Your Council

Public Participation at Meetings

There are a number of ways you may convey your opinions and ideas to your elected representative.  Speaking at meetings is a good way for you to express your opinion to your elected representatives. 

New arrangements for Public Speaking Time

From Thursday 26 February 2015 Public Speaking Time at the beginning of all Council, Committee and Subcommittee meetings will be allocated for items that relate to the agenda, as per provision (a) of Appendix I in Council's Model Standing Orders.

Submitters wishing to speak on items other than those on the agenda will be able to do so at the end of the meeting.

This arrangement recognises the existing provision in Standing Orders, and is carried out at the request of the Mayor and Committee Chairs in order to achieve a better balance between public participation and the facilitation of Council business.

There are ample other opportunities for public participation throughout the District such as community board meetings held every six weeks on Tuesday evenings, and the councillor-led public forums held monthly on a Wednesday evening.

Arranging a Time to Speak

If you wish to address the meeting during Public Speaking Time please book ahead with the Democracy Services Advisor on (04) 296 4700. People who book ahead for Public Speaking will be given precedence over those who do not.

When you contact Democracy Services, please advise:

  • your name and contact details,
  • the subject of your submission,

  • the organisation you will represent, if any,
  • the length of time your presentation will take (if it is expected to be in excess of the 3 minute allocation),
  • whether you are speaking to a written submission.

When there are a large number of requests to speak, the Chair of the meeting will determine who will speak. Unless other arrangements have been made, each public participant will have three minutes to speak. The Chair may determine a longer period of time be given.

  • You can bring along written material supporting your position. Please ensure that enough copies are available for all Councillors by asking Democracy Services how many copies to bring.
  • You can obtain copies of agendas and reports at least two days before the meeting from your local library, the Council or online.

Health and Safety

For the health and safety of all attendees within the meeting, please note that the provision of material samples or evidential material (other than paper form) must be disclosed to the Council and approval sought prior to the date of the meeting.  Council reserves the right to decline the individual's request if it believes there is potential to endanger the health and safety of others.

At the Meeting

Council meetings are quite formal, so please understand and follow these basic rules:

  • When you arrive, you will be greeted by a meeting administrator who will show you where to stand when it is your time to address the meeting. If you have brought along written material, please provide it to them to distribute to Councillors or Community Board members.
  • At the end of your oral submission you may be asked questions by elected members. Once you have answered any questions and returned to your seat no further dialogue will be entered into.
  • It is important not to interrupt Councillors when they are speaking and not to speak until requested by the Chair. 


The Chair will also advise you of how long you have to speak. You will be timed so please be careful to use your minutes wisely.   The Chair may terminate your statement if it is disrespectful or offensive.

Rules generally pertaining to Public Speaking Time are under Appendix I of Standing Orders which were adopted by Council on 7 November 2013.