Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Needlessly shitty

Parliament has been rejecting select committee submissions for not being written in English or Maori:

The Health Select Committee is rejecting 60 submissions against plain packaging legislation because they were made in neither English nor Maori.


Committee chairman, National MP Paul Hutchison, said 60 submissions were made in languages other than English or Maori.

Fairfax Media understands that most of all of the submissions were made by retailers who submitted against the legislation.

Hutchison said the submissions were rejected on the grounds that they used unparliamentary language. If the submissions were re-entered in English or Maori, they would be accepted as late submissions.

This seems needlessly shitty - not to mention undemocratic. Parliament is supposed to represent all New Zealanders, not just those who write their submissions in one of our official languages. And while it would have been extra hassle to gain translations, I would expect parliament of all places to have access to the resources to do so, and to bend over backwards to make it happen to enable people to have their say.