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Parliament introduces electronic petitions

6 March 2018

Parliament introduces electronic petitions

Parliament is launching an electronic petitions system to make it easier for people to have their say.

It’s part of a number of online changes that will also make the Parliament website mobile-phone friendly.

Clerk of the House of Representatives David Wilson says petitions are a way to seek changes to a law or raise an issue, when no other remedies are available. Petitions are addressed to the House of Representatives and ask that it do something about a policy or a law, or put right a local or private concern.

“You can create and lodge a petition on the Parliament website. The electronic petitions page is easy to follow and help will be provided at each step to make sure it meets the rules of the House and the intent of the petition is clear.”

New Zealand has a strong tradition of petitions. The most famous are the series of petitions calling on Parliament to give women the vote. The largest petition, submitted to Parliament on 28 July 1893, was signed by about 24,000 women. It was made up of more than 500 individual sheets, signed in various parts of the country. These were glued together to form a single roll that stretched more than 270m.

“I see the new electronic petition system as a new and user-friendly way for the public to engage with their Parliament. Hopefully lots of people will take advantage of it.” Mr Wilson says.

Anyone, of any age, can start a petition.

Every electronic petition must be presented by a member of Parliament, just like a paper petition.

If you are lodging a petition, your name, but no other details will be published on the Parliament website. Your name and details will not be published on the website or shared with anyone.

You can choose to start a petition with an e-petition or a paper-based petition.

Parliament received 151 petitions in its 49th term (2008-2011), 127 in its 50th term (2011-2014) and 151 last term (2014-2017).

For more information about petitions:

Electronic petitions page on New Zealand Parliament website


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