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Public Participation at Meetings

New arrangements for Public Speaking Time | Public Forum (new) | Public Speaking Time on Council and Committee meeting agendas | Health and Safety | At the Meeting | Speaking

2017 arrangements for Public Speaking Time

From January 2017 there will be a number of changed arrangements for you to engage with your elected representatives:

Public Forum (new)

A 30-minute session will be held before every Council and Committee meeting (9.25am-9.55am) in which you can speak on any topic.

Bookings are essential: please contact the Democracy Services Advisor or on (04) 296 4700 or fill in the online form at the bottom of the page.

Please let us know your name and subject (optional). You will be advised of a timeslot.

The Forum will:

  • not be subject to Standing Orders
  • not be minuted or livestreamed

When you arrive, please enter Council chambers and sit in the public gallery until the Chair calls you to the podium.

Public Speaking Time on Council and Committee meeting agendas

In accordance with the new Standing Orders (adopted by Council 15 December 2016) there will be time at the beginning of every meeting (excepting public excluded meetings) where you may address the Mayor and councillors, on matters generally relating to the items on the agenda, and at the end of the meeting for other items not on the agenda.

You will have 3 minutes speaking time, unless other arrangements have been made with the Chair of the meeting.

Precedence will be given to you if you book ahead by ringing Annette on the contact channels detailed above. Please give us: 

  • your name
  • whether you are representing an organisation
  • which agenda item you wish to speak on
  • whether you are speaking to a written submission
  • 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 read 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.


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