Assessing and approving event applications

Publish Date : 24 Mar 2023

As a public authority Auckland Council assesses and approves event applications on council land or in council facilities.

The rights to freedom of expression and assembly are protected by law and the council group works carefully to ensure we stay within the current legislative framework. In recent litigation involving the council group (Moncrief-Spittle v Regional Facilities Auckland Limited), the Supreme Court has told us we must do this.

We must maintain a distinction between carrying out a public function (hiring venues or granting permits) and expressing our council values (striving to ensure our people know that we stand for diversity and inclusion).

We understand that in practice, this will mean that sometimes there will be events and activities that may conflict with the values we stand for, but the Courts have been very clear that it is a distinction we must maintain.

Community venues are hired using the council’s online booking system and operated on the principle they are available for anyone to hire. If a booking is accepted, it doesn’t mean that we endorse the content of the event, but rather that we are legally obliged to manage our venues in a non-discriminatory manner and so do not take a position on the views of the hirer.

Where an event is taking place in a public park or on public land, it is the role of council to assess event permit applications against the criteria of the Public Trading, Events, and Filming Bylaw.

Event organisers have the primary responsibility to ensure they run a safe and secure event.

The granting of an event permit is a regulatory decision, so it does not indicate that the council endorses the event.

All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and we also consider the broader impacts of an event application from an environmental impact perspective.

The council respects people’s right to freedom of expression and peaceful protests, and we will always work with the relevant agencies to monitor and respond accordingly to ensure public safety.

While we have a legal duty to undertake this role as a public authority, as an employer we care deeply for the people who work at the council. We remain one hundred per cent committed to protecting and growing our inclusive culture and ensuring welcoming workplaces for all kaimahi and whānau:

  • Our council environment is one where all kaimahi feel they belong.
  • We are an organisation that honours our commitments to Te Tiriti o Waitangi including the value generated from co-governance.
  • We are proudly accredited to Rainbow Tick and take this commitment seriously.
  • Our transgender kaimahi have our support and we will continue to stand with them.
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