Public Forums

A Public Forum is time set at the beginning of each Council meeting for members of the public to bring matters, not necessarily on the meeting's agenda, to the Councillors' attention.

Council meetings are held once a month, usually on a Thursday commencing at 11am in the Council Chamber, 200 Tuam Street, Christchurch. View the dates of Council meetings.

Requests to speak / Speaker guidelines

If possible, requests to speak should be made at least one clear day before the meeting. If you would like to Skype into the meeting please contact us as early as you can so we can arrange the technology.

Speakers may speak up to five minutes. If there are two speakers on a topic 10 minutes in total is available for both speakers.

Speakers are welcome to bring written material to the meeting in support of their topic. If you have a PowerPoint presentation, we will need that at least one clear day before the meeting to load into the system for livestreaming. Our Council meetings are live-streamed and can be viewed on our website.

The Council or any of the committees may receive a deputation from representatives of a group who would like to come and present information.

This is a formal process and the rules can be found in Council’s Standing Orders.

In summary, permission must be granted beforehand, there can be up to two speakers, and the total speaking time allowed is generally 10 minutes. 

Responses to matters raised

Councillors can ask questions of clarification but will not debate the issues raised. The matters raised will be referred to the Chief Executive for further investigation. A reply will be provided as soon as possible.

The Chairperson has the discretion to decline to hear a speaker or to terminate a presentation at any time if:

  • A speaker is representing 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/or
  • The matter is subject to a hearing, including the hearing of submissions where the local authority sits in a quasi-judicial capacity.

Contact us

For more information and requests to speak, please contact Governance Services at