A round up of New Zealand’s year of gender ideology in 2023.
It’s been a little over a year since I started this Substack blog about gender ideology here in New Zealand. Since collating what 2022 brought us, its entrenchment in our public service and organisations hasn’t yet noticeably abated, but pushback against it is becoming more noticeable and voluble. Our new centre-right coalition government, elected on October 14th, may make an impact in slowing down the gender juggernaut, but right now it’s a little too soon to say.
Although more went on, of course, than just what I’ve written below, this is my roundup for what was a busy year in 23 points –
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1) The year started off on a good note with an announcement of the formation of the International Consortium on Female Sports (ICFS). The consortium, of which Save Women’s Sports Australasia is a founding member, will spearhead the protection of women’s sports. This is a much-needed organisation, especially after Sports New Zealand released ‘guidelines’ which basically compelled sporting bodies to allow men who say they’re women to compete in women’s sports if they wanted to continue to get funding from Sports NZ. Later in the year, however, one of the new coalition government’s policies vowed to overturn that.
2) In February, cyclones devastated the mid-east coast of the North Island and Auckland. Whilst many people did what they could to help the many, many traumatised people and animals whose lives had been turned upside down, trans activists held a vigil instead for a murdered young man on the other side of the world in the UK who identified as a woman, despite the police being very clear that he wasn’t killed specifically for that reason.
3) In early March, the Ministry of Education quietly introduced a bill to Parliament which re-worded clause 38 of the Education and Training Amendment Bill to allow trans activists to be brought onto school boards without being elected. Submissions on it closed five weeks later. There has been much disquiet about some of the age-inappropriate content of the Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines put out by the Ministry of Education, which Resist Gender Education writes about. However, the new coalition government has made promising statements about revising that content.
4) Also in March, Stats NZ’s 2023 Census committed to prioritising the concept of gender over biological sex. Even some trans-identified people and activists didn’t like the way the questions were finally worded on the Census form, apparently. With ‘gender’ being a fluid concept rather than a definition, it’s no surprise that it’s impossible to have a consensus from everyone about what it means. The data from the census will start being available from late May 2024.
5) Kellie-Jay Keen committed to coming to New Zealand in late March to front her Let Women Speak rally in Auckland and Wellington. As much as we women knew we had to look after each other during the rallies, none of us anticipated the intensity of the mob violence from the protestors that occurred on the day of the Auckland rally. That rally ended up being terrifying for some of the attendees, got abandoned, and the Wellington one cancelled. Four of us ol’ terfs went to Wellington for the day, anyway, even though the rally was off, just to use our pre-purchased aeroplane tickets, and got kicked out of an eatery there for the temerity of being terfs. We’re still chuckling over that. Shortly after the worst day in New Zealand’s history for mob violence against women, a superficial count of articles with the words ‘Posie Parker’ in the headline for the seven days prior to her visit came up with what amounted to 158 hit pieces.
6) In a move only the determinedly ‘progressively correct’ could entertain even for a second, the prime motivator behind the mob violence against women at the Let Women Speak rally in Auckland on March 25th was awarded the Young New Zealander of the Year shortly afterwards. I prefer not to mention his name if I can help it, but it is in the article in the link above.
7) Then in July, that same man opened an account on the new Threads app, which is an alternative to X (formerly Twitter), to ostensibly escape terfs, who’ve “made the lives of trans people living hell”. What actually happened was that the mob violence against (mainly) women he was instrumental in instigating opened the eyes of many more New Zealanders, and thanks to the presence of a videographer whose on-the-spot videos went global they saw for themselves what went down on that day, and they didn’t like what they saw. However, NZ’s two biggest telecommunications companies, Spark and OneNewZealand, were a little bit behind in reading the room – or, at least, their social media comms staff were. They came out publicly in support of this women-hating bloke on the new Threads account, and the blowback was satisfactorily swift in the form of numerous phone and internet accounts with them being transferred to different providers. The word was that the CEOs of those companies weren’t best pleased about what their social media comms staff had brought down upon them. For some reason, though, despite supposedly wanting a refuge away from X, I believe the women-hating bloke remains there.
