Spotlight on Parliament: Signed, sealed, delivered | NZ Parliament

February 18, 2020

>>JAY: Kia ora koutou, haere mai ki Pipitea
i Te Whanganui-a-Tara – ko Jay tōku ingoa. We’re here on the streets of Wellingtontoday
looking for something that’s quite common throughout Aotearoa. It can be found in bus stations, railway stations,
on street corners, or even online. It can be papery or pixelated, but it’s always
very important. That’s right, today we’re talking about
the mighty petition. So after you’ve collected your signatures,
what happens next? Where does your petition go, what does it
do, and does it change anything? Haere mai ki te Tīwhiri Pāremata, and welcome
to this Spotlight on petitions.>>CHARLOTTE: At the beginning, you’ll be
in contact with us at the Table Office, where we’ll work with you to make sure your petition’s
in tip-top shape. This includes checking the subject and that
it’s not something Parliament’s already talking about, and that it’s also a good use
of MPs’ time. Good examples of subjects for petitions would
be a ban on plastic bags, whereas renaming Parliament “Parliamenty McParliamentface”…
not so much. Once your petition is all set, you’ll need
to find an MP who’ll accept it and present it to Parliament so it can be introduced in
the House.>>INIKA: One of Parliament’s 12 select
committees (small panels of MPs focused on certain subjects such as health or justice)
will consider your petition. You may be contacted for more information,
or to talk to the committee in person. Once they’ve finished considering your petition,
they will write a report with their recommendations. This will then be presented to Parliament
for the MPs to see.>>JAY: So sure, MPs spend a lot of time considering
petitions, but they receive hundreds of them a year – surely there’d be more law changes?>>CHARLOTTE: Well, change comes in different
forms. Petitions are a great way for MPs to hear
from Kiwis about things that they’re concerned about, particularly things that aren’t on
Parliament’s agenda.Some petitions can lead to bills being introduced to Parliament, like
the women’s suffrage petition in 1893, and the 2016 petition which led to people historically
convicted of consensual homosexual acts being pardoned. Petitions can also be submitted online in
paperless form as well.>>JAY: No matter where a petition’s life
may lead it, they all end up here eventually, in the archives deep beneath Parliament. If you’re looking to start your own petition,
or sign a pre-existing one, head over to where there’s plenty of useful information. That’s all we have for this Spotlight, so
until next time, ka kite anō, and we’ll see you again soon.

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