Disgruntled citizens can now launch petitions to Parliament online, one of a number of new changes made to the Parliamentary website.

The changes will also make the website mobile-phone friendly.

Petitions were a way to seek changes to a law or raise an issue when no other remedies are available, clerk of the House of Representatives David Wilson said.

Petitions are addressed to the House of Representatives and ask that it do something about a policy or a law, or put right a local or private concern.


"I see the new electronic petition system as a new and user-friendly way for the public to engage with their Parliament. Hopefully lots of people will take advantage of it," Wilson said.

"You can create and lodge a petition on the Parliament website. The electronic petitions page is easy to follow and help will be provided at each step to make sure it meets the rules of the House and the intent of the petition is clear."

Anyone, of any age, can start a petition. Every electronic petition must be presented by a member of Parliament, just like a paper petition.

When lodging a petition, your name, but no other details will be published on the Parliament website.

If signing one, your name and details will not be published on the website or shared with anyone.

New Zealand has a strong tradition of petitions, the most famous being a series of petitions calling on Parliament to give women the vote.

The largest petition, submitted to Parliament on 28 July 1893, was signed by about 24,000 women.

It was made up of more than 500 individual sheets, signed in various parts of the country.


These were glued together to form a single roll that stretched more than 270m.

Citizens can choose to start a petition with an e-petition or a paper-based petition.

Parliament received 151 petitions in its 49th term (2008-2011), 127 in its 50th term (2011-2014) and 151 last term (2014-2017).

Every petition is checked by the Office of The Clerk to make sure it complies with Parliamentary rules.

The rules are the petition must Your petition must be in English or Maori, use respectful and moderate language, ask the House of Representatives to take a defined action and not contain irrelevant statements.

Petitioners still have to find an MP to present their petition to Parliament.

Once that happens, the petition is read out in Parliament and then given to a select committee to examine.