8) As well as waking up many New Zealanders to the appalling behaviour that trans activists were capable of, one of the other positives which emerged from the aborted Let Women Speak rally was the establishment in May of a new political party called the Women’s Rights Party. This came about as a direct result of women being unequivocally let down by all the existing political parties at the time. The Women’s Rights Party gained enough members to register in time for the general election in October 2023, and co-leader, Jill Ovens, has been interviewed on The Platform a number of times. Their website lists their priorities, policies, actions, press releases, and news.
9) Speak Up for Women also remain active and a sought-after voice for comment and discussion by the media, and made a presentation on Women’s Declaration International (WDI) AUS/NZ in late November about what the new coalition government might mean for us here in NZ. SUFW’s actions, press releases, policies, and news can be found on their website.
10) Mana Wāhine Kōrero (Sovereign Women Speak), who, to their knowledge, remain the only indigenous group in the world fighting back against gender ideology, have had a solid year of progress. Although they reject the enforcement of gender ideology in general, they have an emphasis on protecting children and Māori culture from it. Some, but not all, of their activism includes MWK being instrumental in organising the Let Women Speak rallies in March, which Di Landy and I had an awesome chat about in early March, along with other topical matters. They were also approached by Quillete magazine to publish an article in May titled “Fictionalizing Māori History in the Name of Gender Ideology”. Then, this being a general election year, MWK reached out to political party NZ First, who are now part of the new coalition government, and consulted with them about the ways gender ideology was negatively impacting on women and children. When the new coalition government announced their policies, amongst them were policies to protect women’s sports and revise some age-inappropriate content of the Dept of Education’s ‘Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines’. The last quarter of 2023 saw MWK hold a Voices for Children rally outside Parliament in late October, and instigate a Parliamentary petition for an independent inquiry into gender-affirming health care off the back of it for anyone to sign. Di Landy also joined with me in solidarity on behalf of Mana Wāhine Kōrero to make an oral submission to the Christchurch City Council about their Draft Equity and Inclusion Policy in December.
11) In April, the NZ Herald, in what for them was a bold move, published a piece which raised questions about the use of puberty blockers in NZ, written by Jan Rivers. As well as having her well-evidenced piece published, she was also interviewed on The Platform. Later in the year, Professor Charlotte Paul, epidemiologist and emeritus professor in the Dept of Preventative and Social Medicine at Otago University, also wrote a firecracker of an article about New Zealand’s extremely high use of puberty blockers in the North and South magazine. The silence from the mainstream media, who, in the words of Graham Adams in his follow up article, should have been knocking on her door about this, was deafening.
12) Throughout the year, women continued to be forced to share our facilities and spaces with men who say they’re women, if the service provider decided that’s what they wanted for us. This is despite the fact that they don’t have to, even after the sex self-ID bill was passed into law in mid-June. The Christchurch City Council is one such service provider, who obdurately refuses to make the women’s session at Te Pou Toetoe:Linwood Pool single-sex, even after having it pointed out that they aren’t legally obligated to admit men who say they’re women. The tourist attraction Hell’s Gate in Rotorua is another service provider who blows on past women’s rights and safety. One woman tells of her discomfort and anger when a man identifying as a woman used the communal women’s changing rooms, accompanied by a transmaiden ‘shield’, and paraded bollock-naked in there. When women try to communicate to MPs and councillors why bollock-naked men in female spaces is not great for women and girls, we not only risk a scolding for being such ‘brazen hussies’ as to look at those naked men, we get asked to provide evidence of how it’s hurting us even though no avenues are provided to submit that evidence. They profess bewilderment, or scorn, at any concerns about letting men who say they’re women into women’s spaces (our Prime Minister, before he was elected, teetered on the verge of being one of these), so I wrote out a list of reasons why women need single-sex spaces which exclude men of any stripe, because the entire history of humankind appears to no longer be enough.
