New Zealand’s year of gender ideology in 2022
Here’s a few things that happened on the gender ideology front in New Zealand in 2022. It’s not comprehensive, but for a country of only 5M people the list is still way longer than I thought it would be, and much of it is -
· Early this year, the women who formed Speak Up for Women NZ (SUFW) in 2018 announced that they were stepping down, and a new leadership team was formed. SUFW initially formed as a single-issue group to combat the sex self-ID bill, and was successful in delaying the first attempt to pass it into law in 2018. It finally got passed in December 2021. The delay gave more time to gather resources to fight it, but it was a harrowing three years in total, especially for a pioneer volunteer group with no funding. SUFW doesn’t have a paid membership as such, but has a closely cooperative association with a few other small groups and individuals, and receives donations from a variety of people. All the major women’s groups in NZ, including our Ministry for Women, are captured by gender ideology. SUFW now covers a broader range of issues.
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Campaigning by SUFW and others resulted in having a clause added to the sex self-ID bill before it was passed into law – clause 79(2)b – which states that any other relevant information [besides a birth certificate] can be taken into account to ascertain an individual’s sex. No directives are given for what “relevant information” must comprise of, so it would appear that perceptual/sensory information is relevant and legitimate.
Not many service providers realise that they can still legally provide single-sex services under the law, due to our Human Rights Commission bamboozling everyone about ‘gender’ being the determining factor for segregation of female and male services and spaces. Clause 79(2)b of the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act 2021 (BDMRR Act) backs up the law allowing single-sex spaces and services, but it is yet to be tested.
· In February, the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation bill – a.k.a. conversion therapy prohibition - was passed into law. This law makes it illegal to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The bill was a push primarily by the Green Party, which was perceived by many as a political move to appeal to younger voters, as well as to surreptitiously entrench gender ideology into law on the back of another issue. This was a similar tactic to that which they initially used to try and get sex self-ID passed into law without the public knowing until it was a done deal. However, this time the public were more aware and a record number of submissions were received about the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation bill , the majority of which were against it, but to no avail.
· Therapists were unsure where conversion therapy prohibition left them, so in August the Children’s and Adolescents Therapist Association (CATA) held an in-person day conference in Nelson called “Children, Adolescents, and Gender – impacts of transgender ideology”. And the shite hit the fan at a dizzying speed. The activism against it was so intense, stoked by mainstream media and a Member of Parliament, that the conference venue had to be change to a secret location. Kudos to the original venue, though, they held fast against the intimidation they received for hiring their premises to CATA. For those who attended, both in person and online, the conference was highly informative and can be viewed in segments here. The final 52 minutes of the conference were devoted to legal opinion and advice by Nicolette Levy and Annabel Markham, which did much to reassure therapists that they could treat gender confused children without fear of being prosecuted for questioning them.
· The Media Council upheld part of a complaint in September made by Fern Hickson against the Nelson Mail (owned by Stuff News NZ), who ran what almost amounted to a ‘hit piece’ against the CATA conference, and in which false information was published about Fern. The Media Council upheld Fern’s complaint that Stuff’s policy of favouring transgender beliefs had precluded it from reporting on international changes in best care for gender questioning children. https://www.mediacouncil.org.nz/rulings/ruling-by-the-new-zealand-media-council-in-the-complaint-of-fern-hickson-against-the-nelson-mail/
· In early March, a group of women met with the Christchurch City about the inclusion of “transgender women and people who identify as being a woman” – i.e. men – in the women’s session at Te Pou Toetoe;Linwood Pool, which opened in October 2021. Despite the Council claiming that they consulted widely with the community beforehand, this particular inclusion was not part of that consultation process. The Council claim that they are not allowed to discriminate against trans-identifying males (TiMs) by law, and even though they have been shown to be legally mistaken with this claim (which, to my knowledge, they continue to disseminate), to date they refuse to budge on their decision. The decision to include TiMs in women’s spaces is made by the service provider, but they are not bound by law to do so here in NZ.
· Dunedin woman, Jennifer Scott, had the then mayor of Dunedin in July, Aaron Hawkins, publicly admonish her for her unequivocal views about protecting women and children from gender ideology practises. Mayor Hawkins stated that Jennifer’s perspective was “repugnant” and “anti-transgender”, and that they could cause [unspecified] harm to many Dunedin residents. He made no mention of the matter of protecting women and children which Jennifer raised. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/129384782/mayor-tells-nurse-her-antitransgender-views-are-repugnant-at-public-meeting. Both Christchurch and Dunedin had new Mayors by the end of 2022, as did several other cities and towns.
