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How to Support the Samoa Citizenship Bill and Right a Historic Wrong


The Christchurch Samoan community recently came together to discuss a crucial bill that could reverse a nearly 40-year-old law, restoring New Zealand citizenship to those who lost it under the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982. Green MP Teanau Tuiono's "Restoring Citizenship Removed by Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982" aims to right this historical wrong. However, its passage depends on the support and active involvement of the community.


Green MP Teanau Tuiono emphasised the bill’s significance, saying, "This is about fairness. It’s time to right the wrongs of the past, strengthen the relationship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa, and move forward together." Tuiono called on all political parties to work together, recognising New Zealand's deep historical ties with the Pacific. To ensure this bill passes its second reading, public support is critical. Your voice can make a difference by participating in the submission process to the Parliamentary Select Committee.


Here’s how you can help:


1. **Write a Submission**: Express your support for the bill by writing a submission. Explain why you believe it is essential to restore citizenship to those affected by the 1982 Act. Highlight any personal or community impacts. You can mail your submission to the Secretariat, Governance and Administration Committee, Free post, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160, Aotearoa New Zealand. Alternatively, email your submission to ga@parliament.govt.nz with the subject line "Restoring Citizenship Removed by Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 Bill Submission."


2. **Submit Online**: Make an online submission through the Parliament website [here](https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/54SCGOA_SCF_DE208DBC-B2E1-4145-1873-08DB93C62D99/restoring-citizenship-removed-by-citizenship-western-samoa).


3. **Spread the Word**: Encourage others to participate. Inform your family, friends, and community about the importance of this bill and how they can help. Share information on social media and during community gatherings.


4. **Participate in Oral Submissions**: Indicate in your written submission if you wish to speak to the Committee in person or via Zoom. This allows you to present your case directly to the members, emphasising the bill's importance.


5. **Highlight Historical Context**: Emphasise the historical context in your submission. Discuss the Privy Council’s 1982 ruling and the subsequent legislative actions that unjustly removed citizenship. Stress the need for fairness and the importance of rectifying past mistakes.


6. **Engage with Political Representatives**: Reach out to your local MPs and express your support for the bill. Urge them to back the bill and highlight the community's unified stance.


Tuiono underscored the necessity of community involvement, stating, "This is an opportunity for all political parties to work together, recognising that Aotearoa is a Pacific nation. Our whakapapa and history across the Pacific Ocean Te Moana nui a Kiwa is as extensive and deep as the moana itself." By actively participating in the submission process, you can play a pivotal role in ensuring the bill’s passage, helping to heal past injustices and strengthen the bond between New Zealand and Samoa. Submissions close on Friday, May 31, so act now to make your voice heard and support this vital cause.


You can download this postcard here and send it to the above submission links


1 - Samoa - Postcard
.pdf
Download PDF • 226KB

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