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New standing orders for the Council

Kāpiti Coast District Council inaugural meeting for 2017 will be under new standing orders.

The orders were adopted by the Council on 15 December 2016 following a Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) review last year of local authority standing orders.

LGNZ’s revisions addressed feedback from the sector that standing orders needed to have greater clarity, align with the 21st century meeting practice, including technology advancements, and more inclusion of bi-cultural provisions.

The new standing orders will be in place for this week’s full Council meeting on Thursday [26 January] and will apply to all Council, Committee and Subcommittee meetings going forward.

Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says there have been minor changes to the Council’s standing orders themselves, but they have been updated, prepared and presented in a more user-friendly way to ensure the orderly conduct of meetings.

“Standing orders are part of the framework of processes and procedures designed to ensure that our system of local democracy, and in particular decision-making, within local government is transparent and accountable,” he says.

The new standing orders incorporate the legislative provisions relating to meetings, including general matters such as appointments, delegations and committees; pre-meeting procedures such as giving notice and the agenda; and meeting procedures such as public recording, public speaking time, public exclusion, petitions, points of order, conduct, minutes and more.

“The orders are designed to give effect to the principles of good governance. They ensure as the Council, and as elected representatives of Kāpiti, we’re conducting our business in an open, transparent and democratically accountable manner,” Mr Gurunathan says.

“Underpinning the standing orders are principles that as a local authority we’re considering the views and interests of our diverse communities, as well as ensuring any decisions made under our standing orders comply with Local Government Act and meet the standards of natural justice.”

Each Community Board will be considering whether to adopt the new standing orders at their first round of meetings in 2017, starting with Waikanae on 31 January. Community Boards can chose to adopt the new orders or to stay with the older ones.

It is mandatory that councils adopt standing orders for the conduct of their meetings and the meetings of any subordinate bodies, such as committees and subcommittees.

They fulfil the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 and the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 with regard to the conduct of meetings.

Wednesday 25 January