The effectiveness of parliamentary petitioning in New Zealand 1969-1983
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Among commentators and Parliamentarians in both Britain and New Zealand, petitioning has been viewed as an ineffective means of influencing Government. Yet this opinion has never been verified with data on the outcome of petition campaigns. Such data was available to this study for petitions considered in New Zealand between 1969 and 1983. It was analysed and revealed that less than one in twelve petitions were actioned in any way. In addition it was found that none of the petition characteristics tested were significantly associated with the success of petitions. Similarly it was found that a petition's chances of success were not significantly affected by the way it was considered. Few variables changed appreciably over time. These findings are laid out in detail in chapters four and five, and are summarized at the start of the conclusion. The conclusion also contains a discussion of this study's limitations and a tentative exploration of two questions suggested by this study. Specifically, factors which may contribute to petition ineffectiveness, and to the continued popularity of petition organization despite their ineffectiveness, are suggested.