Governance of the Ruapehu district is undertaken by the Ruapehu District Council (RDC) comprising a mayor elected at large (by the entire district) and eleven councillors representing four Wards:
- Taumarunui Ward - five councillors
- National Park Ward - one councillor
- Ohura Ward - one councillor
- Waimarino-Waiouru Ward - four councillors
RDC is supported by two Community Boards and a Ward Committee comprising elected community representatives and councillors.