Frustrated about the state of play here in New Zealand? Do you wish something could be done.. but you’re not sure quite what to do?

Choosing to become more politically aware is the first step towards empowering ourselves as citizens. Active participation in our local and national democratic process is also one of the key ways that we – the people – can express our concerns, needs, and preferences to our elected officials.

Here we present some practical ideas and suggestions you can use to take action at community, city-wide, regional, or national level, through letter-writing or asking questions of government officials at public meetings.

Our tools and tips for taking action:

Our EVENTS CALENDAR is constantly updated with events available online or submitted by members of the public.
(Got an event to share? Email [email protected])

Suggested Ideas for Questions at Political Meetings

You’re at a political meeting, and you’ve managed to get in front of the microphone. Now, what? Here are some suggested topics and questions you could ask. (Bear in mind the most effective questions inform the audience about your topic before you ask the question.)


Preamble: The way politicians are following overseas trends and bowing to overseas influence to enforce policies that was were never canvassed for approval nor mandates sought during previous elections is very worrying. Parties seem to be working on the behalf of influential sponsors, lobbyists, and funders as opposed to working for the average New Zealander and the good of the country.

Question: It feels like most average Kiwis have had enough of this type of culture. What is your take on this? And how do you intend to fix this problem?


Preamble:  Globalist organisations like the World Economic Forum (WEF) seem to have a disproportionate influence on New Zealand’s affairs, despite the government receiving no mandate from the general public to work with them. In fact, many people are not even aware of the WEF and how it relates to the New Zealand domestic policy. This is a real concern for me and many other New Zealanders.
Question:  What is your personal, and your party’s position on the WEF? 


Preamble: The farming sector is New Zealand’s primary export earner and contributor to GDP. Penalties on farmers under the guise of climate or environmental action seem to be hurting us economically for the sake of international climate bragging rights, with little tangible result. Meanwhile, corporations who themselves are responsible for spewing vast amounts of pollution into our air and waterways can simply buy thousands of acres of productive farmland, plant soil-acidifying pine trees, and declare themselves carbon neutral.

Questions: Do you think this type of ‘greenwashing’ practice is reasonable or fair? Where does the money come from for the carbon payment to these overseas corporations that have purchased carbon pine forests in New Zealand, and do you think that Class One soil and productive farmland should be excluded from this practice?


Preamble: The banking industry seems to be removing ATM cash machines, closing branches, and removing cash transactions from branches… while in small towns the major banks also seem to be making it harder to pay bills and conduct business with cash. All the while banks individually make billions of dollars in profit every year. It’s a government obligation to ensure the citizens of New Zealand have easy access to New Zealand currency AND cash.

Questions: What is your party going to do about ensuring Kiwis have ready access to cash? What are your policies around digital transactions or CBDC?


Preamble: Based on the GST—goods and services tax—we pay the government every day for everything… we also pay fuel tax on top of GST, wage and salary tax, registration, and road user taxes.

Questions: How do you plan to better distribute taxpayer contributions to the areas that need it most?


Preamble: The taxpayer collectively pays billions of dollars to the transport fund. We now find these funds are being wasted on language-initiated roadsigns, wasteful building revamps, and meaningless cycleways… instead of fixing potholes or making road upgrades and repairs. (Bearing in mind we now have second-grade bitumen being imported from overseas due to the destruction of Marsden Point refinery which produced New Zealand grade bitumen for the purpose of New Zealand roads.)

Questions:What do you plan on doing about the abysmal state of our roads both on state highways and urban streets? Will you investigate Transit New Zealand, the wasteful spending of this government department and its neglect of the transportation industry for both the business and private sector in New Zealand?


Preamble: It seems the last few years there has been an exorbitant amount of money wasted by state-run business and departments. This money is our money—we are obliged to pay taxes to the government for the betterment of our day to day lives and activities— income tax, GST, road tax, business tax, and we are taxed again on fuel. This money is for health, education, policing, etc, etc.

Questions: What do you plan to do to reign in wasteful spending in government departments such as unnecessary bureaucracy, consultancy, over-staffing, etc? Right now we are not getting a fair deal and the taxpayer is getting a little bit annoyed (to say the least) about the wasteful spending that’s brought about the government debt this country now carries. Politicians need to start being accountable to the people. What do you plan to do to curb wasteful spending?


Preamble: In key areas of national interest such as health, education, major policy and infrastructure, we have found over many years governments stealthily introducing policy that many (some would say the majority) of New Zealanders haven’t needed, wanted, required, or desired. Despite the fact we live in the internet age, when online polls could be simply and cheaply implemented with a wide range of security measures and open accountability.

Question: What assurances can you give Kiwis that your party will commit to its election promises, and stay open, transparent, and accountable as all elected officials are required to be?

Do you have great questions to pose to our political candidates, elected officials, and hopefuls? Let us know by emailing [email protected]

Don’t forget to check out our Political Events Calendar for upcoming opportunities to ask questions in your area.

