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Community Development Resource Kit

SECTION A: Community Development Practice

SECTION B1: Setting Up A Community Group - Introduction

SECTION B2: Setting Up A Community Group - Legal Structures

SECTION B3: Setting Up a Community Group - Incorporated Societies

SECTION B4: Setting Up a Community Group - Charitable Trusts

SECTION C: Planning and Managing

SECTION D1: Employment Matters - Agreements

SECTION D3: Employment Matters - Support

SECTION D2: Employment Matters - Recruitment

SECTION E: Running Meetings

SECTION F: Project Management

SECTION G: Financial Management

SECTION H: Funding

SECTION I: Keeping Good Records

SECTION J: Technology - The Internet

SECTION K: Political Processes and Submissions

SECTION L: Legislation

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SECTION E: Running Meetings




Effective Meetings

Procedures and Important Skills

There are a number of structures you can put in place to maintain your organisation so it is efficient and achieves what it sets out to do. All of these emphasise the need for:

  • a sound knowledge and appreciation of the skills and responsibilities of the roles of the committee or Board and managers of the organisation
  • mutual respect
  • clearly defined goals and objectives
  • clearly defined boundaries
  • open and effective communication channels.
(Adapted from Boards at Work Ltd )


Characteristics of a Group that is Working Well

  • Belonging and valuing. The group operates in a positive environment where everybody’s contribution is valued, where confidentiality is maintained and differences are affirmed;
  • Being clear about the task. Consistent attention is given to planning, policies, procedures and roles, and it is clear what needs to be done, when and how.
  • Listening, consulting and participation. Participation is a key characteristic of a well-functioning group. This does not preclude directive leadership.
  • Having a clear decision-making structure. Appropriate ways of decision making are used.
  • Being committed to conflict resolution.

Effective Meetings

Regular, effective, face-to-face communications are essential for building and maintaining successful community organisations. Meetings may be held informally or they can be run according to a set of formal rules. Each has its merits. The influence of the facilitator or person chairing the meeting makes a big difference: well-run meetings produce results.

Before the Meeting

Effective meetings are planned in advance. Successful meeting organisers make sure that:

  • the reason for members meeting face-to-face is clear
  • members are invited well in advance
  • the objectives of the meeting have been communicated and understood
  • any reports and/or background papers or finance statements about which decisions need to be made are circulated before the meeting so they can be read and digested;
  • members have been reminded about any jobs that need to be completed by the time of the meeting
  • the physical environment is prepared beforehand (check for warmth, fresh air, light, appropriate seating arrangements)
  • appropriate visual aids - whiteboard, markers, Blu-tak, sheets of paper, recording equipment, overhead projector, etc. are in place
  • any other resources needed for the meeting have been collected
  • any displays are assembled
  • there is an agenda
  • the Chair or facilitator knows they will be taking on that role
  • the minute-taker knows they are responsible for taking the minutes.

At the Meeting

The Chair or facilitator will:

  • make sure the meeting starts on time
  • know whether it is appropriate to begin with a karakia or prayer (particularly if the group is Mäori, Pacific Island or church-based). Some secular words of welcome, inviting people to focus their minds on the matter at hand and share their joint purpose, may better suit a meeting that includes people who might object to taking part in prayers.
  • be aware that people of different cultures may follow different time scales, and if there are latecomers, welcome them, give them a moment to settle, then tell them what the group is doing
  • welcome members and organise any introductions
  • list any ground rules that have been developed by the members, e.g. agreements about confidentiality of discussion or one person speaking at a time
  • read and call for apologies
  • where appropriate advise of housekeeping details, e.g. time and length of meeting breaks, location of toilet facilities etc
  • set a timeframe for the meeting, and work to keep to it
  • keep to the agenda
  • use a range of tools or interventions to assist the group to complete its task, e.g. summarising, clarifying, reflecting, suggesting options, raising energy levels, seeking agreement, encouraging participation and solving conflicts
  • avoid introducing their own opinion unless it is necessary
  • as part of the closure, ensure that it is clear what is to be done by whom and when
  • thank everyone for attending the meeting
  • where appropriate, end with a prayer or song
  • check after the meeting that the room is returned to the state it was in prior to the meeting (includes cleaning whiteboards).

