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Have your say


Council is required to publicly consult on certain matters under the Local Government Act 2002. When we are consulting we will advertise this to communities and on the website. 

Sometimes Council will ask for feedback through engagement. This is less formal than consultation and we do this when we are still developing options before formal consultation. When you provide feedback to us, this is a submission and is used to help Councillors make their decisions.

Submissions are a very important part of the democratic process because it is an opportunity to have a say in what happens in your community.

How to take part in Council decisions

We consult the public on a range of Council decisions. This means we will ask for your feedback about a project, which may be a formal process, known as making a submission.

Submissions are

  • Responses to a formal consultation where a decision will be made by the Council, a Committee of Council or a Community Board
  • Usually written statements but they can also be delivered by speaking to the Council or the relevant Committee or Community Board, in person
  • Subject to the Local Government Act 2002 and become publicly available information.

Submissions need to include

  • your full name, postal address, postcode and email address
  • your role and organisation's name if you are submitting on behalf of a group or organisation
  • whether or not you want to speak where public hearings are available.

If you choose to speak at a hearing we will contact you to arrange a time for you to meet with the Council hearings panel.

Subject to the provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, if requested, we will make all submissions publicly available, including all contact details you provide on your submission.

If you consider there are reasons why your contact details and/or submission should be kept confidential, please  contact us when you send your submission.

Feedback is:

  • Gathered informally through a range of methods, such as surveys, direct contact with individuals or groups, or on social media.
  • Gathered to help develop a project that does not require a formal decision to be made by the Council, a Committee of Council or a Community Board (i.e. a local community project). 

If you want to talk to the Council, a Committee or your Community Board about an issue or idea, you can request to present to a meeting. 

Deputations enable a person or organisation to make a presentation to a meeting of the Council, Committee or Community Board on a matter covered in a report on the agenda for the meeting. Up to ten minutes is available for a deputation.

The Council and Community Boards may have public forum sessions at the start of meetings, where speakers can speak for up to five minutes about a matter relevant to the Council or the Community Board.

To make a request to speak at a meeting, please contact us and ask to speak to:

  • A Community Board Advisor at your local Community Board if your issue is related to something local in your street, community or neighbourhood. 
  • A Committee Advisor for a Council Committee.
  • The Council Secretary for Council Meetings.

Requests to speak to a meeting will need to be approved by the Chairperson of the meeting. Council staff will provide you with more information on meeting protocol, speaking times and presentation equipment. To allow enough time for questions we advise that you keep your presentation brief. Please let us know if you would like us to arrange a translator to help you speak at a meeting or hearing, i.e. Te Reo, sign language.

Please note that the Westland District Council meetings are live streamed and the recording is kept on our website following the meeting for future reference.

Any person or organisation can present a petition to the Council, a Council Committee or a Community Board.

A petition must contain at least 20 signatures and consist of fewer than 150 words (not including signatories).

Petitions must be received at least five working days before the date of the meeting at which they will be presented. Contact us to present your petition.

A petitioner can present a petition to a meeting, and speak for up to five minutes about the petition. A Councillor or Community Board member may present a petition on behalf of petitioners. Petitions and the information on them will form part of the public record of a meeting and may be published on our website.


Details are available.

Where possible we will publish information before it is open for feedback. This step doesn't always occur or can be very short.

Open for feedback

You are invited to provide feedback. This step can be between two to eight weeks.

Analysis and reporting

All feedback is analysed. The length of time depends on the type of consultation and the level of feedback received.

Report available

The Council staff report makes a recommendation to the deciding body taking into consideration the feedback received. The deciding body can be the full Council, a committee of the Council or a Community Board.

Everyone who has provided feedback will be contacted with the report and meeting details.

The report is available a minimum of 3 days before the decision meeting.


When you make a submission you may be asked if you would like to attend a hearing.

This means you present a summary of your submission to a hearing panel of elected representatives, who may then have questions they would like to ask you.

Generally hearings are for plan and bylaw consultations.

Decision made

The report is presented by Council staff to the deciding body.

A decision is made to:

  • Approve
  • Reject
  • Ask for further consultation
  • Develop further options

Everyone who has provided feedback will be contacted within a month of the final decision being made.

Consultations and submissions

Our elected members want to hear from you before making decisions. This is referred to as consultation, and your feedback is referred to as a submission.