Speaking at meetings

Find out about applying to speak at a meeting, and what will happen before, during and after the meeting.

 

Attending a 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.

Getting to the meeting

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

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

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

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

 

Applying to speak at a 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.
 

Speaking remotely

You are welcome to speak to the meeting remotely via Zoom. If you want to participate via Zoom, please let us know as soon as possible.

Requests to speak remotely must be made at least two working days before the meeting.

If you make a request later than this, we will still try to accommodate you. This depends on whether the chairperson thinks the matter is of urgency or major public interest.

 

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.

 

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.