Sample Ground Rules Checklist

Ground rules should be developed by the group that will be bound by them. These rules should cover:

  • respect for other people: no interrupting, no long monologues, no personal abuse, allow space for everybody to express their views
  • confidentiality: agreement on whether meeting content may be discussed outside the meeting
  • responsibility: everybody agrees to take responsibility for timekeeping, keeping to the agenda and voicing their opinions in the meeting rather than afterwards
  • physical comfort: agreement needs to be reached about whether smoking is permissible or whether breaks are necessary
  • decision-making: how are decisions to be made, by consensus or voting? If consensus can't be achieved. at what point will alternative decision-making methods be used, and who will decide?

After the Meeting

  • action plans and follow ups are confirmed;
  • minutes are checked by the Chair or facilitator and the minute taker;
  • the time frame for circulation of minutes, new reports, background papers, and the next agenda is arranged; and
  • minutes are then circulated (sometimes on their own, sometimes not long before the next meeting when reports and background papers called for at the meeting can go out at the same time).

Community Group Facilitation

      "Effective group facilitation is an artful dance requiring rigorous discipline. The role of the facilitator offers an opportunity to dance with life on the edge of the sword - to be present and aware - to be with and for people in a way that cuts through to what enhances and fulfils life. A good facilitator is a peaceful warrior".
- Dale Hunter, Anne Bailey, and Bill Taylor of Zenergy Group

Facilitation has long been a part of the community group process. These days it is also being considered at government, local government and industry level, to help groups resolve their problems, and ensure that people have the opportunity to express their views and be a part of the decision-making process.

Each kind of facilitation has its distinctive characteristics and language. For example, in industry the term “multi-stakeholder process” is talked about to describe including people in decision-making. This term is not generally used in community group facilitation. Each can result in exciting and innovative solutions to problems.

Competent facilitation empowers people to develop their own solutions to perceived threats and issues. The facilitator makes sure that the issues are discussed in the most satisfactory and productive way possible, and guides the group through co-operative processes, including collective decision-making, so that the people involved can carry out their purpose as easily and as productively as possible.

On the face of it, facilitation looks easy, but in reality, it is a highly developed skill requiring patience, perseverance and courage.

Characteristics of Good Facilitators

Good facilitators:

  • have the confidence of the community with which they are working
  • are aware of the different sections within that community
  • are aware of protocols of different cultures
  • can communicate cross-culturally
  • understand the groups members' strengths
  • have a good working knowledge of the subject under discussion and the issues facing the group, but
  • present a neutral position on the issues being discussed
  • deal with how things are done (the process), rather than with what is done (the content). This does not limit the facilitator from contributing to the content, as there will be times when facilitator input will move the group along;
  • value as relevant everything that happens at the meeting, and everyone there
  • enable everyone to have the opportunity to express their views
  • know when decisions will be by majority vote and when by consensus
  • know who may vote at the meeting
  • trust the ability of the group to work through processes and achieve its task
  • trust themselves to do the job well
  • appreciate that the value of the group is greater than the sum of its parts
  • keep the meeting’s purpose in mind at all times
  • are comfortable with conflict and conflict resolution
  • act naturally and openly
  • are enthusiastic
  • can stimulate discussion
  • can laugh at themselves and with others
  • support, guide and inform members and involve them in decision-making
  • do not dominate proceedings
  • know whether a decision is a routine or a strategic decision
  • know which decisions relate to governance (policy-making) and which to management of the organisation
  • can keep the meeting from being sidetracked
  • can keep members to the agenda
  • get the job done, and done on time, and
  • act on decisions that have been made

Facilitation Tools

Skilful facilitators draw on a range of techniques. The following section provides information on some of the key ones. The use of these tools is not limited to facilitated group processes. They can also be used in formal meetings.

Communication Skills

Facilitators are super-communicators who use skills such as

  • listening - and being aware of personal listening faults such as self-listening (planning what they are going to answer instead of listening to what is being said)
  • the ability to speak openly, e.g. to be able to say "I don't know"
  • attending - to what is happening to themselves as well as to others
  • reflecting and summarising - checking back on what has been said earlier
  • drawing people out - using open questions
  • problem-solving
  • acknowledging and affirming
  • summarising
  • negotiating and contracting
  • using humour (especially when things are starting to get tense)
  • using silence - allowing for reflection and learning
  • reviewing - offering a final overview of what has been said and decided
  • giving and receiving constructive feedback, and
  • seeking agreement.

