The formal decision making process of a Council occurs via council meetings, which councillors are required to attend.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and members of our Executive Leadership Team (ELT) also attend the meetings to provide information or advice when called upon by the Mayor.
Regular meetings of Council are generally held on the fourth Tuesday of each month except in January, April and December.
Meetings are generally held at City Hall with four off-site meetings planned for 2023.
Notice of meetings
The date, time and location of meetings are advertised through the City News page in local papers.
Meetings are open to the public unless Council makes a resolution to close the meeting.
Procedures at meetings
The Governance rules define how Council meetings are conducted. The following are the key requirements:
The Mayor chairs Council meetings.
A quorum is established when at least a majority of councillors are present.
Before a proposal or recommendation may be voted on, it must be 'moved' (proposed) by one of the councillors. Another councillor must then 'second' (support) the proposal.
Council officers are not entitled to vote at Council meetings.
Agendas and minutes for the meeting
Access to agendas and minutes
Council meeting agendas are available from the meetings page on our website the Friday prior to the Council meeting.
The Council considers each item on the agenda and makes a decision. This decision is called a resolution of Council and is recorded in the minutes.
We endeavour to have the minutes available in the week following the meeting on the meetings page on our website.
Composition of agendas
The agenda for a Council meeting is divided into several sections:
Details of any Councillors unable to attend, or those seeking leave, are recorded at this point.
Confirmation of minutes
Minutes of the previous Council meeting are confirmed, with or without corrections, as a true record of that meeting.
Declaration of interest or conflict of interest
Councillors are required to declare any conflicts of interest in any items on the agenda. This is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2020 (The Act). It is usual for councillors to declare their interest at this point of the meeting, and again immediately before consideration of the relevant item. A Councillor declaring a conflict of interest must leave the meting room and take no part in the debate, or be present when the vote is taken.
Public question and submission time
Members of the public are invited to ask questions or make submissions to Council at Council meetings. Questions can be asked and answered, and submissions made to the Council in accordance with our Public Question and Submission Time Policy. More information is available on the public question and submission time at Council meetings page on our website.
Petitions received are formally received and acknowledged by Council. Petitions may, if relevant, be considered in conjunction with items on the agenda of the meeting. Otherwise, officers may write a report in response to petitions that will go to future ordinary meetings of council for decisions or the requests may be referred to the CEO for action and response. Find out more information about how to lodge a petition, including a simple petition template.
This section usually forms the main part of the agenda and comprises reports submitted by City officers in which recommendations are made to the Council for consideration. The recommendations as set out in the agenda are simply proposals to the Council for its consideration.
The Council may adopt these recommendations, amend the recommendations, determine a completely different course of action, or it may decline to pursue any course of action.
Notice of motion
This section enables a Councillor to propose a motion (recommendation) for consideration. For a notice of motion to be considered at the meeting, it must be provided in accordance with the Governance Rules.
This section allows for matters of an urgent nature to be considered by Council.
As no prior notice has been given for relevant issue, Council must vote on whether or not the issue will be considered, and a two-thirds majority must be achieved.
This section provides for the Council to discuss and decide upon matters of a confidential nature, for example: contractual matters, personnel issues etc.
Section 3(1) of the Act defines confidential information.
When matters of a confidential nature are to be dealt with, the item is listed on the agenda and the reason why it was determined to be confidential. However the sensitive information is not provided.
Council may vote to close the meeting to members of the public for the duration of the discussion and/or the making of the decisions on these matters. In doing so, it must indicate the reason for the issue being considered behind closed doors.
Normally any confidential matters are left until the end of the meeting.
Once Council has voted to close the meeting, the public and media are requested to leave the meeting.