Skip to main content
Critical alert


Together, we can stop the spread! For the latest updates and resources, visit the Government’s dedicated website:

Close alert

The work we do

Waikato Regional Council is a local government body.  We work with communities, iwi and industry to sustainably manage our natural resources, enabling a strong economy and a high quality of life for all.

Our activities help look after our region's water, soil, air, geothermal areas and coasts - so we can all enjoy these precious resources for generations to come.

The video clip below tells you more about the work we do and the value it provides. Sit back and watch!

Who decides what we do?

The people of the Waikato region are represented by 14 elected council members. These representatives work in committees and make decisions and/or recommendations on a variety of matters which are then reported to or decided on by the full council once a month.

Waikato Regional Council's work, functions and priorities are guided by legislative requirements and by the decisions made by your councillor representatives.

A brief history

Waikato Regional Council was established in 1989.  The council was formed with the amalgamation of 40 former authorities including:

  • 2 catchment boards
  • 3 united councils
  • 12 noxious plants authorities
  • 11 pest destruction boards
  • 12 drainage boards.

The aim of this change was to make local government more efficient, fair and accountable.

Originally the Waikato Valley Authority was established by an Act of Parliament called the Waikato Valley Authority Act on 26 October 1956. When the Water and Soil Conservation Act 1967 was passed the existing functions of the Waikato Valley Authority were extended to that of a Catchment Board/Regional Water Board.

When the Ministry of Works and Development Abolition Act 1988 was passed in March 1988, the Waikato Valley Authority changed its name to the Waikato Catchment Board to reflect the taking up of some of the functions previously undertaken by the Ministry of Works and Development.

Legislative requirements

Our legislative responsibilites are provided under:

  • Resource Management Act 1991
  • Local Government Act 2002
  • Land Transport Act 1998
  • Biosecurity Act 1993.
  • Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002

You can find out more about these legislation on the New Zealand Legislation website.

These responsibilities include

  • regional planning  and leadership
  • regional civil defence
  • regional land transport
  • managing the effects of activities on air, soil, coastal and water resources
  • regional research and investigation
  • flood control and drainage
  • animal and plant pest control
  • environmental education.

Our priority work areas

Our priority work areas are agreed upon by our communities and their delegated representatives - your councillors.  These are set out in our 2016-19 Strategic Direction.

  • Support communities to take action on agreed outcomes for the region.
  • Forge and strengthen partnerships to achieve positive outcomes for the region.
  • Positively influence future land use choices to ensure long term sustainability.
  • Manage freshwater more effectively to maximise regional benefit.
  • Increase communities' understanding of risks and resilience to change.
  • Enhance the value of the region's coasts and marine area.
  • Shape the development of the region so it supports our quality of life.

What does our organisation look like?

Our Executive Leadership Team have overall responsibility for implementing council decisions and ensuring the effective and efficient performance of the council.  Each member of the team is responsible for a directorate.  There are five directorates, each made up of workstream-based section teams.

Find out more about the directorates and the work they carry out.  

And, please remember, it's our job to make sure that environmental regulations are being followed for the good of the environment and wider community. This might mean that we have to come onto your property.

  • Council officers are permitted by law to enter your land for this purpose.
  • Health and Safety legislation does not prevent or delay council access to private property.
  • Our staff are our responsibility. They have been appropriately trained and are equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • They will take reasonable care for their own health and safety, and they'll take reasonable care that their actions or presence doesn't adversely affect the health and safety of other people.

For more details, there's loads of information on this website about what we're doing, and what's going on in the region. Just take a look around.