At meetings the facilitator will:
  • check the group's expectations of the facilitator, and address any significant differences between the expectations of the group and of the facilitator
  • deal with how things are done (the process) rather than with what is done (the tasks)
  • set the scene for the group to work out ways of dealing with the tasks and problems
  • think critically: identify and name blocks or problems in the group process
  • be adaptable and choose what direction to take at a particular moment
  • enable the group to set targets, and make sure that everyone knows what, when and how things are to be done, and
  • enable participants to evaluate the meeting.

Aspects of Active Listening

Use of non-verbal cues: this is the skill of using non-verbal cues to show you are listening. By using your usual body language of nods, smiles, attentiveness, sounds such as "uh-huh", etc., you show the speaker that you are attending.

Concentration: this is the skill of focusing on the speaker and interacting to draw them out. Steps: focus fully on the speaker; avoid re-focusing attention on yourself; draw the speaker out as necessary; use expressions of interest, open questions (questions that encourage extended answers rather than “yes” or ”no”) and directives to keep the speaker focused on their theme and help them have their say.

Suspending judgement: if you have critical or negative thoughts about the speaker or what they are saying, put these aside for the duration of the discussion.

Giving feedback: giving feedback to the speaker is both helpful and an indication of how fully you are listening. Steps: summarise briefly the main points of what they said; describe what their voice tone, breathing, facial expression, body position and body movement seemed to indicate about what they were feeling. You can give feedback in any order so long as it is constructive and you affirm and support the speaker.

Paraphrasing: at points during the conversation it is helpful to briefly summarise your understanding of what the other person has said. This enables you to confirm that you clearly understand what is being said to you.

Sample Warm-up Techniques

It may be useful to begin some meetings with a warm-up exercise. These exercises focus the group on the tasks ahead and help them communicate with each other

Group Map

The facilitator places a chair, or some other object, in the centre of the room indicating that it represents the location of this town on the map of Aotearoa/New Zealand. The group are asked to recall their place of birth and take up a position in relation to the chair (where they live now). If they do not know their birthplace, the earliest home they can identify is fine. When the group are in position, check where each of them is standing and encourage discussion about the distance between their birth place and present place of living. The group are then invited to talk with someone close by and tell them of their birth place and special memories they have or stories they were told when they were very young.

Autograph Hunt

Hand out autograph sheets and ask the group to go around finding signatures.

Something in Common

Ask the group to find someone with whom they have something in common. After sharing these find two more things you also have in common. Find someone you think is different from you in some way and find two more differences.

Information Gathering

Rounds

"Rounds" are a simple, but effective technique used to give everyone in the group the opportunity of giving their point of view. A round is where the facilitator asks the viewpoint on an issue of each person in turn Group members have the right to pass in the round if they do not wish to contribute at a particular point. Rounds can also be used as a means of everyone introducing themselves to the group.

Rounds can be used at any stage of the meeting: as a warm up exercise, in the middle of the meeting to ensure everyone's views on a matter are being considered, or at the end to leave people comfortable with the total process.

Working in Small Groups

Sometimes working in a large group does not allow full participation. It can be a good idea to:

  • break into pairs: discuss the issue with one other person, or
  • break into small groups (3-4 people) to discuss an issue.

In some instances the small pair or group will feed back to the large group and in other instances the small group discussion may be used to air personal feelings about the issue. It is not always necessary to formally get feedback to the larger group.

Brainstorms

The objective of a brainstorming session is to collect ideas from all participants without criticism or judgement.

Rules for conducting brainstorms:

  • before a brainstorm, define the subject clearly (usually a "what" or "how" question)
  • allow a minute to think about it
  • encourage everyone to contribute - don't hold back ideas even if they seem silly
  • no discussion during the brainstorm (that will come later)
  • no judgement - no-one is allowed to criticise other people's views, verbally or non-verbally
  • build on ideas generated by others in the group
  • write all ideas on a whiteboard or newsprint so that the whole group can easily link them; and
  • the facilitator should ensure that everyone observes the rules.

After brainstorming, it is possible to move further forward by, for example:
  • encouraging each person to prioritise 3-5 items
  • if several groups are brainstorming simultaneously, putting the lists on the wall and giving time for participants to read other groups' ideas or getting group feedback, and
  • having each person identify the items that could be achieved most easily.

Continua (or continuums)

A continuum (or a spectrum) is a way of eliciting a group opinion by getting the members of a group to place themselves somewhere along an imaginary line on the floor to identify their opinion on a given issue. Each end of this line represents an extreme view of an issue e.g. "Stand at this point of the line if you believe the organisation should purchase computers.....and at this end of you believe the organisation should not buy computers".

