Give feedback on a bill before Parliament
Before a law is passed you can give your views on it — called making a submission. You can do this online.
How it works
When a bill for a new law has been drafted, it’s read in Parliament. Then it’s referred to a select committee who usually ask for feedback from the public.
Select committees are made up of members from different political parties, and:
- look at all the public submissions
- consider the evidence, and
- report back to the House its recommendations.
Getting copies of bills
You can get a free copy of a bill from:
- New Zealand Legislation
- some larger libraries.
You can also purchase a copy of a bill from Vic Books Pipitea in Wellington and some specialty bookshops — call +64 4 568 0005 to find the one nearest you.
Preparing your submission
A submission is your chance to present your views and any evidence you have. Normally submissions are in writing, but you can also ask to talk to the select committee in person.
You can write or present your submission in:
- New Zealand Sign Language.
Submitting in New Zealand Sign Language
If you’re submitting in New Zealand Sign Language, you can either:
- record your submission on video and post it, or
- present in person — contact Parliament on +64 4 817 9250 to ask about this.
You can use the New Zealand Relay service to make the call.
Things you should include in your submission
- Start by stating whether you agree or disagree with what's being proposed, and give your reasons.
- The bill is divided into clauses, which are all numbered. Make more detailed comments on specific clauses — give reasons for everything and number clauses as they’re numbered in the bill. You can:
- say if you think something needs to be changed
- suggest new wording for clauses.
- If you’re writing on behalf an organisation, include its aims, membership and structure and your position there. Make sure you have permission to represent the organisation.
- details of other people or organisations that support your views
- who you’ve consulted in writing your submission.
- Sum up your recommendations at the beginning or the end of the submission.
Send your submission
Select the bill you have feedback on. You'll be asked to attach your submission and give your personal details.
Make a submission by post
Include a cover letter that lists:
- the name of the select committee
Select committee details
- the full title of the bill
- your personal contact details and the name of any organisation you represent
- whether you want to appear before the committee.
Send two copies of your submission to:
[Name of select committee]
Select Committee Services
What happens next
Once the select committee starts hearing evidence, they’ll usually release the submissions to be published on the Parliament website.
If they need more information, the select committee can also ask you to:
- come and talk to them directly
- provide documents to support your argument.