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Ways to have your say

There are lots of different ways for individuals, groups and organisations in the district to put forward their preferences and views about Council matters that affect them. Your choices include:

Public Forums are held at the beginning of Council and Community Board meetings and are an opportunity for residents to present views about matters of Council business or that are of community interest. People are encouraged to keep presentations as brief as possible (a maximum of five minutes is allowed), to provide plenty of time for questions from Councillors or Community Board members. Learn more...

We encourage any individual (residents and ratepayers), group or organisation to make a submission on our consultations. A submission is a statement expressing your opinion to the Council. For each consultation we will advise you about the different ways you can provide feedback. Submissions are usually written statements but they can also be delivered by speaking to Council. You will need to ensure you send us your submission by the due date of the consultation process. Submission forms are available from our current consultations page, Ashburton Public Library, and Council's reception. Learn more...

When you make a submission you will be asked if you would like to attend and present at a hearing. This means that you will be able to present a summary of your submission to a hearing panel of elected representatives who may then have questions they would like to ask you. Learn more...

Any person or organisation can present a petition to the Council, a Council committee or the Methven Community Board. A petition can be about any topic that Council is responsible for. Petitions to local government are non-binding, i.e. Council is not legally bound to do what the petition is asking for. ​However, Council does consider each request made through a petition regardless of whether they need to act on it or not. All petitions go to Council with a covering report. It is important to remember there is a specific format that you will need to follow when writing your petition which is outline below. Petitions need to be sent directly to Council's Chief Executive Officer.

Petition format and content must:

  • be in English or Te Reo Maori
  • contain fewer than 50 words (not including signatories)
  • not be disrespectful, or use offensive language or include statements made with malice
  • include name and address details and signatures

You have two options for submitting your petition:

  • you may request a Councillor or a Community Board member to present the petition to the Council, Committee or Community Board on your behalf; or
  • you may present the petition in person at a Council meeting. You will be given five minutes to state the request of the petition

To apply to present a petition please email or phone 307 7700. Learn more...

Our Council carries out public referenda when a proposal or recommendation has a district-wide or local geographical community impact. A referendum is another way for residents to put forward their choice on whether or not they support that proposal or recommendation in which public opinion may be divided. When Council decides to hold a public referendum they will determine whether or not it will be binding, depending on the issue. To date, all those conducted by Council have been binding. ​

Before we make a decision, we will consider your feedback, along with advice from Council officers and other evidence. For formal consultations, your feedback (submission) will be made public as part of a hearing report. You may also be invited to attend a hearing and speak about your submission. For formal consultations, we will prepare a summary report of feedback received. Once we have made a decision, we will inform you of the outcome in one of the following ways:

  • by post - a letter outlining the decision made and the reasons for that decision
  • by email
  • online