New online petition system launched
Recognition of te reo Māori, women's rights to vote, a day to commemorate the land wars.
All are the result of petitions, a system that's now being changed. A new petition website has launched at on Parliament's website. Maika Te Amo, Kaiwhakamāori, Select Committee Services, Office of the Clerk says it’s all about keeping up with the latest global trends.
“He whai i te huri o te ao. He tahuri ki ngā kaupapa matihiko, ki ngā kaupapa ipurangi.”
There were 33,000 signatories for the reo Māori petition presented in 1972. With 60 names per page, on both sides of the paper, adds up to a lot of paper used.
In contrast, Maika says submitting petitions online cuts down on the physical effort needed to get petitions to parliament.
“Kāre te tangate e mate ki te pīkau mai i ngā pouaka e hia nei, taumaha hārukiruki, ki runga i tana tuarā ki te whare nei nā, kāre kau. Ka tukuna ā-īmeratia mai, ka tukuna mai i runga i te paetukutuku o te whare paremata. Ngāwari noa iho.”
Another benefit to the new system is that it helps prevent people from cheating the system. Rebecca Bonner, Clerk of the Māori Affairs Committee says all details entered are not on-sold elsewhere.
“We take your email as proof that you're not signing multiple petitions, but we don't use that for anything. We don't sell it on to third party sites.”
Rebecca also adds that the other benefit to the new system is that seeking support from Members of Parliament will also be easier.
“You can make a petition online, but a Member of Parliament still does need to accept that petition. So any Member of Parliament can accept that petition and that's the final step you need to get it into the House. So you can get lots of signature or as little signatures as you want but at the end of the day you still need to get an MP to sign off.”
Of course, good old paper petitions will still be accepted. The new system is is just another way that people can continue fighting the good fight.