Ten Top Tips for Standing Up & Speaking Out at Political Meetings

 Motivated to stand up and speak out, but not 100% sure how to go about it? Here’s a useful guide to help you be brave, be strong, and make some (polite, impactful) noise.

Depending on the size of the event, your first hurdle to overcome is getting selected to ask a question. In larger meetings, these opportunities may be limited.

  1. Present yourself well.
    Dress smartly and carry yourself with integrity. The aim is to blend in with the crowd and not stand out as someone likely to disrupt.
  2. Go with a friend.
    Not only will you feel more confident with a like-minded friend, this person can also act as an ally to video both your question and the answer, so you don’t have to worry about it. Don’t have a friend to go with? Join a local VFF group and find one in no time!
  3. Don’t let your emotions overtake you.
    These sorts of meetings are closely controlled, and the organisers will be looking for troublemakers. Do your utmost not to yell out, interject, snort, or look visibly frustrated or upset. You may be passionate about the topic, but the organisers are highly unlikely to direct a microphone your way if you look like you might derail the prevailing sentiment of the presenter(s).
  4. Work the crowd.
    If you’re part of a larger group in attendance, be sure to split up and sit at various locations around the audience. This way, the group won’t be targeted as ‘troublemakers’, one group may be able to support the other (eg making ‘let her speak!’ type comments if others are being shut down), and you’ll have more chances to talk to strangers about the issues, if you want to. Consider taking some VFF materials like our Cash Is Cool cards, or RCR flyers, so you can share these with members of the public before or after the event.
  5. Be prepared.
    Think carefully about the information you want to get out of this opportunity, and the questions you want to ask. Be authentic, do your research, get some (verified) facts and stats, and write everything down clearly. Why not read from a prepared script? No-one else’s opinion about that matters, you won’t miss any important points, and it’s far easier to read in public than speak off the cuff.

OK, so you’ve got the mike. Now what?

  1. Take the microphone, if possible.
    Try not to let anyone hold the mike while you talk—it’s easy for them to move it away if they don’t like what you’re saying. Take hold of the microphone if you can and turn your body slightly away from the person who brought it to you to indicate you intend to hold it until your two cents’ worth has been heard.
  2. Be sensible, respectful, and polite.
    Begin by thanking the speaker or panel for coming to speak or share their views. Even if you don’t agree with the person, their beliefs, or policies, this is a good way to begin. If there is anything you particularly like about their content, policies, or mission, be sure to say so in a complimentary way. Then proceed with your comment / question.
  3. Educate others.
    Write your question in a way that presents some information to the crowd first; a short background to your query. You probably won’t get a right of reply, so get the information out while you can. Don’t miss the chance to include referenced statistics and information which is more likely to stand out to those listening. This strategy will also provide context for other listeners, as well as the speaker or panel. 
  4. Be eloquent.
    Speak slowly and clearly to ensure you are heard. Practise at home in the mirror, or ask your friends to critique you, honestly and constructively!

A preparatory reminder…

  1. Work together.
    There may be someone else in your group better suited to presenting a question you’ve composed. There may also be someone else who can research the topics and find good statistics or information to back up your points. If you all agree on the top three questions to ask, and you all have a copy of the questions, you’ll have a much better chance of being heard. Pool your talents in a group in preparation for the event…. It could be lots of fun, as well as satisfying.

And one final BONUS tip…

  1. DON’T FORGET TO RECORD YOUR INTERACTION!!  Video recording is best, but an audio recording is still useful. It’s surprisingly easy to forget this crucial point… don’t let your efforts to stand up and speak out go to waste.

GOOD LUCK! We can’t wait to see your videos and hear your audio recordings. If you need to, mail them in to us at [email protected] and we’ll help you work out how they can be shared.

Writing to Government Officials

These tips outline some clear steps you can take—individually, or as a group—to bring attention to information around topics of your choice… information which currently seems to be absent or overlooked at the highest level.

It includes a short analysis of the process our letters filter through when we send them, some do’s and don’ts of letter writing, and specific advice on where to send letters on particular issues.


The Executive* branch of government is the powerhouse; it’s where most policy directions and legislative implementation is generated. These directions are then filtered through the public service (via government ‘advice’). The policy gains political approval, and is passed on to politicians.

Executive = policies/legislation → public service → politicians.

* In New Zealand, as in other countries who operate according to the UK Westminster system, the Executive means the public service, i.e the arrangement of government departments and ministries led by overseeing Cabinet Ministers.

When we send a letter to a Cabinet Minister, this kicks off a chain with three separate people involved:

  1. The Cabinet Minister’s designated staff member who receives/receipts the letter, glances at the content, and passes it on to the relevant person. (This is either someone in Ministerial Services, or a relevant ‘policy analyst’ in the department concerned.) The Cabinet Minister likely won’t see the letter at this point.
  2. The person who responds to the letter. It’s this person’s job to answer ‘Ministerials’ every day. They understand what they need to say on behalf of the Minister.
  3. The Cabinet Minister, who then signs off on the response. The Cabinet Minister still may or may not read it at this point; they’re usually in a hurry, so they may just glance at it and sign off, trusting that person #2 has reviewed it appropriately.

