Council meetings are held on Wednesdays on a six-weekly cycle. Special council meetings may also be called as required. Infrastructure and Services Committee meetings are also held on a six-weekly cycle, with Audit and Risk Committee meetings held on a quarterly basis.
Members of the public are welcome to attend these meetings and the relevant order papers are available two working days prior to the meeting. These can be accessed:
- online, by clicking on the relevant month below, or
- at the reception desk, District Council Office, 161 Queen Street and at the Public Library, 54 Queen Street, where copies are available for inspection, or
- by contacting Masterton District Council on 06 370 6300 or [email protected]
At the beginning of the Infrastructure and Services Committee and Council meetings, a period is available for those who wish to speak or comment on any matter relevant to the committee or council meeting in question. People who wish to speak should contact Harriet Kennedy, Governance Advisor/Committee Secretariat by calling 370 6300 or emailing [email protected].
Public forums are a defined period of time, usually at the start of an ordinary 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, not necessarily on the meeting’s agenda, to the attention of the local authority.
In the case of a committee, subcommittee, local or community board, any issue, idea or matter raised in a public forum must fall within the terms of reference of that body.
A period of up to 30 minutes, or such longer time as the meeting may determine, will be available for the public forum at each scheduled local authority meeting. Requests must be made to the chief executive (or their delegate) at least one clear day before the meeting; however this requirement may be waived by the Chairperson. Requests should also outline the matters that will be addressed by the speaker(s).
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 6 in total, the Chairperson has discretion to restrict the speaking time permitted for all presenters.
The Chairperson has the discretion to decline to hear a speaker or to terminate a presentation at any time where:
• A speaker is repeating views presented by an earlier speaker at the same public forum;
• The speaker is criticising elected members and/or staff;
• The speaker is being repetitious, disrespectful or offensive;
• The speaker has previously spoken on the same issue;
• 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.
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.
Following the public forum no debate or decisions will be made at the meeting on issues raised during the forum unless related to items already on the agenda.
Where to come
You will be advised where the meeting will be held. Many meetings are held in the Council Chamber located in Waiata House, Lincoln Road, Masterton.
When to come
It is important that you arrive at the meeting at least 15 minutes before your allocated time. If we are ahead of schedule you may be asked to speak earlier than your allocated time.
Who will be there
You will be there together with the Council and Council Officers. Other submitters, members of the public and the media (radio, print and television journalists) may also be there.
At the meeting
When you arrive sit in the public seating area of the meeting room. If you have brought written material please give it to the secretary to distribute. The chairperson will advise you how long you have to speak. When it is your turn to speak the chairperson will introduce you to the Council and invite you up to the submitters table. You may sit or stand to present your submission.
What you cannot do at a meeting
Public Forum and Deputation sessions are not a forum to request information. General requests for information are best made by calling us on 06 370 6300.
You are not able to question elected members at the meeting.
You may not be disrespectful or offensive – if you are then the chair may terminate your speaking rights.
The public may not make disturbance during the meeting and the chairperson has the right to have disruptive people removed.
Remember that because these are public meetings you may attend and observe proceedings on any day the Council meets.
For any other enquiries regarding public participation in meetings, meeting schedules and meeting procedures, please contact us.
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