) with its vision:

To enable present and future generations to gain the greatest social, economic, recreational and cultural benefits from our water resources within an environmentally sustainable framework.

Environment Canterbury leads the implementation of the CWMS with Ngāi Tahu and the region’s territorial authorities and reports quarterly to the Mayoral Forum.

Working together on the CWMS built relationships and trust between local authorities in Canterbury. This laid the foundation for working together on the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy, launched in August 2015 and refreshed for the 2017–19 local government term.