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Public Excluded

 Widespread abuse by Councils of their right to exclude the public from meetings.

(1)

Subject to subsection (3), a local authority may by resolution exclude the public from the whole or any part of the proceedings of any meeting only on 1 or more of the following grounds:

(a)

that the public conduct of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information for which good reason for withholding would exist,—

(i)

where the local authority is named or specified in Schedule 1, under section 6 or section 7 (except section 7(2)(f)(i)):

(ii)

where the local authority is named or specified in Schedule 2 of this Act, under section 6 or section 7 or section 9 (except section 9(2)(g)(i)) of the Official Information Act 1982:

(b)

that the public conduct of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting would be likely to result in the disclosure of information the public disclosure of which would—

(i)

be contrary to the provisions of a specified enactment; or

(ii)

constitute contempt of court or of the House of Representatives:

(c)

that the purpose of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting is to consider a recommendation made to that local authority by an Ombudsman under section 30(1) or section 38(3) of this Act (in the case of a local authority named or specified in Schedule 1) or under section 30(1) or section 35(2) of the Official Information Act 1982 (in the case of a local authority named or specified in Schedule 2 of this Act):

(d)

that the exclusion of the public from the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings of the meeting is necessary to enable the local authority to deliberate in private on its decision or recommendation in any proceedings to which this paragraph applies.

(2)

Paragraph (d) of subsection (1) applies to—

(a)

any proceedings before a local authority where—

(i)

a right of appeal lies to any court or tribunal against the final decision of the local authority in those proceedings; or

(ii)

the local authority is required, by any enactment, to make a recommendation in respect of the matter that is the subject of those proceedings; and

(b)
[Repealed]
(c)

any proceedings of a local authority in relation to any application or objection under the Marine Farming Act 1971.

(3)

Every resolution excluding the public from any meeting shall be in the form set out in Schedule 2A and shall state—

(a)

the general subject of each matter to be considered while the public is excluded; and

(b)

the reason for the passing of that resolution in relation to that matter, including, where that resolution is passed in reliance on subsection (1)(a), the particular interest or interests protected by section 6 or section 7 of this Act, or section 6 or section 7 or section 9 of the Official Information Act 1982, as the case may require, which would be prejudiced by the holding of the whole or the relevant part of the proceedings in public; and

(c)

the grounds on which that resolution is based (being 1 or more of the grounds set out in subsection (1)).

(4)

Every resolution to exclude the public shall be put at a time when the meeting is open to the public, and the text of that resolution (or copies thereof)—

(a)

shall be available to any member of the public who is present; and

(b)

shall form part of the minutes of the local authority.

(5)

A resolution pursuant to subsection (1), may also provide for 1 or more specified persons to remain after the public has been excluded if that person, or persons, has or have, in the opinion of the local authority, knowledge that will assist the authority.

(6)

Where a local authority resolves that 1 or more persons may remain after the public has been excluded, the resolution must state the knowledge possessed by that person or those persons which will be of assistance in relation to the matter to be discussed and how it is relevant to that matter.

Section 48: substituted, on 1 October 1991, by section 6(1) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Amendment Act 1991 (1991 No 54).

Section 48(2)(b): repealed, on 1 October 1991, by section 362 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (1991 No 69).

Special consultative procedure

(1)

Where this Act or any other enactment requires a local authority to use or adopt the special consultative procedure, that local authority must—

(a)

prepare and adopt—

(i)

a statement of proposal; and

(ii)

if the local authority considers on reasonable grounds that it is necessary to enable public understanding of the proposal, a summary of the information contained in the statement of proposal (which summary must comply with section 83AA); and

(b)

ensure that the following is publicly available:

(i)

the statement of proposal; and

(ii)

a description of how the local authority will provide persons interested in the proposal with an opportunity to present their views to the local authority in accordance with section 82(1)(d); and

(iii)

a statement of the period within which views on the proposal may be provided to the local authority (the period being not less than 1 month from the date the statement is issued); and

(c)

make the summary of the information contained in the statement of proposal prepared in accordance with paragraph (a)(ii) (or the statement of proposal, if a summary is not prepared) as widely available as is reasonably practicable as a basis for consultation; and

(d)

provide an opportunity for persons to present their views to the local authority in a manner that enables spoken (or New Zealand sign language) interaction between the person and the local authority, or any representatives to whom an appropriate delegation has been made in accordance with Schedule 7; and

(e)

ensure that any person who wishes to present his or her views to the local authority or its representatives as described in paragraph (d)—

(i)

is given a reasonable opportunity to do so; and

(ii)

is informed about how and when he or she may take up that opportunity.

(2)

For the purpose of, but without limiting, subsection (1)(d), a local authority may allow any person to present his or her views to the local authority by way of audio link or audiovisual link.

(3)

This section does not prevent a local authority from requesting or considering, before making a decision, comment or advice from an officer of the local authority or any other person in respect of the proposal or any views on the proposal, or both.

Section 83: replaced, on 8 August 2014, by section 25 of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014 (2014 No 55).