Today I’m in Auckland all day with the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. We’re hearing submissions on Rodney Hide’s latest attack on local democracy. We’ve got a bit of a marathon session today, running pretty much non-stop from 9am to 9pm. Even then each submitter only gets 15 minutes to highlight their key points and engage with MPs on the committee.
Reading through the papers last night it struck me how some people or groups are far better than others at getting their points across in a conscise manner. There are literally thousands of pages of submissions for us to work through. I’ve made an effort to look through all of them and I have to say I read some 2 page submissions that were far more comprehensive and valuable than others that were 40 odd pages or more.
I also appreciate those submitters who come well prepared, highlight the 2-3 points that are most important to them and then spend the rest of their allotted time discussing issues with the committee. I’ll never understand why people feel the need to spend their whole 15 minutes reading their submissions aloud leaving no time for real discussion.
I now sit on several select committees and I find the work involved really satisfying and interesting. I admire people and groups who take time to submit and appear before select committees, but I do wonder how we can encourage them to be more effective in the way they do it?