Return to main menu. Return to Guide contents page. Meet the team. Using the DecisionMaker Guide site. Places on the web that interest us.
Order your copy of the Guide or other DecisionMaker publications.
A directory of government agencies.
Exercises and worksheets for highschool students.
Link to the big picture
Link to How the law works
Link to How Parliament works Link to How government works
The big picture
How Parliament works
How government works
How law works
Directory for citizenship education
Directory on cultural diversity
Government 05 onward
Government 02-05
Making a difference
The role of the Prime Minister
The role of the Leader of the Opposition
Government and MMP
Making the hard decisions
Cabinet Committees
New Zealand Cabinet Ministers
What Ministers do
Standards in public life
Ministerial Services
Servants of the public
The State Services Commissioner
Role of the State Services Commission
Review of the Centre
Managing the money
The role of government in the economy
Official Information Act
The central bank
Saving - the future
Planning for difference
Working for equality
How your voice may be heard
Climate change - it's our future
Building a fairer and safer New Zealand
Role of a government chief executive
Making NZ's case overseas
NZAID - New Zealand's aid agency
The right to fish
Even Kia Ora makes a difference
Security of the Nation
Resilient New Zealand
Local government and the new law
Local government in action
Different ways of seeing
New Zealand citizenship
Tertiary education on the move
Skills to chart a way through life
Welcome to New Zealand government - coming to a computer near you!

Click here to learn move about the TEC and other edCentre members




How your voice may be heard

Plan your case
Prepare your case
Present your case

If you want to solve a problem or promote a policy, Parliament, government or the Judiciary may be the place to go for help. Find the ways that work for your interest group or individual need. Understand your perspective. Migrants, indigenous women, people with disabilities, people planning for retirement may have interests in common and interests that differ.

Plan your case

Define your objective

What is the problem? What is wrong with the solutions you have tried? Are you seeking a solution to a personal grievance against an administrative decision, or do you want a policy change?

Develop a strategy

Design a plan of research. Get help from someone who ‘understands the system’.

Identify key players

Who finally makes the decision, who advises the relevant decision-maker, who might actively oppose, might be harmed, or might support your views?

Assess the channel of influence to use

Political, administrative, court, pressure group, or media channel? National Parliament or local council? Your MP or ward councillor? Parliamentary select committee or draft local government plan hearing? An Officer of Parliament? Which ministry or department? Which court, tribunal or appeal authority? Which political party? Which pressure group? Which media? Which UN or Commonwealth agency? Do you expect to use negotiation, arbitration, mediation or litigation?

Design a plan of action, its timetable, methods, costs and benefits.

Prepare your case

Collect the relevant information

This may be gained from your experience, others’ experience or official sources. It may be gained from a website, a librarian or another specialist.
Use the Official Information Act with the help of the Ombudsman if information seems unreasonably withheld.
Use your library or a professional adviser if appropriate in preparing your case.

Present your case

Write about your case and recommend-ations to the MP, the relevant Minister, opposition party spokesperson, official, Ombudsman, Commissioner for Children, Race Relations Conciliator, Broadcasting Complaints Authority, Press Council, Advertising Standards Authority, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Police Complaints Authority, Refugee Appeal Authority, Auditor General.

Write and release a statement to the newspaper, radio or television media. Email relevant authorities.

Telephone your MP’s electorate office, the relevant official or other potentially helpful person to make an appointment to discuss your case.

Join a political party or pressure group, present your policy ideas and promote the policies you share.

Make a submission to a select committee of Parliament when it has relevant hearings.

Collect signatures and present a petition to Parliament.

Pursue a Citizen’s Initiated Referendum (CIR) Get the Office of the Clerk of Parliament to help you conform to the rules for CIRs.

Seek help from the law Ask the police, lawyers, citizen’s advice bureaux, seek legal aid, take your case to a specialised tribunal, e.g. small claims, Waitangi. Take your case to a professional society – law, accountants or financial planners. Take your case to an alternative disputes resolution mechanism. Take your case to court, e.g. district court – or the Privy Council and whatever may succeed it.

Be persistent, be fair, be conscious of your rights and obligations.




Graphic shows seven groups of decision makers.

Think about who else is affected. Perhaps they will support your cause.