Environment Canterbury's main role is the promotion of sustainable management of natural and physical resources, primarily under the Resource Management Act 1991.
It is responsible for matters that have more than just local significance (those are the tasks of the city and district councils). Funding is from rates, government grants and from the users of council services.
Anyone on the electoral roll is entitled to vote in local authority elections. The elections for regional councillors are held once every three years.
The purpose of Environment Canterbury is to achieve a sustainable environment, protect from disasters and natural hazards, and ensure safe and efficient movement of people and goods for the benefit of people, communities and future generations, at a reasonable level of monetary and personal cost.