Everything you need to know to be involved in Council decision making.

When making decisions it is important for the Council to understand a range of views. We regularly ask for feedback or submissions (a statement expressing your opinion).

Feedback is:

  • Information gathered informally through surveys, direct contact with individuals or groups, or through social media
  • Information gathered to help develop a project that does not require a decision to be made (i.e. a local community project).

Submissions are:

  • Responses to a formal consulation where a decision will be made by the Council, a Committe of Council or a Community Board 
  • Usually written statements but they can also be delivered by speaking to the Council or the relevant Committee or Community Board, in person
  • Subject to the Local Government Act 2002.

The Council consults the public on a range of issues including:

  • General Council decisions (including policies, strategies, bylaws and plans)
  • Notified District Plan changes
  • Notified Resource Consents.

Steps followed by Council to make a decision

Up coming

Details are available.

Where possible we will publish information before it is open for feedback. This step doesn't always occur or can be very short.

Open for feedback

You are invited to provide feedback.

This step can be between two to eight weeks.

Analysis & reporting

All feedback is analysed.

The length of time depends on the type of consultation and the level of feedback received.

Report available

The Council staff report makes a recommendation to the deciding body taking into consideration the feedback received. The deciding body can be the full Council, a committee of the Council or a Community Board.

Everyone who has provided feedback will be contacted with the report and meeting details.

The report is available a minimum of 3 days before the decision meeting.


When you make a submission you may be asked if you would like to attend a hearing.

This means you present a summary of your submission to a hearing panel of elected representatives, who may then have questions they would like to ask you.

Generally hearings are for plan and bylaw consultations.

Decision made

The report is presented by Council staff to the deciding body.

A decision is made to:

  • Approve
  • Reject
  • Ask for further consultation
  • Develop further options

Everyone who has provided feedback will be contacted about this decision.

Making a submission

There are several ways to make a submission. Submissions can be made when the Council consults on projects or to comment on Council activity that is not currently being consulted on, please contact us.

Hard copies of any consultation and other relevant documents are available from Council service desks or Council libraries, or by calling us on (03) 941 8999.

Submissions need to include:

  • your full name, postal address, postcode and email address
  • your role and organisation's name if you are submitting on behalf of a group or organisation

Where public hearings are available, your submission will need to include:

  • whether or not you want to speak

If you choose to speak at a hearing we will contact you to arrange a time for you to meet with the Council hearings panel.

Subject to the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, if requested, we will make all submissions publicly available, including all contact details you provide on your submission. If you consider there are reasons why your contact details and/or submission should be kept confidential, please  contact us when you send your submission.

Speaking at meetings and hearings

If you want to talk to the Council or your Community Board about an issue or idea, you can request to speak at a meeting. When you speak at a meeting or hearing, it is called a 'deputation by appointment'.  

To make a request to speak at a meeting, please contact us and ask to speak to:

  • a Community Board Advisor at your local Community Board if your issue is related to something local in your street, community or neighbourhood. Ideally, your request should be made no later than six working days before the Board’s meeting and will need to be approved by the Community Board Chairman.
  • a Committee Secretary for a Council Committee.
  • the Council Secretary for Council Meetings. Deputations to the Council will generally only be allowed if they relate to an item on the Council's meeting agenda

If your request to speak has been granted Council staff will provide you with more information on meeting protocol, speaking times and presentation equipment. To allow enough time for questions we advise that you keep your presentation brief. Please let us know if you would like us to arrange a translator to help you speak at a meeting or hearing, i.e. Te Reo, sign language.

Creating petitions

Any person or organisation can present a petition to the Council, a Council Committee or a Community Board.

A petition needs:

  • to be a statement less than 50 words (not including signatures)
  • have signatures and contact details

You will need to read the petition out loud at the relevant meeting, or you can ask a Councillor or Community Board member to present on your behalf. Petitions will be published on the Council website, including the primary petitioner's contact details.

Contact us to present your petition. It takes ten working days' to have a petition to be included in an agenda.