There is information here about how to make a submission. If you need your submission to be made in secret / anonymously you can ask for this. But you need to provide reasons. By email the submission you can ask in the covering note that it is published anonymously and heard in private with your reasons. If you use the website tool for submitting add that you want it published anonymously and heard in private into the comments box associated with the submission. (It’s possible to make a secret submission but the constraints make it barely worthwhile. The material can never be referred to again).
Don’t put your full address in the submission unless you are an organisation. If you do this a permanent record of your home address / email/ phone will be a permanent part of the public record when the submissions are released.
Ideally you should introduce yourself or your organisation and the reasons why you / your organisation are qualified to comment on the bill.
You can oppose the whole bill, but it’s probably diplomatic to say some things that are positive if you can. You can make general comments about the legislation or related things like unintended consequences that you see may arise. If you comment on the bill by citing specific paragraphs of the legislation make sure to quote the numbers making it easy for the officials to see what your intent is.
Don’t embarrass your self by being rude or by sloppy spelling and presentation. Your words will become part of the public record. Submissions other than those that are secret will be posted on the Parliament website alongside the web pages about the bill’s progress at any time after the submissions close.
According to the official advice on how government works Select Committee submissions can be secret or private (search for secret advice / private advice) . Reasons have to be given for receiving information in secret. Secret written submissions are provided to the Select Committee members but are not published or referred to in the committee’s report. (Presumably, if done well, they can still influence the committee report but since the documents are not available for reference they are less useful to the process.) In contrast private submissions are heard in private but the evidence is released after the hearings have finished and if requested will be released anonymously. If you use the link below to make the submission there is a comment box to mark your submission private. Otherwise include this information in your email.
There is a check box if you want to appear in person and you need to provide contact details for this. After the submissions period has closed Select Committee sfaff phone to arrange a time.
Appearing in person
You can opt to ask to be heard in person as well as submitting written material. If you opt to do this you can attend the committee by video-conference or by phone or (Covid permitting) you can attend Parliament in Wellington in person. (For big responses the Select Committee may sit in different centres to receive oral submissions.) The MPs will have received a summary of the main points you make in your submission so you risk wasting time and not grabbing their attention if you don’t introduce new information. Typically organisations get twice as long as individuals in front of the committee so if you are part of an organisation that would be willing to make the submission that will make it more influential. Often 20 minutes or 15 minutes instead of 10.
The Select Committee officials will reassure you beforehand about how your secrecy can be maintained including clearing ‘strangers’ from the committee room before you present, (This is anyone not an MP or an official vital to the process and the cameras will be turned off.)
The committees are usually polite and reasonably attentive. The select committee room has a square table (or tables arranged in a square). The chairperson sits at the opposite end of the table to the people submiting and the other MPS sit around the table. People can watch from rows of chairs at the back (behind the submitters) and officials and the media sit on tables off to ones side. Arrive 20 minutes before you are due to speak so you get a sense of the rhythm and ebb and flow of the meeting and in case someone doesn’t arrive in time. The chair will call you to the table. There is usually a list of submitters and sometimes the timings run slightly early or late.
It’s best to summarise your main points and use that as a jumping off point for some really compelling material that is related to your submission but goes beyond what you have already supplied. An obvious approach would be to update on anything significant that has happened since you wrote the submission or to give more details from your personal experience. You will be told how much time you have. Be confident, personable and if you think you will pique their interest leave at least 1/3 of the available time for questions. These can be really open up the discussion with new information if you can give pertinents examples.
Most of the action in Select Committee rooms are broadcast live on Facebook and the technology – cameras that automatically move to focus on the person speaking – can be a bit startling at first. I recall that you can see what is being recorded from the submitters seats. The whole process is surprisingly quiet. But each speaker has a microphone I think. (When you see Select Committes on TV the voices seem louder because they use the recordings which capture the voices very well.) People arriving and departing the door as you speak can be a bit distracting if you are presenting. Mostly things work like clockwork but it is possible that an MP will disagree and provides a mini-lecture to contradict you. So be prepared to ask for a right of reply. Saying “Mr/Madam Chair. If I can please respond to those comments because I feel I have been misrepresented” might be appropriate.
You can offer to provide more information to substantiate something you have said You can also write directly to the Select Committee chair and so long you make clear your letter is to them in their role as chair and it will also be made available to other committee members.