If you want to appear before a Council, committee or subcommittee meeting to present or speak to the meeting, you can do so:
- as a member of the public (called 'public participation')
- as a representative for an organisation or group that has a specific purpose or common view (called 'deputation').
You first need to apply for approval - view the following for more detailed information.
Criteria for speaking at meetings
The public can speak to most agenda items, (although requests are subject to the approval of the Chair). In addition, participation at Council can be declined under Standing Order 208. This Standing Orders states:
"A period of up to 15 minutes shall be set aside near the beginning of Council meetings to enable members of the public to make statements about any motion on the agenda of that meeting, but excluding any matter on which comment could prejudice any specified statutory process the Council is required to follow."
This exclusion is particularly relevant for speaking on District Plan Change agenda items. When such matters are before Council, this is likely to be the final decision-making step required under the statutory process contained in the Resource Management Act 1991.
Accordingly, Council is legally constrained in the matters that it may consider when making its decision and cannot take into consideration the views of the public at this stage in the process because it may prejudice the whole decision making process.
If you want information from Councillors or Council staff, phone the Council's contact centre on (04) 499 4444 or email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't use the meetings as an opportunity to get this information.
Translation of Participation Information
Applying to speak at a meeting
If you want to address the meeting as a member of the public, your application must be with Democratic Services before 12 noon on the working day before the meeting.
If you want to address the meeting as a representative for an organisation or group, your application must be with Democratic Services before 12 noon five working days before the meeting.
You can bring your application in person to the Council offices at 101 Wakefield Street or contact:
You need to provide:
- your name and contact details
- which meeting you would like to speak to
- the subject you want to speak about
- if you're representing an organisation or group, the name of the organisation and any other speakers appearing for that organisation.
If you can't provide this information, then your application may be declined by Democratic Services or by the Chair.
After applications have closed, Democratic Services will speak with the Chair of the meeting who will approve or decline your application.
Democratic Services will contact you about the outcome of your application, and advise your speaking time if successful.
Preparing for the meeting
Talk to Democratic Services if you are going to:
- make a PowerPoint presentation (these need to be emailed to Democratic Services by 4pm on the working day before the meeting)
- provide handouts (to find out how many copies you need to bring with you)
- table supplementary material.
At the meeting
Sit in the public gallery and wait for the meeting to start.
The Committee Advisor will be in the meeting room 10 - 15 minutes before the meeting begins and will:
- register those who have approval to present / speak to the meeting
- take any handouts you've brought with you and distribute them
- answer your questions.
The Chair may begin the meeting by running through some housekeeping matters before calling you forward.
Making your presentation
When it is your turn to speak, the Chair will formally introduce you and invite you to move to the place from where you will address the meeting. Depending on the meeting and the meeting room, this could be a lectern or the table.
For more information on how to prepare and what to expect, view the following:
Have Your Say - Making an Oral Submission (64KB PDF) | Text version (48KB DOC)
Restrictions on your presentation
At Council meetings, your speech or presentation must be about a subject on that meeting's agenda.
At committee or subcommittee meetings, your speech or presentation must be on a subject within the jurisdiction of that particular committee or subcommittee.
If, in the opinion of the Chair, the subject is a matter of urgency or major public interest then the Chair may use discretion to waive the requirements for notice.
If at any time your statement is defamatory, disrespectful or offensive, the Chair will stop your presentation / speech.
The Chair decides the speaking times for those approved to present or speak at the meeting.
If you are appearing as a member of the public, you will usually get between three and five minutes to address the meeting.
If you are appearing on behalf of an organisation or group, you can address the meeting for up to 10 minutes. There is a maximum of two representatives for each organisation / group.
Use your speaking time effectively. If there is time left at the end of your presentation, the Chair will facilitate any questions from Councillors. These must fall within the time given to you.
After the meeting
Anything distributed or tabled at the meeting will become part of the public record for the meeting and will be:
- made available with the minutes
- put up on this website.
This includes your name and a summary of what you said.
Community Board participation
If you would like to present or speak at a Tawa or Makara / Ohariu Community Board meeting, advise Democratic Services beforehand.