A continuum is a simple but effective way of illustrating the range of opinions in the group.

Once people have placed themselves on the line, the facilitator asks people at various points on the line to state their point of view. It is sometimes helpful then to get each person to select somebody else with a different viewpoint to discuss the issue.

Use continuums sparingly.

Timelines

A timeline is valuable if your group is organising a specific function or project with a deadline.

Draw a line showing today's date at one end and the deadline date at the other. Break up the space with appropriate divisions - months, weeks or days - and mark when things need to be done so that they are completed at an appropriate time, rather than at the last minute.

From the timeline you could develop a task-list noting who has taken on the responsibility for particular tasks.

The timeline will note major tasks but other tasks could also need to be allocated to ensure the project is completed on time.


Decision-Making

Consensus Decision-making

The goal of any group is to reach decisions that best reflect the thinking of all group members. Consensus is finding a proposal that is acceptable enough for all members to support, and agree to abide by.

Consensus requires:

  • the agreement of the group to operate in this way
  • time
  • active participation of all group members
  • skills in communication; listening, conflict resolution, discussion, and
  • creative thinking and open mindedness.

There will always be circumstances where it is not possible to have consensus. In these situations it is important to have a previously decided strategy on how to resolve any issue, e.g. a 75% majority vote or a non-unanimous consensus where some people agree to disagree, and this is recorded.

When Not to Use Consensus
  • when there is no group unity: consensus cannot work effectively unless the group is cohesive enough to generate shared attitudes and perceptions. When there is deep conflict and divisions within the group, or where members don't value the group's bonding over their individual desires, consensus becomes an exercise in frustration
  • when there are no good choices: consensus process can help a group find the best possible solution to a problem, but it is not an effective way to make an either/or choice between two evils, for members will never be able to agree which is worse. If the group has to choose between being shot or being hanged, flip a coin
  • in emergencies, in situations where urgent and immediate action is necessary, appointing a temporary leader may be the wisest course of action
  • when the group has insufficient information. In this situation, ask: do we have the information we need to solve this problem? Can we get it?

from "Starhawk Truth or Dare" Harper and Row, San Francisco 1987


Reaching Decisions by Majority Vote
Some groups choose to use voting as their principal method of decision-making. For others it may be a means of moving the group on, when consensus cannot be reached. In both cases there are things to bear in mind:
  • be clear about how many votes are required for the proposal to be carried. In community organisations where it is important to acknowledge a wide range of views, it is often more appropriate to require a 75% majority rather than 50+%
  • all choices should be discussed fully before a vote is taken; and
  • voting can be by voice, a show of hands or secret ballot. A secret ballot is the most formal means of coming to a decision, and should be reserved for elections or very sensitive issues.

Remember that:
  • voting can set up winners and losers; strong and valid minority viewpoints may be overlooked. Some members of the group may begin to feel undervalued
  • taking a vote should not be a way of avoiding full discussion.

Difficulties in Decision Making

Conflict and disagreement can be learning opportunities. By debating issues we are able to more easily understand and resolve them. For this reason conflict should not be ignored, minimised or suppressed.


Some reasons for groups finding it difficult to make decisions include:

  • no philosophy, no goal, no plan
  • processes for decision-making are not clear
  • fear of the consequences
  • conflicting loyalties
  • interpersonal conflict
  • cultural insensitivity
  • hidden agendas
  • people think it will take too long or it can't be done at all
  • there is no chance for people to freely express differences
  • inadequate leadership
  • clash of interests.

Managing Conflict in a Group

Although there is no right way to resolve conflict in groups, some key elements should be observed:

  • allow enough time to deal with conflict
  • define the issue in terms that are clear, neutral and acceptable to all parties in conflict
  • have at least one person give special attention to the process, someone uninvolved
  • use reflective listening to explore the issues: check out what you think is being said at regular points; and
  • have parties to the conflict identify their points of view and what their ideal solutions would be.

Resolving Problems

First name the conflict. Then try some of these:

  • set ground rules for the meeting
  • agree on goals
  • agree on a plan
  • be clear about the way that decisions will be made (e.g. by consensus)
  • offer the freedom to express feelings safely
  • give constructive feedback
  • define the issues
  • group the options in broad categories
  • rank ideas (e.g. each person chooses their three most favoured options)
  • break into small groups to re-examine remaining ideas, and report back to the full meeting
  • brainstorm solutions by listing possible ways of dealing with the matter
  • try out an idea then evaluate it
  • suspend judgement - withhold opinions till more information has been obtained
  • compromise
  • agree to abide by a majority vote
  • agree to differ.

