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. Up to 30 minutes are reserved for public participation at the beginning of every Council, Committee, Subcommittee and Community Board meeting.
Arranging a Time to Speak
If you wish to address the Council or its Committees during Public Speaking Time please book ahead with the Democratic Services Advisor on (04) 296 4700. You will be given an approximate timeslot. People who book ahead for Public Speaking will be given precedence over those who do not.
When you contact Democratic Services, please advise:
- your name and contact details,
- the subject of your statement,
- the organisation you will represent, if any,
- the length of time your presentation will take, and
- any expectation regarding multi-media presentation tools..
The number of public participants who can speak at each meeting is limited. 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.
- You can bring along written material supporting your position. Please ensure that enough copies are available for all Councillors by asking Democratic 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.
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 start of the meeting the Chair will run through some housekeeping matters and will then move on to public participation.
- 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.
When you have finished speaking, the Councillors or Community Board members may want to ask you a few questions so that they can better understand your position. Please do not resume your seat until any questions raised have been answered.