Because she oversees the publication of legislation the assumption is sometimes made that she can also add or delete what she chooses to, hence the calls.
Barbara says she’s had multiple phone calls over the years from people who insist that changes should be made and that they should be implemented immediately. Would she just take out this word and insert this one?
The calls usually come in spates and as far as Barbara can tell they’re from people actively researching a particular piece of legislation because of the way it impacts on either themselves or someone very close to them. The most frequent area s of law she has been asked to alter are those covering ministerial powers in social welfare, social security and the prison system
The callers have been unwilling to accept her refusal or to understand she doesn’t have the authority to edit the law. Their rushes of passionate and frustratingly insistent demands have given her no option but to leave her phone of the hook until they stopped.
For those who want to legally change our current legislation here’s a handy PDF ( Having Your Say) from the official New Zealand Election web site. It outlines the appropriate methods of getting your concerns noted and perhaps being made into law further down the track.
On the same site there’s an easy to understand outline of the steps in the law making process.