Better Democracy NZ is a non-partisan, non-profit organisation.

Our mission is to foster the improvement of New Zealand's democratic system and encourage the use of direct democracy through the

Veto, Citizens' Initiated and Recall referendum.


Thursday, 28 January 2010

Baldock: Time to begin collecting signatures

I trust you have had an enjoyable holiday break. I know I have certainly felt the need to stop and rest awhile after a challenging 2009.

Now it is time to begin the work ahead for 2010. Earlier in the month I wanted to find out what the reaction of the general public would be when asked to sign the new petition. So with faithful and available volunteers here in Tauranga we set up at three events; The half ironman, Blues Brews & BBQ's, and an evening 20/20 cricket match.

The results were very encouraging with 500 signing the petition in 3 hrs on their way in to the BBB event. Considering there has been very little publicity as yet about the new petition we found that approx 7-8 out of ten were prepared to sign.
The conversation generally went like this.

"Will you sign our petition Sir/Maam?"
"What's it about?"
"Making referenda binding upon parliament. Do you remember the anti-smacking referendum last year when 87% said no and Parliament has ignored it?"
"Sure do. It was ridiculous. What's the point of having a referendum if they are going to ignore it!"
"Exactly, that's why we must now collect signatures for another one to make Parliament listen."
"Sure I agree with that, where do I sign?"

It was encouraging to be reminded that so many still feel strongly about being ignored, and concerned about what that means for our democracy.
We had the full petition question printed on one of our signs so anyone could read it if they wished, but most signed on the basic understanding that this was to make referenda binding.

The other signs were;

Don't let Parliament ignore you
Fight for Democracy Make Referenda Binding
Sign the Petition Sign the Petition Sign the Petition

Where to now!

Our next Stop will be the Field days in Southland Feb 10-12 and then Napier Art Deco week Feb 18-21.

Barbara and I have begun planning where we should travel over the next few months to attend events to collect. But of course we can never do it on our own. As part of the traveling we want to connect with supporters and hold meetings to enlist more volunteers and get media coverage where ever possible. We will look forward to hearing from any of you who may be interested in making arrangements for a visit.

Can you begin to look for events nearby where crowds will gather?

We will give more details of plans in the next update and further details of other strategies to collect signatures.

The petition form can be downloaded from

Warm regards,

Larry Baldock


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