· Trans-identifying male (TiM) weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, who at 43 years old competed as a woman at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and put in a poor performance there, was named Otago University’s sportswoman of the year for 2022 in October. However, Hubbard’s performance in depriving a number of considerably younger women of places in weightlifting competitions prior to the Olympics has been stellar.
· Boxing New Zealand, on the other hand, wouldn’t have a bar of TiMs fighting against women, and in August made their position clear.
· Unlike Sports New Zealand, who at the end of 2022 (the just-before-Christmas strategy) released their abysmal ‘Guiding Principles for the Inclusion of Transgender People in Community Sports’. There are not enough words to express how bad these are. Imagine guidelines which allow a man to identify as a woman for the duration of game, and then go back to being a man afterwards, no questions asked. These are those guidelines. Substack writer, Gawhoungle, pulls them apart in this analysis and commentary.
For more information about sports in New Zealand, Australia, and elsewhere go to Save Women’s Sports Australasia.
· The Ministry of Education released its update guidelines for Relationships and Sexuality Education in April. In updating them, the Ministry took advice from InsideOut, a transgender-promoting ‘rainbow’ organisation, and, unsurprisingly, the guidelines promote the concept that kids can change their sex. Much of the guidelines have very good content, but the gender ideology aspect wasn’t well received on the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page by a large section of the public. An independent survey conducted by Family First also showed that a large majority of parents do not think that gender ideology should be taught in schools.
· Helen Houghton, the co-leader of the New Conservative political party, had her petition for a Citizens Initiated Referendum approved in October. The petition asks: “Should the concept that people can be born in the wrong body and change sex be taught in NZ schools?” Helen talks about it here, and how anyone who wants to be involved can contact her - Facebook.
For more information about gender ideology education, go to Resist gender Education NZ and What Schools Are Teaching Your Kids About 'Gender' (speakupforwomen.nz)
· Rex Landy of Mana Wāhine Kōrero got notified by the police in June that a complaint had been made about her being mean online to a transsexual. I think this may have been the first case we’ve had here in NZ where the police actually followed up on a complaint of mean words being used. Rex tells us about it here.
· Bethlehem College in Tauranga, a Christian school, was the target of a hostile reporter, Annemarie Quill, who went after the school for their LGBTQI+ policies and principles here and here in June. Later, the same reporter went after one of the school’s counsellors who made an entirely reasonable and measured comment on her own Facebook page in relation to transgenderism, but that article is no longer discoverable online. The Media Council upheld a complaint from Bethlehem College against Stuff in relation to the first two articles.
· RainbowYOUTH, another transgender-promoting ‘rainbow’ organisation, closed their entire NZ network for three weeks from late August to “process our grief and take time to heal” from the sudden loss of a new-ish staff member, and an arson attack on their Tauranga drop-in centre. The arson, when it occurred, was immediately blamed on anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment, but that was later discredited in court after the perpetrators were caught and tried. RainbowYOUTH then made a plucky comeback to provide 13 year-olds with free breast binders, no parental consent required.
· The trans and non-binary survey called Counting Ourselves received funding to do another survey in September. The first survey was done in 2018, and is widely cited by health professionals and organisations as being the authority for the health and wellbeing of gender nonconforming people over 14 years old. However, the survey was robustly criticised for being badly written and supervised, and not being a reliable source of information as it was self-selecting and the participants had no oversight. The 2022 survey doesn’t appear to be much better, and it’s possible some people have done it just for a lark, because they can.
· This year, The Royal Society awarded close to one million dollars from its Marsden Fund to Dr Julia de Bres of Massey University, to create a “website and awareness campaign that aims to support parents and whanau of trans, non-binary, takatāpui, queer, intersex, and rainbow young people to be more affirming and safe” (check the discussion I have with Michelle Uriarau, which is the same video where we speak about the NZ Midwifery Council below to hear what she thinks of the term ‘takatāpui). I won’t link to the no-surprises mawkish website created from this grant, but suffice to say it is full of the usual trans-promoting content, and supported by the usual donors and ‘rainbow’ groups we’ve come to expect of anything with the word ‘transgender’ in it. The $870K grant is listed here on row 51 of the Marsden Fund spreadsheet.
