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Public forums provide opportunity for relaxed discussion with councillors

10 Jan 2023, 10:00 AM

Kāpiti Coast District Council is making it easier for the community to connect with their elected representatives through public forums to be held before formal meetings begin.

From early 2023 people who want to talk to councillors about something not on a meeting agenda will be able to during time set aside before regular meetings. Public forums will be held on request before Council and Strategy, Operations and Finance Committee meetings.

Kāpiti Coast District Mayor Janet Holborow says the new Council is committed to making it easier for people to speak with elected members.

“Increasing public participation in the work of Council is important to us,” Mayor Holborow says.

“Public forums will be a less formal way for people to come and talk to councillors in a safe and welcoming environment.

“Unlike public speaking time, which is a core component of every Council meeting agenda, public forums won’t be recorded or livestreamed, and discussions won’t be captured in minutes.

“It’s a more relaxed way for members of the public to get in front of the whole Council and share their thoughts.”

Public forums will be held on request so people will need to register their interest in speaking beforehand. The time allowed for public forums will vary depending on the number of speakers attending.

“We’re looking forward to hearing people’s thoughts on a range of topics, not just what’s on the Council meeting agenda, and we’re hopeful that these forums will provide us with a richer understanding of what matters most to the people that live in our district,” Mayor Holborow says.

“There are other ways to get in touch too. All elected members have Council email addresses, and some can be found on social media.”

People wanting to speak at public forums can register their interest by emailing [email protected] by 12noon the Monday before each meeting. 

Speakers who wish to talk to items on Council meeting agendas are encouraged to register their interest in attending public speaking time.