Use the petition delivery as a chance to build excitement and push one last time for more signatures; ask supporters to help by sharing the petition; look to attract media; make sure to get great images for the campaign; and bring supporters and allies together for a great event.
When planning the event, think of what you want the photo to look like – this image often represents the campaign for media and supporters. Be creative where possible!
Contacting your decision maker
Be polite but persistent. You might want to make first contact by email, but if you don’t hear back within a couple of days don’t be afraid to chase them up on the phone. If you don’t get an answer, keep trying until you do.
Delivering to an individual, a business or corporate (or other entity)
Ask for a meeting, and if they are happy to meet, it can be a chance to ask them face to face if they will take action. We can invite friends to support, or people from the campaign team. We then present our case if they’re neutral, or don’t agree; or it could be more constructive if they are basically on board already. We may find out more information about the barriers that are in the way of action, that we can then address.
If they don’t accept a meeting, we may want to consider a public event with supporters in a neutral space the decision maker is then invited to. Or it could be a protest event, which we then invite the supporters along. The petition can be a symbolic delivery to their office, or could simply be emailed and reported back to signers.
*When targeting an individual decision maker it’s important to be respectful, and we remember they are people too. Don’t visit people at their homes, or target their whānau. The purpose of the petition is for them to take the action we are calling for, which requires their consent.
Local councils have a formal process (as set out in its Standing Orders) to accept petitions. Larger councils are familiar with the process, and receive many petitions. Many smaller councils don’t often receive petitions and the staff may not have used the process before. Most often the petition delivery is a chance to book a short time to speak directly with councillors.
Contact your council to check the process for presenting a petition. Some councils have a slightly different process – for example Hamilton City Council has a requirement for at least 100 signatures with postal addresses to accept a petition, to show it’s from local Hamiltonians.
Parliament uses a formal process (as set out in its Standing Orders) to accept petitions.
- Confirm with a Member of Parliament (MP) who will accept your petition. It could be an MP who is also passionate about the cause, or it could be your local MP who wants to help you engage with Parliament.
- Email Petitions Office at [email protected] and ask them to check the wording of your ‘ask’ – the ask is what you’re asking the House of Representatives to do.
- They’ll provide any advice on the correct form of the wording, and a cover letter called a ‘petition of one’ where you add the wording, and a short description from the petition page. For Parliament’s purposes, the cover letter is a petition with one signature, to represent the online petition.
- You’ll sign the Petition of One, and give it to the MP who will sign it too.
- At the delivery event you will present the cover letter, and the printed PDF of the petition, and the MP will then present the petition to the Petitions office.
Once presented, the Petitions Select Committee will decide how to proceed. They could consider the petition themselves, forward to a more suitable Select Committee, or ask a Ministry directly to give advice. They may ask for written or spoken submissions.
The team at ActionStation have created a basic guide for delivering a petition to Parliament: How to deliver your petition to Parliament.
The last thing will be to send an update to supporters to say it was delivered, and the petition has been delivered.
You can say you’ll be in touch soon with updates; or you may want to say you’re taking a break, in case they won’t hear from you for a while!
A petition delivery isn’t the end of a campaign. Use it to gauge where the barriers are, what still needs to shift to make change, and who can help make it happen.