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Public Participation Process

Public participation at meetings of Council are provided for under Council Standing Orders (adopted 15 November 2016), by way of a Public Forum. If you would like to speak at a Council or committee meeting, please refer to the following information and process:

Public Forums

Public forums are a defined period of time, usually at the start of a meeting, which, at the discretion of a meeting, is put aside for the purpose of public input. Public forums are designed to enable members of the public to bring matters to the attention of the local authority.

In the case of a committee or subcommittee, any issue, idea or matter raised in a public forum must also fall within the terms of reference of that meeting.

Time limits

  1. A period of up to 15 minutes, or such longer time as the Chairperson may determine, will be available for the public forum at each scheduled local authority meeting. Requests must be made to the meeting secretary at least one clear day before the meeting; however this requirement may be waived by the Chairperson.

  2. Speakers can speak for up to 5 minutes. No more than two speakers can speak on behalf of an organisation during a public forum. Where the number of speakers presenting in the public forum exceeds 3 in total, the Chairperson has discretion to restrict the speaking time permitted for all presenters.

  3. Representatives of tangata whenua can address the meeting for a period of 15 minutes in total without restrictions on the number of speakers within the time period.


The Chairperson has the discretion to decline to hear a speaker or terminate a presentation where a speaker is being repetitious, criticising elected members and/or staff, disrespectful or offensive, or the matter is subject to legal proceedings or a hearing, including hearing of submissions, where the local authority or committee sits in a quasi-judicial capacity.

Questions at public forums

At the conclusion of the presentation, with the permission of the Chairperson, elected members may ask questions of speakers. Questions are to be confined to obtaining information or clarification on matters raised by a speaker.

No resolutions

Following the public forum, no debate or decisions will be made at the meeting on issues raised during the public forum, unless related to items already on the agenda.

For more information on the Public Participation Process, please contact the Governance Team.