Despite just 12 calendar (8 working) days, from the Bill’s first reading on 29 September 2021 to the deadline for submissions at 11:59pm on Monday 11 October, around 15,000 concerned Kiwis made the effort and managed to put their concerns down in writing. This is vastly less than would be expected, had there been adequate time. The government has only had about 21 months to figure most of this out, but leaving it to the last minute saves it a lot of honest hard work. By way of comparison, the recent Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, which would seem to affect a small minority of young New Zealanders, but which had 5 weeks in which to make submissions, attracted a total of 41,900 submissions.
In spite of the extremely short notice, some very intelligent and insightful submissions were made regarding this COVID-19 “Draconian Measures Excuse” bill. The problem is, despite all submissions documents being a matter of public record, the way they are presented on the Parliamentary website renders them almost impossible to find, as you will quickly discover if you take a look.