Guide to writing submission

Here are some tips on how to make a submission 


  • Know the issue well - read and understand the document you have the opportunity to submit your feedback on.
  • Write according to the terms of reference - understand what the Ministry/ Select Committee requires you to provide in your submission 
  • Understand the content - know what is proposed and the rationale behind the proposal
  • Research to develop your key message, you can do this by
    • Reading our case for change sections on this online tool.
    • Performing a web search on the issue. There is a great deal of information available online but you can start by searching for information from credible sources such as key organisations and research units (e.g. Alcohol Healthwatch , Health Promotion Agency , NZ Police, etc.).
    • Often, key organisations will prepare a submission template for you to use or adopt for your submission.
    • Talk to other people - your neighbour, your friends or others or anyone who is interested in the issue.
    • Newspaper research - search for any news about the issues/ consultation. This includes news article and letters to the editor. Views in the newspaper can help you to update your views on the topic.

When writing your submission

(Adopted from NZ Government -

  • Start by stating whether you agree or disagree with what is being proposed, and give your reasons
  • Write explicitly, explain and be more specific to each part or clauses – give reasons for everything and number, you can:
    • Say if you think something needs to be changed
    • Suggest new wording for clauses
  • Number each paragraph
  • If you are writing on behalf of an organisation, include its aims, membership, structure and your position there. Make sure you have permission to represent the organisation.
  • Include:
    • Details of other people or organisations that support your views
    • Who you have consulted in writing your submission
  • Sum up your recommendations at the beginning or the end of the submission.

Example – Submission on Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship

The following links provides more detailed guidelines on making submission at the Parliamentary Select Committee stage: