Speaking at meetings (public forum) and Petitions

Presenting at public forum

​​​​Up to 30 minutes is set aside at the beginning of each Council and each Committee meeting to hear from members of the public – both individuals and groups - on matters that are on agenda for that meeting. This is called a public forum and each individual or group is allowed five minutes to speak.  Both the Council and Committee meetings are usually held in the Council Chamber in the Municipal Building in Garden Place.

How to request to speak at a meeting

  • You can request to speak at a Council or Committee meeting on a subject that's on the agenda for that meeting by contacting the Governance Unit at HCC.Governance@hcc.govt.nz or on 07 838 6727.
  • If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, you may be able to attend the public forum session via audio-visual link. For information and assistance, please contact the Governance Team on 07 838 6727 or email HCC.Governance@hcc.govt.nz​.​
  • You will need to provide the following details:
    • Your name and contact details.
    • Which meeting you would like to speak at.
    • The subject you wish to speak about.
    • The name of the organisation you're representing (if applicable). 
  • Speakers will be put on a list on a first come first served basis and as many speakers as possibly will be heard within the allocated time. 

Preparing to speak at a meeting:

  • Each individual or group can speak for a maximum of five minutes.
  • If there is any time left at the end of your presentation, the Chair will facilitate questions from Elected Members.
  • If you would like to use a PowerPoint presentation, please email it to the Governance Unit no later than 24 hours before the meeting.
  • If you have a handout, please advise the Governance Unit no later than 24 hours before the meeting and bring a minimum of 20 copies for distribution.
  • Please note that your name, a summary of what you say and anything you distribute at the meeting will be included within the minutes and made available online as well as Livestreamed and included on our Youtube site.
  • You may address a meeting in English, te reo Maaori or New Zealand Sign Language. A Chairperson may require any speech to be translated and printed in English or te reo Maaori or both. If you intend to address the meeting in te reo Maaori or New Zealand Sign Language​ please advise the Governance Unit no later than 2 working ​prior to the meeting so that a translator can be provided. ​

​Speaking via audio-visual link (Zoom):

At the meeting

  • Find a seat in the public gallery (a space reserved for members of the public at the rear of the Council Chamber). 
  • The Committee Advisor will be in the room 10-15 minutes before the meeting begins and will register your arrival, confirm your place on the list of speakers and will be happy to answer any questions you have.
  • The Chair will call you to speak, usually after running through housekeeping matters for the day.
  • The Chair may stop your presentation at any time if your presentation is irrelevant to the agenda or your words are offensive or disrespectful. 

​Find out more about Council Committees​

​​The Council has three strategi​c committees which comprise all members of the Council and Maangai Maaori (representatives of Iwi of Maata Waaka) and a number of other committees which oversee compliance and regulatory matters.

Find out more about Council Committees here.


Petition information is on page 32 of our standing orders​.

Presenting petitions

The Council will consider a petition on any matter relating to either the services it provides or may be provided by it, or any policy or intended policy of the Council at such times as the citizens of Hamilton request, subject to the provisions outlined below. Petitions may be presented to the Council or any of its committees (ensuring it relates to matters within the terms of reference of committee). ​

Valid petitions

​A valid petition will be considered by the Council or appropriate Committee, together with staff advice, within sixty days of receipt or two meeting cycles. Petitions: 

  • must not be disrespectful, use offensive language or include malicious statements (see standing order 19.9 on qualified privilege). 
  • may be written in English or te reo Maaori. Petitioners planning to make a petition in te reo Māori or sign language should advise the relevant Chairperson at least two working days before the meeting to enable the petition to be translated and reprinted, if necessary. 
  • may be presented in hard copy or electronic form. 
  • must consist of fewer than 250 words (not including signatories). 
  •  must contain at least 150 signatures of residents of Hamilton City, inclusive of the primary petitioner, all being on the Electoral Roll for Hamilton City and eligible to vote. 
  • must also contain the full name, physical address and signature for all signatories to the petition. In the case of an electronic petition, the signatory must provide their email address in place of their signature. 

​Petition presented by petitioner

A petitioner who presents a petition to Council or any of its committees and subcommittees, may speak for five minutes (excluding questions) about the petition, unless the meeting resolves otherwise. Questions of petitioners are at the discretion of the Chairperson and must comply with SO 20.3.

Petition presented by member

Members may present petitions on behalf of petitioners. In doing so, members must confine themselves to presenting: 
(a) the petition; 
(b) the petitioners’ statement; and 
(c) the number of signatures.

Page reviewed: 04 May 2022 10:33am