13) Despite our MPs, councillors, and possibly our Prime Minister, professing not to know anything about the disquietude around men who say they’re women gaining access to women’s spaces and sports, five polls throughout the year showed that the majority of New Zealanders don’t agree with it.
14) Health New Zealand/Te Whatu Ora institutionally removes the word ‘women’ from their language in favour of ‘inclusive language’ in order not to offend men who say they’re women or women who say they’re men - but still uses the word ‘men’ for men. They continue to do this, in what to everyone else except them is blindingly obvious bias, causing Karen Guilliland, ex CEO of the NZ College of Midwives, and three other women with credentials to write a rebuke to them about this unacceptable disrespect and discrimination against women.
15) NZ’s Midwifery Council is no better, but even more bizarrely believes that the words ‘mother’, ‘woman’, and ‘baby’ are superfluous to requirements in their Scope of Practice. Sarah Henderson writes a superb piece about that on her Substack.
NB: the NZ College of Midwives mentioned in point #14 is not the same as the NZ Midwifery Council.
16) The Human Rights Commission quietly added a disclaimer to the FAQ section on their website in July, which was an acknowledgement that other advice or positions may also be valid. This is especially pertinent for advice under the Sports and Community heading, which appears to give advice with a heavy emphasis on ‘gender identity’ rights, with almost nothing about sex-based rights. However, it also appears that our new coalition government is less than impressed with NZ’s Human Rights Commission, and in December announced that changes will be made in terms of the personnel.
17) Christchurch Central Library implemented an after-school pilot programme in partnership with neo-rainbow lobby group InsideOUT, called ‘Rainbow Drop-In’. This came to my attention in October via a parent, but nothing could be found on the library’s website, and the library personnel would give no details about it to the parent on the phone or by email. There seems to be an aspect or two of this “partnership” which raises serious questions.
18) In September, the Let Women Speak rally, which was abandoned due to mob violence in March, was re-held in Auckland. Unlike last time, the police presence was noticeable and they actively held back the trans activists who’d come to protest the rally. In comparison to the number who turned up in Albert Park on March 25, there was only a handful of them, but they still made a concerted effort to push past the police line holding them at bay, in order to invade the rally. Kellie-Jay Keen was going to come back to New Zealand to front the rally, but cancelled her plans at the last minute due to credible threats to her safety.
19) In the run up to the general election, TVNZ aired a ‘Young Voters Debate’. There were five women on the panel, including the moderator, and one young man, Lee Donoghue from the NZ First political party. When a question was asked about men who identify as women being in women’s spaces and sports, only the man, Lee, stuck up for women. I emailed him a “thank you”.
20) New Zealand’s general election was held on 14th October, and New Zealand voted Labour out of government. We ended up with a centre-right coalition government made up of the three political parties National, ACT, and NZ First. In mid-November they released all the policies to the public they’d come to an agreement upon, amongst which were policies to protect women’s sports; revise the education curriculum, including the removal and replacement of the gender, sexuality, and relationship-based guidelines; and protect free speech.
21) Genspect created a combined Australia and New Zealand branch, and in November they held a livestream webinar which yet another vexatious NZ trans activist succeeded in getting cancelled from a popular ticket-sales platform. His triumph was short-lived, though, as an alternative ticket -sales platform, Ticket Tailor, was quickly found. Clips of the livestream webinar may eventually be available for free public viewing.
22) In late November, I appeared on Women’s Declaration International (WDI) AUS/NZ and gave a 15-minute précis of my engagement with the Christchurch City Council over the last two years about their policy of allowing men who say they’re women into the women’s session at Te Pou Toetoe:Linwood Pool. For those who watch the video, apologies in advance for my ‘flashing’ spectacles :-)
23) Finally for the year, Di Landy from Mana Wāhine Kōrero joined me in making oral submissions to the Christchurch City Council about their Draft Equity and Inclusion Policy. More to come on this in 2024.
And that finishes my roundup for 2023! Now let’s see what 2024 brings.
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