About Public Consultation
This page explains why and how the Porirua City Council consults with the public.
Council regularly consults with the community
Porirua City Council frequently consults with the community on a wide range of initiatives, strategies, and plans. Consultation involves educating the community and interested parties on the actions that Council intends to take and calling for public feedback on them. Feedback is typically sought through a number of avenues including public meetings, meetings with Residents Associations, businesses, community groups, and through written and oral submissions to Council.
The Local Government Act 2002 sets out certain consultation principles and a procedure that local authorities must follow when making certain decisions. This procedure, the special consultative procedure, is regarded as a minimum process.
The Council can and does consult outside of the special consultative procedure. For example, when it is adopting its long-term council community plan, annual plan or district plan it will hold formal meetings with community groups and other interested parties. At these meetings the Council will seek views on the matters the Council considers to be important and identify issues of concern to the community.
The special consultative procedure consists of the following steps:
STEP ONE: Preparation of a statement of proposal and a summary. The Council must prepare a description of the proposed decision or course of action. The statement must be available for distribution throughout the community and must be available for inspection at the Council office and may be made available elsewhere. The Council also has to prepare a full and fair summary of the proposal which must be distributed as widely as the Council considers to be reasonably practicable. That statement must be included on an agenda for a Council meeting.
STEP TWO: Public notice. The Council must publish a notice in one or more daily newspapers, or in other newspapers of equivalent circulation, of the proposal and of the consultation being undertaken.
STEP THREE: Receive submissions. The Council must acknowledge all written submissions and offer submitters a reasonable opportunity to make an oral submission. The Council must allow at least one month (from the date of the notice) for submissions.
STEP FOUR: Deliberate in public. All meetings where the council deliberates on the proposal or hears submissions must be open to the public (unless there is some reason to exclude the public under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987). All submissions must be made available unless there is reason to withhold them under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
STEP FIVE: Follow up. A copy of the decision and a summary of the reasons must be provided to submitters. There is no prescribed format for such a summary.
By law, the Council must follow the special consultative procedure before it:
- adopts a Long Term Council Community Plan or Annual Plan
- amends a Long Term Council Community Plan
- adopts, revokes, reviews or amends a bylaw
- changes the mode of delivery for a significant activity (for example from the Council to a council-controlled organisation or from a council-controlled organisation to a private sector organisation) if that is not provided for in a Long Term Council Community Plan.
The Council may be required to use the special consultative procedure under other legislation, and it may use this procedure in other circumstances if it wishes to do so.