Because of the nature of the process described, there are actually very few people who have ‘eyes on’ a letter to a Cabinet Minister.

Our aim is to get more ‘eyes on’ within the public service, so that more people inside the system see and therefore must think about our letters containing questions, complaints, or protest, and must consider the evidence/data included.

If more people within the public service begin to question the ‘groupthink’ so prevalent today.. we’ll have a better chance to change the current situation.


As a general rule:

  • Don’t write to a Cabinet Minister and CC other parties. It’s much easier for the recipients to pass it off to one person to manage the response. (The central staff person in Ministerial Services will shoot out a standard response saying your  letter has been passed to person x for response.)
  • Instead, write to each relevant person separately and don’t CC anything. You might still get only one response, but the aim is to try to make each person you’re writing to have to reply, or at the very least, read your letter.
  • If you have a printer and can afford the postage (postage is free to parliament), send a hard copy letter as well as an email, and ASK FOR A HARD COPY RESPONSE. This again means they have to spend more time on it, not just shoot off a standard response.
  • Make sure you send the letter by email, as well as the hard copy letterIf you just send a letter by hard copy alone, it means it’s easier for them to say they’ve lost it, if you’ve got no email record to prove that it was sent.
  • Even if you do send your letter/request by email only, ask for a hard copy response as well as response by email.



    • Start with the Minister of Health, and all Associate Ministers of Health.
    • Then there’s the public service level officials, i.e all ministries and government departments have either a Secretary or Director-General at the helm.
    • In the case of Health, at this level it’s the Director-General of Health (Head of the Ministry), and Chief Executive of Te Whata Ora.
    • Then look at the senior managers of the Ministry of Health. These are the Deputy Director General level officers, and you’ll find them on the Ministry website (listed under a heading such as ‘Our Leadership Team’.)  These senior managers are listed by portfolio, so select the portfolio that’s most relevant to your enquiry.
    • Look at Te Whatu Ora, and in addition to the Chief Executive, target the relevant senior managers – in that case described as National Directors.
    • For anything involving international or local regulations, also send the letter to the Minister of Justice, all Associate Ministers of Justice and the Attorney-General and Minister of the Public Service.
    • Then the public service level for the Ministry of Justice, in the same way as above, i.e. starting with the Secretary for Justice and the relevant senior managers.
    • Last but not least: the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights.

    • Start with the Minister and all Associate Ministers for Climate Change. 
    • Also write to the Minister and all Associate Ministers for the Environment, and the Minister of Energy and Resources, etc.
    • Depending on the content of the letter, you may also write to the Minister and Associate Ministers of Agriculture, Forestry, Food Safety, Oceans and Fisheries, Conservation, Regional Development, etc.
    • Then follow the same logic as above regarding the public service level. Include heads of MPI (Ministry of Agriculture), Ministry of the Environment, maybe MBIE and other relevant ministries and departments.  Where there is a Director-General as head of the Ministry, the next level of officials will usually be titled Deputy Director-General. Again, select the relevant portfolios from their website.
    • Where there is a Chief Executive as head of the agency, the senior level of managers will have varying titles such as National Director, or other suitably ‘executive’ titles.
    • Last but not least: the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

    • Start with the Minister and all Associate Ministers of Health.
    • Also write to the Minister and Associate Ministers of Justice, Social Development and Employment, Workplace Relations and Safety.
    • Also the public service level (as outlined above) at the Ministries of Health, Justice, etc.
    • And Medsafe: both the head and senior managers with relevant portfolios, as identified on their website.
    • Last but not least, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights.

    • Start with the Minister and all Associate Ministers of Health.
    • Also write to the Minister and all Associate Ministers of Statistics.
    • The public service level at the Ministry of Health, Te Whatu Ora, etc, and Statistics Department, starting with the Chief Statistician, and then senior managers.

    • Start with the Minister and all Associate Ministers of Broadcasting and Media, Justice, Minister of Internal Affairs, etc.
    • Follow through to the public service level wherever relevant; eg. Secretary for Internal Affairs, and relevant senior managers of that department.
    • Ministry of Justice officials, as before.
    • Also write to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights.
    • Last but not least, the Department of the Prime Minster and Cabinet. 


Lists of Cabinet Ministers and Associate Ministers are easily accessible online.

So get your well-referenced letters together, assemble your lists of recipients, and get sending! 

Reach out to your local group for help getting a team to work together. 

Getting those letters into LOTS of hands and underneath LOTS of eyes is an effective way to take positive action. 

Let us know how you get on, or send us a pic of your team’s letter-writing efforts… [email protected].  GOOD LUCK!