Meeting your MP is one of the most powerful things you can do and is a sure-fire way to get their attention. MPs rely on your support and the support of others within your electorate to keep their job. This means your views and your vote are very important to them.
Go ahead and book a meeting. Your contribution will make the world a fairer place.
Before your meeting
Write to your MP to request a meeting
You don’t have to be an expert on an issue to contact your MP, the fact that you care is enough.
Most MPs will reply to your letter. Sometimes, they will forward your letter on to the relevant Minister – even if they disagree with your suggestions. Ministers are obliged to respond to letters from an MP. If your letter is forwarded, your voice has reached the highest level of governmental power in New Zealand.
If you're meeting your MP to discuss the draft of the Zero Carbon Act, see our climate campaigners toolkit here.
Writing your letter
If this is your first letter to your MP, introduce yourself and tell them why you care about the issue. If you have a personal connection to the topic of your letter, including this is a great way to convey your passion and commitment.
After introducing yourself, use the EPIC writing structure for the body of your letter:
Engage: Get your MP’s attention with a dramatic fact or statement.
Problem: State the problem and present the causes. How widespread or serious is it? Have a look at the guide we created for you here for more information.
Inform: Tell your MP about the solution. Give examples of how and where it has worked, showing how it has benefited vulnerable people. You could cite a recent study or give a first-person account of how the solution has helped people you know.
Call to action: Be clear about what you want to be done about the issue – this is the most important part of your letter. Use bullet points if it is complex or you want a number of things.
Other tips for writing a letter include:
Be succinct – aim for no longer than one and a half sides of A4.
Stick to the point – focus on one issue.
Include your email or address so your MP knows how to respond.
Check the correct title for your MP using the official website for Parliament.
Acknowledge your MP for any supportive action they’ve already taken. MPs rarely hear “thank you” from their constituents.
End the letter asking for a meeting with your MP. If you don’t get a response in 5 to 10 working days, follow up by phone.
Include the electorate office email in the ‘CC’ field of your email.
Meeting your MP
Meeting with your MP is the perfect opportunity to educate them about the issues you care about. You’re giving them the opportunity to learn and take action.
When MPs are not in Parliament, they are based at their local constituency office. If your local MP is also a Minister, they may be quite busy, but will still want to meet. Call your MP’s office to ask when your MP is available.
After your meeting
Congratulate yourself: You’ve taken important action towards ending poverty and inequality and protecting our planet.
Be encouraged: No matter the response, the combined strength of supporters drives change.
Tell us about your meeting: Send us an email about your meeting and include who you met, how it went, any promises your MP made, and what you want to do next. Or, grab a photo with your MP and share it on social media with the hashtag #MeetMyMP. Just check with your MP or their staff that this is okay.