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Getting your voice heard in Parliament

If you have an opinion on an issue that affects you, you can make a submission to a select committee, contact a Member of Parliament (MP) or even start a petition.

‘Select Committees’ are the groups of people that iron out all of a bill’s kinks before it becomes law and meet to discuss specific government policy and other topics such as the economy. Select Committees ask for your opinions by ‘calling for submissions’.

A petition is a document addressed to the House of Representatives asking it to act on matters of public policy or law, or to set right a local or even private issue.

How-to for New Zealand Parliament

Contacting an MP

Contacting an MP is one way to express an opinion or raise an issue with Parliament. MPs represent the views of the people so they need to stay in touch with what citizens want. You can contact MPs by email or regular mail and there are specific ways you'll address each MP depending on their position. Use the New Zealand Parliament link below to learn how and where to reach out to your MP and help them understand what matters to you.

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Making a submission to a Select Committee

Making a submission to a Select Committee is how you can express your views on a Bill, or any other issue put before a select committee. Click here for a list of currently open submissions.

You’ll need write your submission, but you can also ask to talk to the committee in person or by video conference. Anyone of any age can make a submission, so don’t be put off if you aren’t eligible to vote.

Find out more about when and how to make a submission and other details by visiting the links below.

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Start or sign a petition

Another step you can take is to start or sign an existing petition. Just like a submission, anyone of any age can petition the House, including corporations and organisations. And, all you need is one signature to start.

Thinking back over 125 years, the women’s suffrage petition led to Aotearoa New Zealand becoming the first country to give women the vote.

Visit Parliament’s website for all the details you’ll need to know about creating and submitting a petition.

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Stand Up and Be Heard toolkit

Finally, we want to flag the Stand Up and Be Heard toolkit. A guide created by Ministry of Youth Development outlining ways that you can get involved in decision-making, it's a great resource to help inform your project, whatever stage it's in.

Key websites

  • Ministry of Youth Development: The Ministry of Youth Development is an entire ministry dedicated to supporting and encouraging young people, between 12 and 24 years old. They have a variety of programmes and awards to help get young people engaged in creating solutions for Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • New Zealand Parliament: The website of Aotearoa New Zealand Parliament, where you can learn about Parliamentary business, MPs and electorates and how to get involved.