Attending and speaking at meetings

You can apply to speak at committee meetings or advisory group meetings, or simply attend.

Commitee meetings

Attending a committee meeting

If you just want to attend a meeting and not speak, you can. All formal meetings are open to the public unless the meeting resolves to exclude the public.

Most Council and committee meetings are held at the Council’s head office:

Level 16, 113 The Terrace. Room 16.09 Ngake (the Council Chambers)

Enter the building from the Terrace, this is Level 7, then head up to Level 16 where you'll be directed to the meeting room.

You can also enter 113 The Terrace from Lambton Quay. Wellington City Youth Council have created this video to show how to get to the Council Chambers.

For up to date details for all our meetings, head to our meetings calendar.

Speaking at a committee meeting

Most Council and committee meetings have 60 minutes set aside at the start for public participation. This is an opportunity for the public to bring matters of concern to councillors and comment on agenda items. It is not a time to ask councillors questions.  

To take part in public participation you need to apply. To apply, please contact us earlier than 12pm the day before the meeting,  

When you apply please let us know:

  • your name
  • which meeting you’d like to speak at
  • what you’d like to speak about
  • whether you are speaking as an individual or a representative of a group.

Send your application to:

Democracy Services
Phone: 04 803 8337
Email: public.participation@wcc.govt.nz.

If you miss the deadline, the chairperson can accept your request to speak if they think the matter is of urgency or public interest.

The process for speaking at District Licensing Committees is different. To see the process go to Alcohol Licensing - Public Input.

If your application is approved

If your request to speak is approved, we will email you with details of the meeting and when you’re scheduled to speak.

We recommend being prepared to be at the meeting for the first hour, as it’s potential time you’ll be scheduled to speak.

If your application is declined

If your request to speak is declined, then we will try to find an alternate way for your views to be shared with councillors.

The chairperson may decline your request for one of the following reasons:

  • The 60 minutes allocated for public participation is full
  • The application was received later than 12pm the day before the meeting
  • The speaker is repeating views presented by an earlier speaker at the same meeting
  • The speaker is being repetitious, disrespectful, or offensive
  • The speaker has been heard on the same item at a subcommittee or committee prior to it being referred to a committee or Council
  • The item does not fall within the scope of the agenda for a Council meeting
  • The public participation relates to a hearing, including the hearing of submissions in a quasi-judicial capacity.

Before the meeting

On the day of the meeting please arrive at least 15 minutes before you’re due to speak. Before the meeting you can:

  • make a Powerpoint presentation, email it to us by 4pm the day before
  • provide handouts
  • table additional material.

If you’re doing any of the above, let us know as soon as possible.

During the meeting

Public participation is at the start of the meeting after some initial housekeeping and meeting procedures.

Initially, you’ll be seated at the back of the room in the public gallery. When it’s your time to speak the chair will call you to the table.

Individuals get five minutes to speak. People representing organisations and groups get up to ten minutes to speak.

This time includes time for councillors to ask you questions, and we recommend leaving a minute or two at the end of your presentation for questions. A timer will be displayed so you can see what time you have left.

After the meeting

Your name and the item you spoke to will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The minutes also note which organisation you represented, if applicable. Anything distributed or tabled at the meeting will also become part of the public record.

The minutes of the meeting are usually published on our website within two days of the meeting.

We livestream most Council and committee meetings, including public participation. Recordings are available to view on the Wellington City Council YouTube page.

Advisory groups

Attending an advisory group meeting

Advisory groups are also open to the public, but follow different rules to Council and committee meetings.

Advisory group meetings are held on Level 16, 113 The Terrace on afternoons and evenings during the week.

If you want to come and watch a meeting then please email advisory.groups@wcc.govt.nz ahead of the meeting as we may need to arrange for somebody to come let you in to the building.

Depending on the topics being discussed, the chair may invite you to join the discussion of the group.

The safety of all our advisory group members is paramount. For the Takatāpui Rainbow Advisory Council please ensure that you ask to attend earlier than 12pm two days prior to the meeting.

Speaking at an advisory group meeting

If you wish to give a presentation to one of the advisory groups please email advisory.groups@wcc.govt.nz as soon as possible to make arrangements.

Advisory group presentations can often be booked out several months in advance so letting us know early is important.

Participating remotely (via Zoom)

If you want to attend and speak at meetings remotely please let us know as soon as possible.

At a virtual meeting:

  • you will automatically be muted when you join the meeting
  • when it is your turn to speak, you will need to unmute yourself and turn your camera on
  • organisations will have ten minutes and individuals will have five minutes to speak – once you have completed your presentation, the Chair will thank you for your time and ask that you leave the meeting
  • you can continue to watch the rest of the meeting via our livestream on our YouTube channel
 

Accessibility

If you have any accessibility needs contact us as soon as possible and we’ll help you in any way we can.

Room 16.09 Ngake (the Council Chambers) is fitted with a hearing loop and we are happy to book translators and interpreters as needed. You are also welcome to participate remotely via Zoom.

Here is a social script that outlines public participation at a meeting (1.21MB PDF).

A social script is a document that uses storytelling techniques to explain new experiences and environments to autistic people through simple language and images. This social script includes getting to the Council Chambers and who the Councillors are.