Mediation

Mediation is a process of resolving conflict that can be used when the level of conflict within the group is beyond the group's ability to resolve it.

In these circumstances it is useful to bring in a neutral third party to mediate. Their role is to clarify the source of the dispute, facilitate the group identifying solutions for themselves, and establish a course of action when a particular solution is identified.

The role of the mediator is to facilitate the group's own decision-making. The mediator should not inflict their own point of view on the group.

If you are going to use a mediator, try to find one who has done it before. Mediation requires a high level of skill.

Sample Conflict Resolution or Problem-solving Model

This process is designed to resolve conflicts in which real needs are being frustrated.

Description:
The first time the process is used, it should be explained briefly, listing the steps. It is important to note that during the process other problems may arise that need to be solved. Do not try to solve them at this time. Write them down on a separate list and save them for later problem-solving.

  • Define the problem in terms of both people's needs. Each person should identify the conflict in terms of his or her own needs e.g. "when the dishes are left unwashed following lunch I am irritated because I have to cook tea, and I don't have time to wash the pans and move the dirty dishes out of the way". Avoid making statements of blame like: "When you don't wash the dishes after lunch, you are irresponsible and insensitive to my needs"
  • Restate the problem in such a way as to include both person's needs, e.g. the problem is - person A needs the minutes circulated and person B doesn't have the time. Both persons A and B must agree with the definition of their needs. If difficulty occurs in reaching agreement, rotate attempts to state the problem. Until agreement can be reached about the nature of the problem, solution is unlikely.
  • Brainstorm alternative solutions. Think creatively. All parties to the conflict should participate. All suggestions are listed. Use a sheet of paper large enough for all participants to see. No discussion, acceptance, rejection, or evaluation of solutions should happen at this stage. Brainstorming should continue until each person sees on the list several solutions with which s/he is willing to work.
  • Evaluate alternative solutions. Each person in turn evaluates the list of solutions. Solutions which are unacceptable for any reason to any participant should be eliminated. It is essential that participants continue to be honest about their own feelings and needs throughout this process. Trust and encourage others to state their own feelings and needs. Never try to tell another person what their needs are, though use of active listening is effective and appropriate. The result of this step is a list of possible solutions which are acceptable to both or all parties.
  • Decide on the best solution, acceptable to everyone. Usually one solution will appear to be much better than the rest, but don't jump to one solution without at least evaluating each of the other possibilities. Choose the best solution and make a commitment to try it.
  • Implement the solution. Think through to the implications of the chosen solution. Who will do and not do what, when? How will things be different? How will things be better? Set up a time when participants will evaluate how well the solution is working.
  • Evaluate how it is working. Find out how each person feels about the solution. If the solution needs adjustments, try to make them. Check to see that all persons still agree with the statement of the problem. The problem may have become clearer or disappeared, or new problems may have arisen. If anyone is unhappy with the solution or feels it is unfair or won't work, repeat the process from the beginning.


Formal Procedures

Formal Meetings and Maori Hui

Procedure

At formal meetings the Chair is usually the person elected by the membership to lead the organisation for a specified period. With the Secretary (usually also an elected office bearer) the Chair decides on an agenda, which is circulated in advance to members with relevant reports, background papers, and financial statements attached (also previous minutes if they have not already been circulated).

The Formal Agenda

A formal agenda typically includes the following:

  • Attendance is recorded and apologies are read and called for.
  • The previous minutes are confirmed (the motion that the minutes are accurate is put by two people who were at that meeting).
  • Matters arising from the last minutes are discussed (discussion should be confined to specific questions arising from the minutes, or the action someone was asked to take).
  • Correspondence is tabled. Discussion is limited to the essentials, and a motion put that inward correspondence be received, another that outward correspondence be approved.
  • Financial statements are presented by the Treasurer. A motion is needed on a list of accounts for payment.
  • Committee reports (short) are presented and discussed.
  • Other reports (brief, on specific subjects, with recommendations attached for consideration) are presented. recommendations are discussed, and approved or declined.
  • Motions (of which due notice has been given) are put. Any motions proposed without sufficient notice may be rejected by the Chair and then accepted as notices of motion for the next meeting.
  • General business. This is the time for minor items to be raised (the Chair should discourage the raising of major items at this point unless they are urgent - the Chair decides whether each matter will be discussed.
  • The next meeting is arranged.