· In September, the Ministry of Health removed the statement on its website which claimed that puberty blockers were fully reversible. Then a short time later said that it still endorsed the guidelines from the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA), which state: “Puberty blockers are considered to be fully reversible and allow the adolescent time prior to making a decision on starting hormone therapy.” Puberty blockers still considered safe and reversible, health ministry says | Stuff.co.nz
· The Dept of Corrections invited public feedback in September on a discussion document “proposing potential options to improve rehabilitation, reintegration, and safety outcomes for people in the corrections system”. The deadline for making submissions was very tight, but they were amenable to extending it upon request. Speak Up for Women and Mana Wāhine Kōrero made in-person submissions to the Corrections policy team. The team made it quite clear that trans-identifying males would still be imprisoned in the women’s prison, but not if they were convicted of a sexual offence or very serious assault, and they wouldn’t be put in the same cell as a woman.
Not long afterwards, a man stabbed three people in a Hamilton restaurant, then identified as a woman upon his arrest (he had been taking cross-sex hormones, but didn’t identify as a woman before he was arrested), and was jailed for nine years in a women’s prison where he “felt safer”. Clearly, stabbing three people in an unprovoked attack is not a serious enough assault for a man not to be imprisoned with women. SUFW Corrections Consultation (speakupforwomen.nz)
· Unbelievably, the NZ Midwifery Council dropped the words ‘mother’ and ‘woman’ from its proposed updated Scope of Practice guidelines in November. The very people who should be the centre of the universe in midwifery were deemed unnecessary to name for the sake of ‘inclusivity’, and apparently, this also honoured the Treaty of Waitangi/Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Michelle Uriarau from Mana Wāhine Kōrero has one word for this latter claim – “bullshit”. Michelle does not mince words when speaking here with me about the NZ Midwifery Council’s proposed guidelines, or matters pertaining to gender ideology and the false claims of its alignment with Māori.
Many submissions were made to the NZ midwifery Council against the proposed dropping of the words ‘mother’ and ‘woman’ from the Scope of Practice guidelines, but an announcement on the final decision is yet to be heard.
· TERF Club was launched in November. This is the brainchild of Lee Harrison, and is basically a way of doing secret or quiet activism against gender ideology by leaving business cards around with TERF Club on them. The cards have a link to the Speak Up for Women NZ website, where there is a list of gender critical groups and individuals who people can get in touch with if they so desire. Lee and I chat about it here. The cards can be ordered here.
· On the 1st December, Dr Michael Biggs, a graduate of Victoria University in Wellington and currently an Associate Professor in Sociology at Oxford University in the UK, gave a livestream talk titled “Puberty Blockers and the Transgender Revolution” from a studio in Wellington. This was a paid event hosted by Speak Up For Women, but will be free to view at some stage. Keep an eye on SUFW’s Facebook page for it. Dr Biggs has a number of publications which are listed here.
· To finish off the year, Kellie-Jay Keen announced that she would be bringing her Let Women Speak tour to Auckland and Wellington in March 2023. The precise dates, and who will be involved in helping to organise it, are not known yet, but as soon as they’re known that information is sure to spread like wildfire. You won’t miss it 😊
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Excellent summary Katrina, thank you for all your hard work. Just after Laurel Hubbard was awarded his Woman of the Year sporting award from the University of Otago, I received a scholarship fundraising fancy printed solicitation from them. I emailed at least ten addresses to say that while a university that contains a medical school cannot tell the difference between a man and a woman, I would not be donating to any of their causes, however worthy. I had not a single reply from anyone at the University.
And in regard to the spineless NZCOM who have bowed to the bullies who call themselves the 'rainbow midwives', I suspect the situation here is not much different from that in the UK. According to this source https://with-woman.org/2023/01/04/open-letter-pause-midwifery-training-based-on-flawed-research/#more-344, "The current estimate of prevalence of TNB maternity service users is at most 1 in 2000, therefore most midwives will not care for a trans or non-binary person during their career." And of the approximately 60,000 births/year in NZ about six of these will be to women who identify as something else. So, these women are being catered to at the expense of thousands of truly vulnerable women having babies every year.
Terrific summary, Katrina. As you say, for such a small country, it’s a longer list than you’d expect. Here’s to opening more eyes and raising awareness in 2023.