Council makes important decisions at meetings which affect residents and ratepayers from various sectors of the community. To enable good decision making, Council relies on participation and feedback from residents and ratepayers.
Council welcomes attendance at meetings that are open to the public. This is an ideal way to be well informed about Council and district-wide activity. You can listen to the meeting or you may choose to request speaking time at the meeting.
During the current COVID-19 Alert Level 1 status, Council and Committees of Council will continue to meet in person.
Members of the public can view meetings of Council and the Finance, Audit and Risk Subcommittee on our Live Council Meetings page, or attend meetings open to the public in person.
For information about public participation in a meeting or attending in person, please contact Council on 06 366 0999 or email
The Meeting Schedule for the 2021 calendar year is available below.
Horowhenua District Council Meeting Schedule 2021 (updated April 2021)(PDF, 1MB)
Meeting dates are advertised throughout the calendar year in the local newspaper and can also be viewed on our Events section
There are criteria to be met prior to being granted speaking time at a Council Meeting or Foxton Community Board meeting. You can speak or present as a member of the public (called 'public participation'), or as a representative for an organisation or group that has a specific purpose or common view (called 'deputation').
Members of the public can request to speak to most agenda items. All requests are subject to the approval of the Chair and in addition are subject to and can be declined under Standing Orders.
Firstly, you will need to request to speak to Agenda items.
A request must be lodged with the Chairperson, Chief Executive or other appropriate officer of Council, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 12 noon on the day of the meeting and must identify the specific item to which a person wishes to speak.
You can make your request in person to the Council offices or contact a Governance & Executive Team member by:
You will need to provide the following details:
- your name and contact details
- which meeting you would like to speak to
- the item number you want to speak about
- if you’re representing an organisation or group, the name of the organisation and any other speaker appearing for that organisation (note only two representatives from one organisation can speak).
If you are not able to provide this information, your request may be declined by the Chair.
Requests will not be accepted for:
- matters that do not appear on a meeting agenda;
- proceedings of committees that do not have a substantive resolution for adoption;
- procedural items and reports which are for information only.
In all cases the request to speak shall be referred to the Chairperson of the meeting to confirm acceptance. The person requesting to speak shall be advised whether or not their request has been accepted. If declined the applicant shall be advised of the reasons why. The author of any report to which there are requests to speak shall also be advised. Following the close off of speaking requests, the Chair of the meeting will approve or decline speaking requests.
Unless the meeting determines otherwise, a limit of five (5) minutes is placed on each speaker.
If your request has been approved, talk to a member of the Governance & Executive Team if you are going to:
- make a PowerPoint (or electronic/digital) presentation - these need to be emailed to email@example.com by 2pm on the day of the meeting
- provide handouts (to find out how many copies you need to bring with you)
- provide any additional material.
At the meeting
Most public meetings are held in Council Chambers. You may be seated in the public gallery and wait for the meeting to commence.
A member of the Governance & Executive Team will be in the meeting room prior to commencement of the meeting and will:
- register those who have approval to speak or present to the meeting
- take any handouts you've brought with you and distribute them – this saves time during the meeting
- advise you about how to use any technology you may need
- answer your questions.
The Chair will begin the meeting by running through some housekeeping matters before announcing the speaking list and calling you forward.
Making your presentation
Tips on how to prepare and what to expect:
- arrive at least 10 minutes early
- speak with a Governance & Executive Team member prior to the meeting if it will be your first time speaking. You will be shown where to sit, where you will speak from and how to use the microphone
- you only have a short time to speak, ensure you cover your main points and back this up with evidence (if relevant)
- if there is time left at the end of your speaking time or presentation, you may be asked questions by the Mayor or Councillors
Following the meeting
Anything distributed or tabled at the meeting will become part of the public record for the meeting and will be filed with the minutes. This will include your name and a summary of what you presented and includes handouts and digital presentations.
Council meetings are not an opportunity to request information. If you would like information from Councillors or Council Officers, please contact Customer Services on 06 366 0999 or email your question or request to firstname.lastname@example.org.