Speaking at a Meeting
Kōrero ki ngā Hui
Public forums are a time for public comments, normally at the start of a meeting. They are for members of the public to talk about things that aren’t necessarily on the agenda and bring them to the attention of elected members.
How to Apply
If you want to speak at a meeting, you will need to make a request to the Chief Executive or Governance Advisor at least one full day before the meeting. Your request should say what you’re planning to talk about. If you don’t make your request in time the Chairperson can still decide to let you speak. Make your request by calling 06 370 6300 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking at the Meeting
There will be about 30 minutes available for the public forum. Each person can speak for up to five minutes. You can only have two speakers talk on behalf of an organisation. If there’s more than six people who want to speak, the Chairperson can restrict the speaking time for all the speakers. You can sit or stand to present your submission.
The Chairperson can decline to hear a speaker or stop a presentation if the speaker:
- is repeating views presented by an earlier speaker at the same forum;
- is criticising elected members and/or staff;
- is being disrespectful or offensive;
- has already spoken on the same issue; or if
- The matter is subject to legal proceedings; and
- The matter is subject to a hearing, including the hearing of submissions where the local authority or committee sits in a quasi-judicial capacity.
At the end of the presentation elected members can ask questions. The questions must relate to the topic the speaker has talked about. After the forum there is no debate, you can’t ask elected members questions, and no decisions will be made about things raised during the forum unless they are to do with items that are already on the agenda.
Public forums are not a place to ask for information. If there is information you would like, you can call us on 06 370 6300.
Where to come
You will be told where the meeting is. Most of them are in the Council Chamber at Waiata House, 27 Lincoln Road, Masterton. You will need to arrive at least 15 minutes before your allocated time. If we’re ahead of schedule we might ask you to speak earlier than the time you were given.
At the meeting
When you arrive, sit in the public seating area of the meeting room. If you have supporting materials, please give them to the secretary to hand out. The Chairperson will:
- let you know how long you have to speak
- introduce you to the elected members and
- invite you to the submitters table.