Get Involved With Your Trusts

Do you want to make a difference in your community, ensure that liquor is sold responsibly and with integrity, and help distribute profits to community groups across West Auckland?

Consider standing to become an Elected Member of your local Licensing Trust.

Our Elected Members come from a range of backgrounds and are an essential voice to help your Trusts deliver what the community wants.

What Do The Licensing Trusts Do?

The Portage and Waitakere Licensing Trusts were established in 1972 by a community vote. They have responsibility for managing the retail sale of alcohol and hospitality venues that operate with a tavern licence within their respective boundaries.

Because the Trusts are community-owned, profits from their businesses are given back to the community, through grants, sponsorships, community events and household distributions such as first aid kits, tool kits or smoke alarms. In 2018 those donations totalled nearly $2.5 million and included things like the Specialist Care Baby Unit upgrade at Waitakere Hospital, a free first aid kit for all households, and the ‘Million Dollar Mission’ which has helped over 40 different community groups.

Each Trust is governed by a group of Elected Members from the local area who are voted in every three years. There are a certain number required to come from each group of suburbs (called a ‘ward’) to ensure that all voices are heard from across our community.

What Do You Have To Do As An Elected Member?

Being an Elected Member is not a full-time position, and many members fit their Trust commitments alongside day jobs and juggling busy families.  If elected, your responsibilities would include:

  1. Attending two different monthly meetings of the Trust that you represent (currently both held on the same night).
    • The first meeting is to make recommendations to a separate organisation called The Trusts Community Foundation Ltd (TTCF) on where gaming proceeds should be distributed, with the final decision made by TTCF.
    • The second meeting discusses the business of the Trust, their retail stores, hospitality operations and investments. Typically, there is an ‘Open’ session which public are encouraged to attend, followed by a ‘Closed’ session where commercially sensitive material is discussed with Elected Members.
  2. Attending two meetings per year of The Trusts’ shared services company (West Auckland Trust Services Ltd).

Two or three times a year Elected Members may be asked to attend a joint workshop with members of the board and senior management of West Auckland Trust Services Ltd to encourage a broader discussion around topics such as future strategy.

Elected Members get invited to attend a number of community events across the area and while these are not compulsory, they are encouraged as one of many ways for Elected Members to keep in touch with the community.

Throughout the year there are also opportunities to meet with organisations who receive funding from giving back, such as recipients of the Million Dollar Mission and sponsorships.

Can I Stand?

To find out if you’re eligible to stand, please refer to the Portage fact sheet here and the Waitakere fact sheet here.  There are some specific eligibility requirements listed under the heading “Nominations”.

The main criteria are that you are a New Zealand citizen aged over 18, are enrolled to vote, and live in the ward you wish to represent.  You also can’t have a significant involvement (or appearance of significant involvement) with the alcohol industry.

What Do I Need To Do?

There’s more information available from Auckland Council available at

Nominations open on 19 July and close at midday on 16 August. The election is a postal vote, and voting papers are sent out from Friday 20 September.  People have until noon Saturday 12 October to get their voting papers back either by freepost, or in person to the Returning Officer, a Council office or your local library.

The number of votes you need varies depending on the ward you live in and how many people post their vote back.  In 2016 the successful candidates received anywhere from 1,229 votes to 7,744 votes depending on the population of their area.

How Much Would I Be Paid?

Being an Elected Member isn’t intended to be a full-time job.  Members are paid a meeting fee of $280 per meeting, which is set is set in line with government guidelines.  The Presidents of each Trust are paid a $30,000 total honorarium each year to reflect the additional work they do.  Each Trust elects their President at the first meeting following the election.

How Can I Find Out More?

We’re holding a public meeting for all nominated candidates to ask questions and find out more about The Trusts.

  • Thursday 29 August
  • 6pm-7pm
  • Quality Hotel Lincoln Green, 159 Lincoln Rd, Henderson (parking available)

To find out more please contact Lee Clark, Executive Assistant at

You’ll find the answers to frequently asked questions in this fact sheet.

Key Facts About Being An Elected Member

  1. Your Elected Members come from all walks of life. The nine women and eight men currently elected come from a range of ages, backgrounds and cross-sections of the community, just like West Aucklanders.  Some are in their first term as Elected Members.
  2. The Trusts’ meetings are normally outside of standard working hours, making it easier for people with day jobs or juggling busy families to get involved.
  3. The Trusts and your Elected Members don’t issue or control liquor licences – that’s Auckland Council’s job. Becoming an Elected Member means you are part of ensuring your Trust’s operations continues to deliver what the community wants.