The Department of Internal Affairs

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Local Government in New Zealand - Local Councils


Attending council meetings

Public meetings

Anyone can attend any public meeting of a council, community board, local board or council committee.

Councils meet as regularly as they consider appropriate. A monthly schedule of council and committee meetings is published in the public notices of local newspapers, and/or on the council’s website.

At least 10 working days’ notice is required for ordinary meetings.

The law allows councils to have extraordinary meetings in certain circumstances, for which either three working days’ or 24 hours’ notice must be given.

In certain circumstances the public can be excluded from public meetings.

Standing Orders

Each council adopts procedures - called standing orders - that determine how their meetings will be conducted. To change a standing order at least 75% of councillors must support the change. Councillors may be removed from the meeting if they do not work within the standing orders.

A meeting must have a quorum of members present to make decisions.

Workshops and working groups

Councillors can also meet in workshops and working group meetings. These are not usually open to the public. No formal decisions are made at these meetings.