Council, Committees and workshops

How Council and committee meetings work

The elected Council meets on a six-weekly cycle and is responsible for community leadership and setting the policy direction for Upper Hutt City. In undertaking its democratic activities the Council strives to have a fully informed community, the majority of which is satisfied with the elected Council’s performance.

All recommendations made by standing committees must be confirmed at a Council meeting which is attended by the Mayor and all of the Councillors. Some matters are only discussed at Council meetings, including adopting of Annual and Long Term Plans, the review of the rating system, the levying of rates, and matters relating to the employment of the Chief Executive.

Council's Terms of Reference(PDF, 277KB) set out the principal areas for which Council maintains overall responsibility. They also set out the delegations of Council functions, duties and powers to Council committees, panels and groups.

The Standing Orders(PDF, 2MB) for meetings of Upper Hutt City Council outline the rules and procedures for meetings of committees. Local authorities must adopt Standing Orders for the conduct of their meetings. Standing Orders reflect the requirements of the Local Government Act, the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, and other legislation concerning the conduct of meetings.

Standing committee structure and membership

Council has five standing committees. Membership of a committee is not restricted to Councillors. 

  • City Services Committee: Mayor, Councillor Wheeler (Chair) and Councillor Ultra (Deputy Chair) and Councillors Bentley, Carey, Hammond and Holderness
  • Finance and Performance Committee: Mayor Guppy and all members of Council, Councillor Bentley (Chair) and Councillor Holderness (Deputy Chair)
  • Policy Committee: Mayor Guppy and all members of Council, Councillor Newell (Chair) and Councillor Griffiths (Deputy Chair
  • Risk and Assurance Committee: Mayor Guppy, Councillor Carson (Chair) and Deputy Mayor Swales (Deputy Chair) and Councillors Bentley, Griffiths, Newell and Independent Member Sara Brownlie (appointed December 2022)
  • Hearings Committee: Mayor Guppy and Deputy Mayor Swales and Councillors Carey, Hammond, Newell and Wheeler

Policy applicable to all standing committees

It is incumbent upon all standing committees:

  • to ensure that Council policy is observed and Council decisions are complied with
  • to make recommendations to Council when necessary as to the interpretation of policy or as to the need to depart from the policy in specific instances
  • to make recommendations to Council on all matters where authority has not been delegated to the committee or where the decision required is beyond any delegation granted
  • to consider the public interest in, and reaction to, matters under their jurisdiction
  • to investigate, consider and make recommendations about functions assigned to them in accordance with laid down procedure and any delegation by the Council after the policy has been decided by the Council.

Workshops

Workshops are an informal forum to provide opportunities for elected members to discuss particular matters, receive briefings and provide guidance for officials. Workshops cannot be used to either make decisions or come to agreements that are then confirmed without the opportunity for meaningful debate at a formal meeting. 

Workshop agendas are available on our website under Meeting agendas and minutes. The material provided for discussion will be available as soon as practicable after the event, unless the topic being considered meets the requirements for public exclusion, in which case the grounds for public exclusion will be clearly identified in the agenda.

Additional committees, decision making bodies, and steering groups

Council has additional committees, decision making bodies, and steering groups to support Council in making decisions. They consist of elected members, experts, professionals, government employees, community representatives, or council staff.

Membership of other committees

  • Chief Executive Committee: Mayor Guppy (Chair), Deputy Mayor Swales (Deputy Chair) and Councillors Carson, Newell and Wheeler

  • Civic Awards Selection Panel: Mayor Guppy (Chair) and Councillors Hammond and Newell - two community representatives are also appointed to this panel

  • Community Grants Committee: Mayor Guppy, Councillor Carey (Chair) and Councillor Newell

  • Creative Communities New Zealand Upper Hutt Arts Funding Assessment Committee: Councillor Holderness and Councillor Ultra - one iwi representative and seven community representatives are also appointed to this panel

  • District Licensing Committee: Mayor (Chair) and Deputy Mayor Swales (Deputy Chair) and Councillors Bentley, Carey, Holderness and Wheeler

  • Emergency Committee: Mayor Guppy and all members of Council

  • Hutt Valley Services (Joint) Committee: Mayor Guppy and Councillor Griffiths (Chair) and Councillors Carson and Newell - Deputy Mayor Swales is an alternate for this committee

Membership of other decision making bodies

  • Contracts Group: Mayor Guppy (Chair), Councillor Carson, Deputy Mayor Swales - Councillor Bentley is an alternate for this group

  • Economic Stimulus Panel: Chief Executive, Mayor Guppy (Chair), Deputy Mayor Swales and Councillors Bentley, Newell and Wheeler

  • Sustainability Stimulus Grant Disbursement Panel: Mayor Guppy (Chair) and Councillors Bentley, Holderness and Deputy Mayor Swales

  • Temporary Road Closures for Events Group: Mayor Guppy (Chair), Councillors Hammond and Ultra - Councillor Carey is an alternate for this group

Membership of steering groups

  • Arts and Heritage Focus Group: Mayor Guppy, Deputy Mayor Swales and Councillors Carey, Holderness and Ultra

  • Business and Economic Development Focus Group: Mayor Guppy, Deputy Mayor Swales and Councillors Bentley, Carson, Hammond, Newell and Wheeler

  • Environmental Focus Group: Mayor Guppy, Councillors Carey, Griffiths, Holderness and Ultra

  • Sports Recreational Focus Group: Mayor Guppy, Councillors Carey, Carson, Griffiths, Hammond, Newell and Wheeler

Commissioners and Composition of Hearings Committees and Panels

Purpose

  • to prescribe when an independent Commissioner must be used.
  • to prescribe principles and guidelines to be used when; determining the composition, size, and membership of a specific Sitting of the Hearings Committee or a specific sitting of a Hearings Panel, and appointing the specific members of an Sitting of the Hearings Committee or Hearings Panel.

Independent Commissioner(s)

Council shall appoint one or more independent commissioner(s) to conduct hearings and make decisions or recommendations, arising from processes under the  Resource Management Act, including direct referral requests under section 87D, when:

  • the proposal or application is complex or controversial, or
  • additional technical expertise will assist decision making, or
  • the Council or a Council Controlled Organisation has or could be perceived to have a pecuniary interest in the decision, or
  • the Council is perceived to be or could be perceived to be biased.

Membership and composition of Specific Sitting of Hearings Committees and Hearings Panels

When determining the size or composition of an Specific Sitting of Hearings Committees or Hearings Panel or appointing members the following shall be considered:

  • Specific Sitting of Hearings Committees must have at least one Elected Member
  • whether (for Resource Management Act Hearings only) an independent Commissioner(s) is required under the ‘Independent Commissioner(s)’ paragraph of this Policy.
  • when an Specific Sitting of Hearings Committees or Hearings Panels is appointed for an Resource Management Act matter its composition must comply with the Resource Management Act accreditation requirements for persons who have hearing authority
  • only Councillors who are members of the Hearings Committee may be appointed to an Specific Sitting of Hearings Committees or Hearings Panels
  • the Hearings Committee and Hearings Panel Policies
  • the complexity of the matter
  • the experience and qualifications of the members
  • whether technical assistance to deliberate and or write the decision is desired
  • whether the nature of the matter means it would be more efficient for an individual, either a Commissioner or an Elected Member, to sit alone. For example, but consideration is not limited to these examples, the nature of the matter may be straight forward and not controversial or technical