Statutes Amendment Bill – A how to guide

Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Louisa Wall has put forward an amendment in Parliament that would clarify the law so that it specifically says that “gender identity” is a prohibited ground for discrimination.

It’s important we support it because this amendment (if passed by Parliament) will help reduce discrimination in society and make the lives of trans* New Zealanders better. Rainbow Labour believes in fairness, equality, and opportunity. We have put together this guide to help you make a submission, and learn more about the amendment.

A submission is a term used by parliament to describe a what you think about a draft law with supporting evidence. You should start your submission by stating your name and that you support the Supplementary Order Paper No 432 to the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 4). Essentially, you should answer these two questions in your submission:

  • Why you support this amendment, and
  • Why it is important to you, your family, and/or the community.

Great ways to pen your submission would be to talk of personal experience, past and or present, make use of descriptive terms like your belief structure, principals and values.

There are many ways for you to you find out more about this amendment. These links provide more information which will help you learn and understand more about the issues the amendment addresses. They also provide helpful information which you could include in your submission.

One key part of the HRC’s executive summary says: “There must be no doubt that trans people are protected from discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993. The Inquiry considers that section 21(1) (a) of the Human Rights Act 1993 should be amended to state clearly that sex includes gender identity.”

Making your submission has never been easier,

You can make the submission electronically or in writing – See Parliaments guide to making a Select Committee submission.

You can choose whether you speak to your submission or not. Please state whether you want to in the submission, as well on the Parliament website submission form.

Speaking gives you an opportunity to reinforce and expand on the points you make in your submission, and telling your story and your reasons can make a big impact on the MPs who are considering the Bill.

All submissions must be via the Parliament website by 11:59pm on June 6.

Submissions are usually heard in public and written submissions are released publicly on the Parliament website. However, depending on the nature of the submission, committees can also hear evidence in private or in secret.

Evidence heard in private will remain confidential until the bill to which it relates is reported back to Parliament. Secret evidence, on the other hand, remains secret unless the House chooses to disclose it.

The committee considering this Bill could choose to hear submissions in private or in secret. If you require this, note your request in the submission form. If the committee agrees to your request then the committee staff can make appropriate arrangements.

If people had specific questions about the amendment please email Louisa directly at louisa.wall@parliament.govt.nz

 Article | gayexpress 
 Photo | Evan Donnelly | Pride Parade 2014