25,000 submissions for citizenship bill

By Talaia Mika 21 June 2024, 11:00PM

Green MP Teanau Tuiono has extended his appreciation to the public following an impressive influx of 25,000 submissions on his citizenship bill. 

Tuiono’s "Restoring Citizenship Removed by Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982" Bill passed its first reading in April, with backing from all political parties except National. 

Tuiono is optimistic that the substantial public feedback will prompt a change in the National Party's stance. 

“I hope that politicians are paying attention. This is something that needs to be supported and navigated by all political parties.

"So I hope the National Party, in particular, will be paying careful attention but then also coming to the bill with an attitude of looking for solutions that work for the community.”

The submission period concluded at the end of May, and many submissions are now accessible on the Parliament website and among the contributors is former Sāmoan Prime Minister Tuilaʻepa Lupesoliai Neioti Aiono Saʻilele Malielegaoi. 

Rachel Boyack, Chair of the Governance and Administration Committee, acknowledged the public’s involvement. 

 “We thank the many individuals, organisations, and communities who have taken the time to write to us on the bill, and look forward to hearing their views over the course of our hearings," she said.

Committee staff have started reaching out to selected submitters. Tuiono underscored the importance of continued community engagement, encouraging people to communicate with their MPs. 

“Talk to your members of Parliament, encourage them to come to this bill with an open heart and a mind that looks for solutions.”

Hearings are scheduled to take place both in person and via Zoom in Wellington on 24 and 26 June, and 9 July, with additional hearings in South Auckland on 1 July. 

Interpretation services will be available for submitters wishing to present in Sāmoan, provided they give sufficient advance notice.

By Talaia Mika 21 June 2024, 11:00PM
Samoa Observer

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