Preparing to speak

If you:

  • can’t attend in person, you may be able to attend via Zoom. Please contact the Governance Unit for assistance - they will email you access to join the meeting. View instructions for using Zoom.
  • are using PowerPoint, email your slides to the Governance Unit at least 24 hours before the meeting.
  • have a handout, advise the Governance Unit at least 24 hours before the meeting and bring at least 20 copies to the meeting.
  • are addressing the meeting in te reo Maaori or New Zealand Sign Language​ please advise the Governance Unit at least two working ​days before the meeting so a translator can be arranged. The Chairperson may require any speech to be translated and printed in English or te reo Maaori, or both.

At the meeting

Meetings are usually held in the Council Chamber in the Municipal Building in Garden Place. Sit in the public gallery (a space for the public at the rear of the Council Chamber). 

The Governance Advisor will be in the room 10-15 minutes before the meeting to register your arrival, confirm your place on the list of speakers and answer any questions.

The Chair will call you to speak, usually after running through housekeeping matters. They can stop your presentation at any time if it is irrelevant to the agenda, offensive or disrespectful. 

If there is time left after your presentation, the Chair may facilitate questions from Elected Members. 

Your name, a summary of what you say and anything you distribute at the meeting will be included in the minutes and made available online, as well as livestreamed and included on our YouTube channel.

Presenting petitions

Council (or the appropriate committee) will consider a petition on any of its current or intended services or policies.


  • will be considered within 60 days of receipt or two meeting cycles.
  • must not be disrespectful, use offensive language or include malicious statements.
  • may be in English or te reo Maaori. Petitioners planning to make a petition in te reo Maaori or sign language should advise the relevant Chairperson at least two working days before the meeting so the petition can be translated and reprinted, if necessary.
  • may be presented in hard copy or electronic form.
  • must be under 250 words (excluding signatories).
  • must have at least 150 signatures of Hamilton residents (including the petitioner) who are on Hamilton city’s Electoral Roll and eligible to vote.
  • must include all signatories’ full names, physical addresses and signatures (or email addresses for electronic petitions).

Petitioners may speak for five minutes (excluding questions), unless the meeting resolves otherwise. The Chairperson must terminate the presentation if they believe the petitioner is being disrespectful, offensive or making malicious statements. 

Elected members may present petitions on behalf of petitioners.

Here is a template to help you:

Speaking at meetings

At the beginning of each Council or committee meeting, up to 30 minutes is available for the public (individuals or groups) to present on a matter that is on the meeting’s agenda. Each individual or group is allowed five minutes to speak.  

To apply to speak at a meeting, contact the Governance and Assurance Unit via the form below.

Speakers are listed on a first come, first served basis, and as many speakers as possible will be heard within the allocated 30 minutes.

Apply to speak at a meeting

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Last updated 16 November 2023