Understanding Motions

A motion is a formal recommendation put by a member to a meeting for debate and consideration, by saying "I move that...". There are two types: those that deal with the business of the organisation itself (substantive motions) and those that deal with the way the meeting is run (procedural motions). Each motion put (except motions “from the Chair”) has to be supported (seconded) by another person before it is open for discussion. The Chair then asks the proposer to speak to the motion. Other members can add to this discussion.

If there is no discussion the motion is then put to the meeting for a decision, and members indicate by vote whether they agree or disagree with it. All motions should be minuted. If a substantive motion is passed it becomes a resolution.

Motions can be amended before they have been voted on - the same procedure is used as when the motion was originally put, but the mover and the seconder of an amendment should not be the same as those of the original motion. If an amendment is not contentious (such as the correction of a name) and is acceptable to the mover and the seconder of the original motion, it may be incorporated without a vote. An amendment can not be accepted if it goes against the general intention of the original motion.

If an amendment is moved, it should be dealt with before the main (substantive) motion. The meeting then returns to the motion (amended or not) that was first discussed. If the amendment is carried it is incorporated into the motion, which is then further discussed (and, if required, motions can be put to further amend it).

Motions and Amendments Flowchart




Points of Order: these are introduced by the words "Point of order, ...". These refers to a breach of rules, a violation of the bylaws, or a misrepresentation. Points of order must be made at the time of the breach, and are subject to the Chair's ruling.

There are many rules about motions and amendments and they are usually included in "Standing Orders" which are attached to the Constitution or Rules of the organisation (e.g. Parliament has its own Standing Orders). A copy of the Standing Orders and the Constitution of the organisation should be available at the meeting for reference.

Some people just love using the standing orders to bog meetings down in amendments and points of order. A Chair needs to be a skilled facilitator to avoid this happening. The Chair need not accept an amendment if they consider it “vexatious” - just made to cause trouble.

Voting at Meetings

This can be by a voice vote (if the issue is not very contentious), a show of hands (if a voice vote is not decisive), or a ballot (especially if there are more than two outcomes, as when electing officers). Two scrutineers are appointed (one from each opposing faction, if any) and they give each member a slip of paper with a list of candidates on it. Members cross off names of candidates they do not support, then the slips are collected by the scrutineers and counted outside the meeting room. After counting is completed, the Chair moves that ballot papers be destroyed. In the event of a tied vote the Chair has the final - or casting - vote.

A Quorum

The rules governing groups generally require a quorum, or minimum number of people, to be present before a meeting can be held (usually, but not always a third of the membership). If a quorum is lost during the meeting, it is declared closed. Decisions at meetings are valid only if there is a quorum present.

Hui Maori

Maori hui on marae are governed by the protocol (kawa) of the marae or its iwi . A meeting on a marae may be organised in the following way:

  • Powhiri and mihi (greetings) from tangata whenua;
  • Mihi whakahoki (response) from those attending or visiting (manuhiri). The protocols governing who may speak and the order of speeches are dictated by the kawa of the tangata whenua (or at the discretion of the tangata whenua, another kawa maybe adopted - for example in heavy rain, the guests may be called straight into the house). Speeches of tangata whenua and manuhiri generally include acknowledgement of meeting house and tüpuna (ancestors), nga mate (those who have gone before), then the mountain, river, chiefs and tribe of the speaker
  • Speeches are usually followed by a supporting waiata (song) from the speaker's supporters
  • The last manuhiri speaker lays down the koha (gift) at the conclusion of their speech
  • Tangata whenua invite those people present to harirü (shake hands/hongi/kiss)
  • After the harirü, food is shared. This represents cleansing of the visiting party so they become noa (ordinary) and part of tangata whenua
  • The meeting business is usually preceded by a karakia (prayer or ritual chant)
  • The take (the reason for the meeting) is introduced
  • The kaupapa (procedure or format) is decided
  • Speakers stand and address the gathering. They have the right to be heard uninterrupted
  • Decision-making is usually by consensus, though there may be a vote at the end of discussion to formalise a decision
  • Poroporoaki (farewell) when closure is reached by “tying up any loose knots” and reconfirming mutual ties
  • The hui ends with a karakia

Hui held in venues other than marae tend to run along similar lines.

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Last updated: 13/05/2005