Governance Manual

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5.3.2 Meeting processes

 

At governing body or committee meetings, council staff members presents reports and recommendations. This is followed by questions and debate. The process is guided by the Standing Orders of the Governing Body. For a simplified guide to Auckland Council meetings, see What to expect at an Auckland Council meeting.

  1. Public access and input
    • Members of the public are welcome to attend all open sections of meetings. Key meeting are webcast and available at Auckland Council live stream on Auckland Council's website. For further information on key meetings, see Agendas and Minutes.  

    • Members of the public can ask to speak at any open meeting of the governing body. Up to 30 minutes will be allocated at the start of the meeting for public input [1].

    • Speaking requests need to be made to the council’s democracy advisor team at least one working day before the meeting. For information on who to contact, see Committee members and contacts on Auckland Council's website.

    • The request must state the subject and be directed to the appropriate committee. The same presentation cannot be made to more than one committee unless the speaker has been referred on [2].

    • Once received by the democracy advisor, requests will be referred to the chair of the respective committee for his/her consideration. The chair has the discretion to accept or decline requests.

  2. Meeting frequency 

    • The meeting schedule of the governing body and its committees is adopted by the governing body. The Manager, Democracy Services, may be delegated the authority to make minor changes to the meeting schedule. However, changes to the frequency of committee meetings (for instance, increasing monthly meetings to fortnightly) affect the governing body’s terms of reference and need to be approved by the governing body. If an additional (extraordinary or emergency) meeting is required, the chair may request this through a letter to the chief executive [3].

  3. Quorum 

    • The quorum for governing body meetings is 11 members. The quorum for other committees is currently half the members if the number is even, or the majority of members if the number is odd [4]. The governing body sets committee quorums by resolution or through the committee’s terms of reference.

    • The quorum must be reached for the meeting to begin [5]. The meeting must lapse and the chairperson vacate the chair if there is no quorum within 30 minutes of the start of the meeting. However, the chair has the discretion to extend this time by up to 10 minutes if there are members travelling to the meeting who have been delayed by traffic or weather [6]. The business of lapsed governing body meetings will be adjourned until the next ordinary governing body meeting [7].

    • If the members leave during a meeting and quorum is lost, the business of the meeting will be suspended. If quorum is not obtained within 10 minutes, the meeting must lapse and the chairperson will vacate the chair. The business of the meeting will be adjourned until the next ordinary meeting [8].

  4. Voting and decisions

    • Decisions of the governing body or committee are determined by a majority vote of members present and voting unless the Local Government Act or the standing orders provide otherwise. The Auckland Council Standing Orders of the Governing Body provide for the chair to have a casting vote if the votes are equal. Members may abstain from voting and may request their abstention be recorded in the minutes if a division is called for [9].

  5. Changes to officers' recommendations

    • It is not appropriate for an elected member to seek to change officer recommendations before the meeting. Recommendations reflect officer advice. The governing body will consider the advice at the meeting and decide how to apply it when making a decision, including by proposing different wording to that in the officer report, through amendments if necessary. The chair can also put forward a differently worded motion at the start of the item.

 

 

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