Have your say

If you disagree with the law, there are steps you can take to change it. You can:

Make a submission to a select committee

Select committees examine bills after their first reading and make recommendations about whether a bill should be passed and what amendments are necessary. By making a submission to a select committee, you can have a say on what recommendations they should make.

Anyone can make a submission and there will be a set date by which submissions need to be made. You should clearly state what changes you are seeking, and put forward the best arguments you can think of in support. You can make an oral presentation to the committee in addition to providing written submissions.

Talk to your local MP

Making and changing the law is the domain of elected officials, MPs. A way to bring about law reform is to contact your MP, either in person or in writing, to advocate your views and explain why the change you seek would be beneficial. Your local MP acts for you in Parliament, and by being elected is aiming to represent your views. You can contact them at their electorate office.

Start a petition

Putting together a petition to Parliament can be a great way to let elected officials know how you and your community feel about an issue. It can also help build awareness and support from your cause.

A petition asks Parliament to take action on a matter of policy or law. Anyone can start a petition, and there are many sites (such as ActionStation and Change.org) that can help you spread the word and get the community to show their support. When your petition is ready, you can ask a member of Parliament to arrange for it to be presented to Parliament. It will then be allocated to a Select Committee for consideration.

Take direct action

A powerful way to show elected officials your view about an issue is by taking direct action, like organising a protest, a strike, or having your say at a public meeting. Actions like protests are also an important way of influencing public opinion, getting media attention for your cause and building support.

The rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly are guaranteed under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. However, these right have some limitations. Police may intervene in a protest if the behaviour of any demonstrators amounts to an offence. When planning a peaceful demonstration, you should inform the Police of your plans. The Police will be able to tell you about any permits that your local authority might require. If you are planning a protest on Parliament grounds, it is a good idea to contact the Speaker’s Office with your plans first.

What’s in the Pipeline?

The Pipeline helps keep track of law reform initiatives that affect our communities. Check out the Pipeline below for an update about the progress of bills through Parliament, as well as other plans and inquiries you can have a say on.

To find out more about how a Bill becomes law, click here.

Bill/ConsultationSubmissions DueStageArea of LawKey Changes
Children, Young Persons, and Their Families (Oranga Tamariki) Legislation Bill03/03/2017(3) Select CommitteeFamily/Welfare· Establishes the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki
· Removes the ‘whānau first’ principle, which prioritised the placement of tamariki within their family, whānau, hapū, iwi
· Raises the youth-justice age to include lower-risk 17-year olds
· Allows Ministry staff and Police to compel the release of any information about a child or their family for care and protection purposes.

To read full details on the Parliament website, click here.
Domestic Violence—Victims' Protection Bill28/04/2017(3) Select CommitteeEmployment/ Human Rights·  Gives survivors of domestic violence a right to request flexible working arrangements
·  Provides survivors with up to 10 days Domestic Violence Leave
·  Adds ‘being a victim of domestic violence’ as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Act.

To read full details on the Parliament website, click here.
Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill (No 2)23/06/2016(3) Select CommitteeTenancySets minimum standards of heating and insulation for rental homes.

To read full details on the Parliament website, click here.
Intelligence and Security Bill07/10/2016(6) Third ReadingPrivacy/Human Rights·  Replaces the 4 Acts that currently apply to the GCSB and NZSIS
·  Sets broad objectives for intelligence and security agencies, beyond protecting national security
·  Defines ‘national security’ as including, for example, threats to economic security or international relations
·  Permits the collection of intelligence on New Zealanders.

To read full details on the Parliament website, click here.
Social Security (Stopping Benefit Payments for Offenders who Repeatedly Fail to Comply with Community Sentences) Amendment Bill28/09/2016(3) Select CommitteeCriminal/WelfareGive the Department of Corrections the power to issue warnings to people who have not complied with community-based sentences, with the consequence of withholding their benefit payments.

To read full details on the Parliament website, click here.
Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill22/06/2016(4) Second ReadingWelfare·  Rewrites the Social Security Act 1964
·  Provides for the allocation of services or support on the basis of people’s risk of “long-term welfare dependency”
·  Transfers a large number of powers and procedures into regulations
·  Expands the ability to redirect people’s benefit payments without their consent

To read full details on the Parliament website, click here.

 

 

Find your local

Community Law Centre

View all law centre listings

Key | Community Law Centres | Outreach Clinics

back to top