Skills and qualities you need to become an Elected Member

Elected members come from diverse backgrounds, and bring a range of different skills and experiences to the role.


You'll often work outside of normal working hours, in the evenings and even maybe on weekends.

Time management skills are essential as being an elected member and representing the views of Horowhenua requires a lot of preparation.

You'll be expected to read:

You'll need to:

  • be flexible
  • prioritise tasks
  • 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're 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'll be in the public eye as a part of your role.

You'll often be called upon to:

  • speak publicly at meetings and events
  • give comments to media on certain issues.

You'll need to be able to:

  • listen and relate to the people you represent
  • empathise with them
  • 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. 

Use of technology

A large part of the role will involve technology, so you should know how to use:

  • email
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • a smartphone
  • 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:

  • consider opposing views
  • consider the financial and long-term consequences of decisions
  • keep an open mind.

Relationship building

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.