Wellington Scoop

Remote meetings on Zoom for regional councillors

News from LDR
Emergency measures have been put in place during the covid-19 Level 4 alert to keep the Wellington Regional Council able to make decisions. The council’s Deputy Chair Adrienne Staples says the 13-person board has passed rules for emergency delegations during the heightened level of response to the virus.

The message to stay at home has applied to the regional authority’s representatives.

Staples, the former South Wairarapa Mayor, has taken similar moves to the district in removing a physical quorum for regional council committees for the duration of the Level 4 alert. However due to statutory requirements, the regional council board and the Wellington Regional Strategy Committee cannot be reduced.

Councillors can however meet remotely during the highest level alert. This will remain until the alert returns to a lower level.

“When we go back to level 3, we’ve reduced our quorum for our committees,” she said. “So we don’t need to have people going into a room and meeting physically unless they absolutely have to.”

Staples said her message to Wairarapa residents would be to stay sensible, and to follow guidelines, but do not be scared. “We need to be sensible and do what we told, but it’s really important we don’t wind ourselves into a knot over this. I’m hearing people say they’re scared to go out. I know the risk is heightened but things have been put in place to help us get through this, so what I say is take it seriously, do as we’re told, but don’t wind yourself up. The stress doesn’t help to keep us well. It’s not helpful.”

The regional council’s board next meets, remotely, on April 9. All other meetings have been cancelled. The exception was a Wellington regional civil defence meeting, which happened remotely today.

News from Wellington Regional Council
During the current COVID-19 alert status it is not possible for the Regional Council to conduct its meetings at a publicly accessible physical location. All Council and committee meetings are being held remotely, with all participating members counting for the purpose of the meeting quorum in accordance with clause 25B of Schedule 7 to the Local Government Act 2002.

Attending meetings

All Council and committee meetings will be held via Zoom, so you are able to attend these meetings (except for any Public Excluded session) via Zoom.

To attend a meeting, please download the Zoom app onto your device. You will be provided with the meeting ID and password when you contact Democratic Services (see below). We ask that you mute your microphone while you are not speaking at the meeting.

Speaking at meetings

You can address Council or a committee via Zoom during the Public Participation session of the meeting. If this is not an option for you, you can provide a written speech to be read verbatim by a member at the meeting.

Supporting information

You may present a presentation and/or provide supporting information to your speech. This information will be circulated to members prior to the meeting. Please provide any speeches, presentations, and supporting information to Democratic Services by midday on the day before the meeting. It is important to note that although the meetings are currently being held remotely, the rules surrounding public participation have not changed. This means that you will still have the opportunity to speak for up to five (5) minutes, with members accorded time to ask you questions.

If you would like to attend a Council or a Committee meeting, please contact Democratic Services, democratic.services@gw.govt.nz, by midday the day before the meeting. If you would like to address Council or a Committee, please also email us with:
Your name, and the name or your organisation if you are speaking on behalf of an organisation
Confirmation of the topic/s you wish to address (for a Council meeting the topic must relate directly to an item on the meeting’s agenda)