September 27, 2023

Making an Oral Submission to the Select Committee

The Government website

Here is the pdf:

Read from page 12 onwards.


Extra information

What will happen when I appear before the Select Committee?

You will be called by name to the table and welcomed by the Chair who may or may not introduce herself/ himself and the other Members of the Committee. The Chair will then invite you to speak to your submission. Frequently the Chair will begin by saying words along the lines of “we have your submission and have read it”, but on other occasions you may simply be asked to speak to your submission. There are no hard and fast rules.
The Select Committee which is dealing with the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill has 11 MPs. The members are here (On some days they are replaced by their colleagues).
Only  Jacinda Ardern,  Jan Logie,  Rajen Prasad and Su’a William Sio voted against the Bill on the 1st Reading.
The “Do’s”

  •  Arrive early if you can, so that you can see other submissions, and how the process works. (You must arrive 15 minutes earlier incase they are running ahead of time.)
  •  Begin your time with the words “Thank you Madam/Mr Chair for the opportunity to speak to my/our Submission”
  •  Restrict your remarks to the time you have and leave time for questions. If you are given 10 minutes (Individuals 10 minutes and Organisations 15 minutes) – use 5-7 minutes of that to make your main points and leave 3-5 minutes to answer questions. At a normal speaking speed – and you don’t want to gabble – you will have time for only about 200 words.
  •  Think carefully about what you want to say and write it out in full. Highlight your most important points
  •  If at all possible, include a personal experience or personal conviction as to why this is so important to you as it is currently defined, and what effect it would have if it was changed. Your personal opinion carries weight.
  •  Rehearse with someone and ask them to time you. If it’s beyond 5-7 minutes think carefully about what you can leave out. If you are comfortably inside that time is there something you want to add? If so add that material and repeat the rehearsal.
  • Please provide any supplementary submission electronically to committee staff prior to the meeting or bring 15 copies of any supplementary
    submission to the meeting.
  •  Speak clearly and ask the person you are rehearsing with for feedback in that regard. Do they understand what you are saying?
  •  Be passionate about what you are saying. Follow your heart. Sincerity always works well.
  •  Be gracious, ‘speaking the truth in love’ as you would to someone you wanted to influence.
  •  Be respectful.

The “Don’ts”

  •  Don’t feel intimidated. You are speaking to your House of Representatives and the Members of the Select Committee are there to serve your nation and its people. You have every right to be there as a citizen and a voter.
  •  Don’t get angry. Gentle words spoken with sincerity are better. Try to persuade.
  •  Don’t attempt to answer a question if you don’t know the answer. Better to repeat what you have already said, and if the questioner is persistent, just say you have no more to add.
  •  Don’t read from your submission. Refer from your notes but endeavour to make at least some eye contact with the Committee.

Interesting new research and links:


Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill (and Links)

Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year old