Speak at a council meeting

Find out how to speak at a Hutt City Council meeting.

Please note: You will need  to observe COVID-19 guidelines for speaking at meetings.

How long you can speak for

30 minutes is allocated for public comment at the beginning of any council, committee, subcommittee or community board meetings that are open to the public.

There is a limit of up to 3 minutes for individual speakers addressing a meeting and up to 10 minutes on a person, group or organisation to make a presentation to a meeting on a matter or matters covered by that meeting’s terms of reference.

You can speak at a meeting as:

  • a member of the public
  • a person or a group of people with a specific purpose or common view, an interest group, or organisation.

Note: The time limit for a speaker may be extended at the discretion of the Chair.

What you can speak about

  • Public speakers can speak to most agenda items.
  • Public comment is restricted to items on the agenda for the meeting, excluding items already resolved.
  • The Chair approves requests to speak at a Council, committee or subcommittee meeting.
  • For Community Board meetings - any issue, idea or matter raised in public comment must also fall within the terms of reference of that meeting.

What you can't speak about at council meetings

There are provisions in Standing Order 15.3 for restricting speaking at meetings.

The Chair has the right to stop you from speaking at anytime during your presentation if you:

  • repeat views presented by an earlier speaker at the same public forum;
  • criticise elected members and/or staff;
  • are repetitious, disrespectful or offensive;
  • have previously spoken on the same issue;
  • the matter is subject to legal proceedings;
  • the matter is subject to a hearing, including the hearing of submissions where the local authority or committee sits in a quasi-judicial capacity.

How to apply to speak at a meeting

You have to apply to speak at a council meeting. Email us at DemocraticServicesTeam@huttcity.govt.nz for more information.

In your email, tell us:

  • your name and contact details
  • which meeting you would like to speak to

After you've applied to speak

Democratic Services will speak with the Chair of the meeting who will approve or decline your application.

Democratic Services will let you know the decision.

Once you have approval to speak

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.

During the meeting

You must 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 to speak. They will formally introduce you and invite you to move to the council table.

After the meeting

Anything you've distributed or we've tabled at the meeting will become part of the public record for the meeting and will be:

  • made available with the minutes (including your name)
  • put up on Hutt City Council’s website.

Find out about upcoming meetings

For more information

Council's Standing Orders (PDF 2.09MB)

Contact details