Deputations and petitions
This page outlines the process for deputations at meetings and the presentation of petitions.
The purpose of a deputation is to enable a person, group or organisation to make a presentation to a meeting on a matter or matters covered by that meeting's terms of reference. Deputations are approved by the Chairperson or an official with delegated authority.
Speakers can speak for up to five minutes. No more than two speakers can speak on behalf of an organisation's deputation.
The Chairperson has the discretion to decline to hear or terminate a deputation at any time where:
- a speaker is repeating views presented by an earlier speaker at the meeting
- the speaker is criticising elected members and/or staff
- the speaker is being repititious, disrespectful or offensive
- the speaker has previously spoken on the same issue
- the matter is subject to legal proceedings
- the matter is subject to a hearing, including the hearing of submissions where the local authority or committee sits in a quasi-judicial capacity
At the conclusion of the deputation members may, with the permission of the Chairperson, ask questions of speakers. Questions are to be confined to obtaining information or clarification on matters raised by the deputation.
Any debate on a matter raised in a deputation must occur at the time at which the matter is scheduled to be discussed on the meeting agenda, and once a motion has been moved and seconded.
Pursuant to Standing Orders clause 3.19, deputations may be received, provided an application for admission, setting out the subject, has been lodged with the Chief Executive at least two working days before the date of the meeting concerned, and has been subsequently approved by the Chairperson. The Chairperson may refuse requests for deputations which are repetitious, or offensive.
Petitions may be presented to the local authority or any of its committees, local boards or community boards. Petitions must contain at least 20 signatures and consist of fewer than 150 words (not including signatories).
Petitions must not be disrespectful, use offensive language or include malicious statements. They may be written in English or teo reo Māori. Petitioners planning to make a petition in te reo Māori or sign language should advise the relevant Chairperson at least two working days before the meeting to enable the petition to be translated and reprinted, if necessary.
A petitioner who presents a petition to the local authority or any of its committees and subcommittees, local boards or community boards, may speak for five minutes (excluding questions) about the petition, unless the meeting resolves otherwise. The Chairperson must terminate the presentation of the petition if he or she believes the petitioner is being disrespectful, offensive or making malicious statements.
Where a petition is presented as part of a deputation or public speaking time, the speaking time limits relating to deputations or public speaking time shall apply.
Members may present petitions on behalf of petitioners. In doing so, members must confine themselves to presenting the:
- petitioner's statement
- number of signatures