Most people want nothing to do with politics.

Who can blame them when you see the behaviour that plays out in Parliament and the sideshows outside of it?

But what people need to understand is that they can get involved in politics without having to deal with all the games.

You don't have to run for one of the big seats in Wellington to make a difference – to make a positive impact. All it takes is making a submission to a local district council.


It is a simple process and one that we all should get involved in.

Making a submission impacts how the rules are written that we are all governed by.

Individuals might consider their feedback will be smothered by the thousands of other submissions, but that is the wrong attitude.

Every submission counts; every voice does get weighed up against those it opposes.

Read more rural opinion here.

The recent Zero Carbon Bill consultation had 15,000 submissions, but over 80 per cent of those were either yes/no answers to a short questionnaire or pro-forma submissions, which individuals complete based on a template submission.

The ideas that are unearthed in submissions are important to convey to the rule makers – often they are different points of views and sometimes the good ideas come from members of the community often forgotten about.

New Zealand is full of innovators and businesses have flourished from smart people trying to do things a different way.


Federated Farmers takes part in submissions to all levels of government and on a variety of issues, and it has had a number of successes.

We have made incredible changes to protect our communities that would have otherwise been hit by poorly constructed bylaws.

Because Federated Farmers submitted on the animal welfare regulations we now have something that is far less restrictive than what was being signalled initially.

Taking part in democratic processes works. You should all do it.

*Mike Cranstone is Whanganui provincial president for Federated Farmers