Public participation at meetings and forums
During COVID-19 Level 2 social distancing requirements mean that there is limited space in the Council Chamber public gallery and public speaking will be via zoom. The following instructions explain how you can book a time to speak.
During COVID-19 Levels’ 3 and 4 there is no public gallery and public speaking will be via zoom. The following instructions explain how you can book a time to participate.
There will be time at the beginning of Council 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 usually have a maximum of 3 minutes of speaking time. The Chair may restrict the time e.g. to 2 minutes where the total number of speakers exceeds 6.
Speakers must book by emailing [email protected] by 12.00noon the day before the meeting. You must provide:
- your name
- whether you are representing an organisation
- which agenda item, if any, you wish to speak on
- whether you are speaking to a written submission
- any written material supporting your position that you wish to share with Councillors.
- you can read copies of agendas and reports at least two days before the meeting from online.
Democracy Services will advise you of your allocated a speaking slot by 5.00pm the day before the meeting. We will also confirm how long you have to speak. If you are speaking on item not n the agenda, we will not be able to give you a confirmed time as that will be dependent on the duration of the meeting.
A 25-minute session will be held before every Council and Major Committee meeting (9.00am-9.25am) in which you can speak on any topic.
Public Forum will continue to take place during COVID-19 Level 1. Public Forum will not take place during COVID-19 Levels 2,3 and 4.
Bookings are essential: please contact Democracy Services by emailing [email protected] or fill in the online form at the bottom of the page, by 12.00 noon the day before the meeting.
Please let us know your name and subject. You will be advised of a timeslot.
The Forum is:
- not a meeting of Council under the Local Government Official Information & Meeting Act
- not subject to Standing Orders
- not minuted
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.
Council meetings are quite formal, so please understand and follow these basic rules:
- At the end of your oral submission, you may be asked questions by elected members.
- 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 Section 14 of Standing Orders which were adopted by Council on 11 June 2020.