Standing Orders for Council Meetings

This page provides information on the Council's standing orders for the control of meetings.

Standing Orders are rules to control meetings

"Standing Orders" are a set of rules of debate that apply to all meetings of the Council and its committees and subcommittees.  They also set out the agreed principles of behaviour within meetings, and ensure the Council meets the legal requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.

The purpose of Standing Orders is to promote the constructive operation of the democratic process within the Council.

The Porirua City Council updated its standing orders in February 2017. 

The Standing Orders also contain forms for Elected Members to use to lodge various notices of motion, requisition meetings and apply for leave of absence.

Purpose and Structure of Standing Orders

At its meeting held on 20 November 2013, Council adopted its Standing Orders. The purpose of Standing Orders is to promote the constructive operation of the democratic process within the Council.

The Council operates through a process of collective decision-making in which Councillors meet to make decisions.

Standing Orders elaborate on the meeting procedures set out in the Local Government Act 2002, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and the Resource Management Act 1991.  They aim to ensure that basic elements of local democracy work well.  These include elements such as:

  • The right of the public to observe in an open and transparent manner the operation of Council’s decision making processes;
  • The provision of effective processes for elected members to carry out their governance responsibilities;
  • The opportunities for all views to be heard, but in a way that promotes harmonious working relationships among elected members and between elected members and officers.

In particular, Standing Orders set out:

  • Processes for the work of Council to be apportioned between committees;
  • Processes for the Chief Executive to fulfil his or her statutory responsibility to provide advice to Council;
  • Processes for individual elected members to put before the Council matters they believe should be addressed by Council;
  • Processes for other stakeholders to express their views to Council on matters they believe it should consider.
    Structure of Standing Orders

Statutory Basis for Standing Orders

Requirement for Adoption of Standing Orders

The Local Government Act 2002 requires Councils to adopt Standing Orders for the conduct of its meetings.  These Standing Orders also apply to meetings of committees and subcommittees.

Standing Orders are a set of rules of debate that provide greater formality in the way that an organisation conducts its meetings.

Standing Orders are also a means of recording an organisation’s agreed principles of behaviour within meetings.

[Refer Local Government Act 2002, Schedule 7, Clause 27 (1) and (2)]

Alteration of Standing Orders

Standing Orders can only be changed by a vote of not less than 75% of the members present.

[Refer Local Government Act 2002, Schedule 7, Clause 27 (3)]

Application of Standing Orders

All members must abide by the Standing Orders adopted by the Council.

The Standing Orders apply to the whole of the meeting, including meetings or parts of meetings from which the public has been excluded.

[Refer Local Government Act 2002, Schedule 7, Clause 16 (1)]

Links to more information

Porirua City Council links: