Call to teach consent in schools

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, March 14th, 2017 - 126 comments
Categories: education, human rights, sexism - Tags: , , ,

Yesterday evening saw a well attended rally at Parliament to protest rape culture in NZ, and call for the teaching of consent in schools:

Hundreds join protest against rape culture in NZ

Hundreds of people have gathered outside Parliament to protest against rape culture and call for better sex and consent education in secondary schools.

The rally was organised after two Wellington College boys posted messages on Facebook about having sex with drunk and unconscious girls.

Separately, four Year 9 students from St Patrick’s College at Silverstream in the Hutt Valley were suspended after they posted inappropriate images of female teachers on Instagram.

Poor weather in the capital did not keep people at bay, with men and women of all ages – including at least 100 secondary school students – turning out.

Bravo to all those who attended, and great to see Wellington College represented.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women Paula Bennett said the government had heard the calls to make sure consent was included in the curriculum for sex education, which was compulsory in Year 10.

Good. No doubt many will be watching to make sure that it happens.

One of the protesters, Jennie Stone, said in this day and age, women feeling unsafe because of their gender was simply unacceptable.

Organisers were forced to move the location of the protest, which was originally to be held outside Wellington College, when they were threatened with violence. …

Those threats were a shocker, and just about the best demonstration possible of the seriousness of these problems in NZ.

126 comments on “Call to teach consent in schools”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    I don’t see why consent isn’t already taught during sex ed.

    • Antoine 1.1

      +1

    • Rightly or Wrongly 1.2

      I suspect the reason why is the sex ed has been divorced from any inkling of morality or ethics.

      Basic biology + condoms has been the message for probably 20 years without any though of the moral framework that sexuality should be seen through.

      Issues like what constitutes consent, sex and relationships, consequences of sexual activity etc. get lost in the naive and well meaning curriculum that seems to have an overall objective that anything goes as long as you wear a condom.

      Combine that with the ‘separation from reality’ pop culture that many teens subscribe too and boys hooked on free internet porn and its not hard to see how they stop respecting girls and see them simply as objects to be used.

      Also for teenage girls – if they see their pop idols prancing around in (less) than their underwear and think it is pretty cool (and grown up) to get drunk, wear similar attire and hang out with the same immature boys its not hard to see in the cold light of day how this can go badly.

      I think if they teach consent in school they should also include wider aspects of popular culture – sexual assaults will still happen but it may help to minimize the occurrence of it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        sex ed has been divorced from any inkling of morality or ethics.

        How did that happen? How was it that sex ed was hobbled thus? Who lobbied against it (sex ed)? Who complained every time a teacher introduced real world notions like LGTBI into the classroom?

        Perhaps the problem is your lip service to ethics and morality.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2

        its not hard to see in the cold light of day how this can go badly.

        Why are you cuddling up to crims? I think there’s something wrong with you.

        • Rightly or Wrongly 1.2.2.1

          Not cuddling up to any crims.

          If any of these boys sexually assault females then they deserve for the weight of the law to come down on them.

          What I am trying to state is that when you combine the following:

          1) Teen age boys who have excess hormones, are exposed to constant and explicit internet porn, and seem to find access to alcohol easy. (And have few moral boundaries)

          2) Teenage girls who are exposed to pop music stars who produce music videos in which they portray to them that they should be dressing in explicit clothing and life is all about drinking, sex, and drug taking.

          Now in an ideal world putting these two groups together should never result in sexual activity taking place that wasn’t the result of informed and voluntary consent however the reality is that this is not the case.

          I suspect that as well as questions being asked about the behaviour of these boys wider questions should be asked about the role of the corrupt and morally bankrupt popular culture and internet porn which produces the situations which allow this offending to flourish.

          If these aren’t addressed we will still be talking about this same topic in 20 years time.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.1.1

            questions should be asked about the role of the corrupt and morally bankrupt popular culture

            So the crims’ excuse is that market forces told them to do it. Way to make up excuses.

  2. Gsays 2

    Yes to consent taught in schools, ideally to support the message from home.

    There is a feeling that it is swimming against the tide of multi billion dollar advertising and entertainment industries.

    • Cinny 2.1

      Far out yes …

      it is swimming against the tide of multi billion dollar advertising and entertainment industries.

      I’ve two daughters, due to the sexual nature of advertising and music videos etc, I’ve had to talk to them about not being ‘that girl’ and the reasons why.

      Just as important is how not to be ‘that boy’ by discussing consent etc.

      Really proud of all the young women, their families and supporters who marched on Parliament yesterday, well done to you all.

      • gsays 2.1.1

        hi cinny, after writing my comment, i was kinda scrambling to delete it, sausage fingers prevented me.
        reason being it could come across as ‘boys/men can’t help it’.
        not my intent at all, more pointing to two very pernicious forces at play here amongst many.

  3. Sabine 3

    in that case we would have to send a lot of adults to school again.

    Just teach proper sex ed in school inclusive consent.
    And hold night classes for adults. Cause it seems a lot of them have no clue what consent means.
    We could start with certain sports people, on duty cops, actors, ex cops, ex politicos, and such.
    Maybe we could do a special on the News.

    Or maybe the next time we have something like the roast busters the cops takes their jobs seriously, and the law takes their jobs seriously and the offenders that ply young girls with alcohol to then have their way with it at the least get a fucking conviction for serving alcohol to a minor, and the cops who lied about ‘girls not coming forward and such’ get also a bit of a ‘slap with a wet bus ticket’ instead of nothing.

    Cause as long as boys will be boys is actually a get out of prison card, nothing is gonna change cause boys will be boys for ever no matter how old the men are.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      in that case we would have to send a lot of adults to school again.

      Yes.

      Cause as long as boys will be boys is actually a get out of prison card, nothing is gonna change cause boys will be boys for ever no matter how old the men are.

      Boys are only ever what they’ve been taught through the education system and, most importantly, what they’ve seen around them.

      Changing the culture is going to take a long time and a lot of effort but it needs to be done.

      • Sabine 3.1.1

        and family, and society, and media and all of this has no influence?

        None? Only family? a boy can be the nicest guy at home to Mother and yet be a predator when not accompanied by Mother.

        No, one of the reasons attitudes – over spans of centuries of – have not changed and it is because we still treat it as a tricial offence.

        How long do you think women should wait for the culture to change? Another few millenias?

        Or maybe, we just start enforcing the laws instead of pontificating about boys will be boys, and were where the mothers of these girls/women not teaching them that boys will be rapists, stalkers, harrasers and sexual bullies cause boys.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          and family, and society, and media and all of this has no influence?

          Did you read what I wrote? Specifically this bit?

          Boys are only ever what they’ve been taught through the education system and, most importantly, what they’ve seen around them.

          • Sabine 3.1.1.1.1

            and did you read what i said?

            how long do you want us women to wait before men decide that maybe they should change their culture.

            this is what you said:

            “Boys are only ever what they’ve been taught through the education system and, most importantly, what they’ve seen around them.”

            which essentially puts the blame anywhere but on the boys.

            and frankly, at some stage they stop being boys, they grow up, they know what is right from wrong and then they should behave accordingly instead of blaming others for their indecent behavior.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    I was reading about this, and thinking about my upbringing. I really do wonder at the impact of internet porn on the sort of attitudes and comments being made by men these days.

    I recall working at a school where a very sexualised teenage boy finally forced another pupil to commit a sex act, and in the subsequent investigation it was revealed he watched a lot of porn during unsupervised internet access at home.

    Porn as a social behavioural modifier is a real worry, because unless you want to employ an army of censors – with all the attendant worries about censorship and it’s boundaries – there is not a lot that can be done by the state to safeguard it’s young people.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Is the problem porn or the fact that we, as a culture, hide normal human relations?

      • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1

        Well, not so much hide “normal” human relationships, as about the way our culture has embeded power dynamics into personal relationships.

        Rape and sexual assault are not about sex so much, as about one person using physical means to exert power over another.

        And our culture and institutions incorporate, and enable all kinds of power relationships – some based in gender relationships.

    • Karen 4.2

      The attitudes were the same before internet porn – the only difference now is that they get expressed online.

      Have a read of Graham Cameron’s blog :

      https://firstwetakemanhattan.org/2017/03/14/1980s-men-in-2017-why-we-dont-really-want-to-end-rape-culture/

      • Carolyn_nth 4.2.1

        Thanks for the link. yes, a very good piece. It’s about how men are enabled to treat women as objects and chattels, and not fully human, by our culture and institutions.

        And it’s about how a lot of men don’t want to give up that access to power within certain contexts.

    • McFlock 4.3

      I don’t think porn as such is the cause of the problem, it’s just another in the list of things that can’t be banned and can’t be hidden, so needs communication between parent and child. Like drugs and alcohol.

      In my experience, the young people who dealt with porn or sex or drugs or alcohol in the worst ways were usually the ones from the most socially conservative/restrictive environments, where the parents believed their sainted offspring would never touch such things.

      You can’t prohibit these things in society, but what you can do is teach kids boundaries, and treat them like reasonable people, and point out that frequently how such things are potrayed in no way reflects 99% of reality. And always be as safe as possible, and never inflict it on others without their informed consent.

      • weka 4.3.1

        It’s not porn, it’s the kind of porn being watched (and pushed) and the messages that are being given to men and boys about what sex is and isn’t. Go spend some times in feminist spaces online and listen to what women are saying about being in sexual relationships with men who watch a lot of porn. Many men and boys are getting their expectations about what sex is, and what relationships are, and what women are for, from watching porn, and that’s because of what much of porn is. The old adage goes porn is the theory, rape is the practice. This doesn’t mean that all people who watch porn will be rapists, it means that we are teaching a whole bunch of people some pretty fucked up ideas about bodies, sexuality, humanness, power relations, etc.

        I agree there are influences from what is happening at home including issues around conservatism, but that in no way obviates the need to look at what is happening in the socialisation of men and boys via porn.

        “You can’t prohibit these things in society,”

        Can’t prohibit rape culture either. It’s about establishing a different set of values.

        • Antoine 4.3.1.1

          > It’s about establishing a different set of values.

          How to do this, is an interesting subject (speaking as one who has a son)

          A.

          • weka 4.3.1.1.1

            Yeah, but it’s not like there aren’t many people doing this already. I’d say it comes down to the values and politics of the parent in that case. Are you willing to learn from women? From feminists? From anti-rape activists and educators?

        • McFlock 4.3.1.2

          Yes, it’s a combination of the porn and the messages men and boys are getting about sex. But porn isn’t the only source of those messages – or at least, it sure shouldn’t be.

          Porn is to sex what action movies are to violence. We try to teach kids that violence is wrong, and that injuries aren’t as easy to shrug off as rambo might make it seem. We don’t seem to do as much of that with sex though.

          It was difficult enough to get the basic mechanics taught in schools, let alone anything to do with emotions, behaviour and consent,

          • weka 4.3.1.2.1

            “But porn isn’t the only source of those messages – or at least, it sure shouldn’t be.”

            True, but for many boys it is a dominant system of messaging, and the messaging itself is damaging and wrong. I have a friend who is a power whore who has done porn, so I get the pro-empowered porn stuff. But that’s not what most boys are being exposed to so I also understand why so many women and feminists are basically anti-porn.

            I don’t know what the solution is to the problem of porn but I do know that the idea that porn isn’t the problem is hugely problematic when it comes to dealing with rape culture because it sidesteps the content of a lot of porn. Like I say, go listen to women who are in relationships with men who watch that kind of porn and see what they say about how that plays out in real life. That includes teenage girls btw.

            • Antoine 4.3.1.2.1.1

              > I have a friend who is a power whore who has done porn

              [double take]
              wut?

            • McFlock 4.3.1.2.1.2

              Yeah, I’ll go ask a teenage girl what type of porn her boyfriend likes, no problem at all lol.

              The thing is, there’s no real solution to what types of porn someone might watch these days. But we can ensure what other messaging kids are exposed to, by making it part of the education system. So, yes, add consent to the curriculum. Also add things like how the media, including porn, portrays sex, and how the media tries to condition us to what we find attractive or unattractive (both in people and behaviour). And maybe something along the lines of honesty and integrity, and consideration for others (that doesn’t even need to be in sex ed).

              • Antoine

                McFlock

                See my links at the bottom of the thread, the second one is the NZ curriculum guidance document, it does align pretty well with what you say.

                A.

                • McFlock

                  cheers A

                  • Antoine

                    I’m not exactly sure what its status is, it seems pretty clear that at least some schools don’t follow it, presumably this is a part of the reason for the protest in the OP.

                    A.

              • weka

                “Yeah, I’ll go ask a teenage girl what type of porn her boyfriend likes, no problem at all lol.”

                I didn’t suggest that McFlock. Reread what I said. I didn’t say go ask, I said go listen. Go look online if you want to actually know what women experience as a result of porn.

                “The thing is, there’s no real solution to what types of porn someone might watch these days.”

                Yet experts in the field disagree. Interesting to see you running a ‘we can’t change it’ line.

                • McFlock

                  If “experts” think we can control what types of porn people watch, why do we even have a “problem”? It should be solved already. After all, regimes have been trying for centuries to control what people watch, pornographic and political.

                  As for your “go listen” line, maybe you should do some yourself.

                  • Antoine

                    TBH I think you guys are vehemently agreeing.

                    Weka said “I don’t know what the solution is to the problem of porn”
                    McFlock said porn is “just another in the list of things that can’t be banned and can’t be hidden”

                    Are you not reasonably well aligned?

                    • weka

                      Please don’t selectively misquote me.

                      I’m sure on the issue of rape culture that McFlock and I are pretty well reasonably aligned. On porn we disagree. McFlock thinks it’s not a problem and nothing can be done about it anyway. I think it is problem, and lots can be done about it.

                    • Antoine

                      He also seems to think it’s a problem, and lists a bunch of stuff that can be done about it.

                      A.

                  • weka

                    That’s like saying “If experts think we can change rape culture why do we even have a problem? It should be solved already”

                    I don’t believe the solutions to the problems that porn causes are to be found in prohibition or control in the way I think you mean, I’ve already said that.

                    Who do you think I should be listening to?

                    • McFlock

                      Rape culture has only recently (in the greater scheme of things) been identified as a problem. Porn, and people trying to control it, has been around for centuries.

                      As for who you could be listening to, I think you could start with reading what I’ve and others have actually written, rather than drawing long bows from the cliff notes.

            • Psycho Milt 4.3.1.2.1.3

              …go listen to women who are in relationships with men who watch that kind of porn and see what they say about how that plays out in real life.

              Why look at an effect and pretend it’s a cause? They watch that kind of porn because they’re that kind of man – they didn’t become that kind of man because they watch that kind of porn. Focusing on the porn is arse-about-face.

              Porn is a red herring and I can’t believe the herring gets trotted out again every decade or so as though something were different this time. When I was in my teens in late-70s Blenheim, porn was practically unavailable but a lot of the guys I was at school with were clearly the misogynists, rapists and wife-beaters of the future. Their attitudes were as loathsome as any of the kids people are referring to when they do their handwringing about porn – we should stop being distracted by it.

              • Antoine

                I don’t think porn created the problem but I think it changed its nature, and also that it increased the scale of the problem relative to what it would have been otherwise.

                A.

              • weka

                It’s not porn per se, it’s how a lot of porn is being done and the things that is teaching boys about sex, women, and consent. We’re not talking about men, we’re talking about boys developing social mores around sex. I’m not saying that all men who watch porn are sexual abusers, I’m saying that boys are developing some pretty fucked up ideas about sex, consent and women because they’re watching porn that is teaching them those ideas.

                And sorry, but your experiences of porn in the 70s are completely different than what is going on now.

                Let me put it another way. If you want to be pro-porn, then be pro-porn that empowers women and teaches men how to be respectful.

                • I’m saying that boys are developing some pretty fucked up ideas about sex, consent and women because they’re watching porn that is teaching them those ideas.

                  And I’m saying that 40 years ago boys had ideas about those things that were, if anything, even more fucked up than now, in the near-complete absence of porn. Which means porn is of little relevance to the discussion, ie it’s reflective of the attitudes in question, rather than the cause of them.

                  I get that perpetrators of sex crimes might want to declare porn to blame for their actions, much as violent offenders often have a story about how alcohol made them do it. We should ignore their bullshit – wherever they got the attitudes from that made them commit the crime, it wasn’t from watching a video or drinking some alcohol.

                  If you want to be pro-porn, then be pro-porn that empowers women and teaches men how to be respectful.

                  It’s not about pro or anti, porn just is, as long as there are humans around – you might as well be pro/anti music or writing.

                  • Rightly or Wrongly

                    They still had porn 40 years ago.

                    It was porn visualized in their heads and obtained by looking through holes in the walls of the girls changing rooms just not looking at a small electronic screen.

                    Having said that if my better half is correct as a teenage girl many of her mates wern’t much better.

  5. BM 5

    Black gangster rap and hip hop.

    Kids listening to that shit are having their minds ingrained with some seriously fucked up attitudes towards women.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Whereas for BM, it’s the ethnicity of the artists that excites him.

      • gsays 5.1.1

        reminds me of when ice-t was banned when he released cop killer. a song based on his life experiences.
        michael franti sung about it:
        “…Their fuckin’ with Ice T but they don’t even care if
        Eric Clapton’s singin’ I Shot the Sherriff! ”

        from ‘of course you can’ by spearhead

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1

          I tell you what we did, we stole your fuckin’ kids
          The home invader
          All right we got the motherfuckin’ kids, we outta here, c’mon

          Ice T.

          Raise the double standard.

          Michael Franti.

          I’d like to hear more music please

          Consolidated.

          😀

          • gsays 5.1.1.1.1

            nice.
            you’ve made me look at butyric acid on you tube.
            helped shape my attitude to abortion.
            “…if you’ve memorized your civil rights don’t forget one
            if you don’t want an abortion don’t get one.”

            franti has been a huge influence on my thinking.
            plenty of his phrases are well into my psyche.
            “caramel coloured people.”

  6. HDCAFriendlyTroll 6

    Good grief. Why on earth would you need to do teach consent in schools? Isn’t it obvious?

    For the record in the vast majority of rapes that go to trial consent isn’t even an issue. And those rare cases that do go to trial where consent is an issue my guess is the guy is lying shitbag who knows full well the victim wasn’t consenting.

    • DoublePlusGood 6.1

      The Kuggeleijn case shows full well that this is still a massive issue.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 6.1.1

        Cops are pretty good at telling fake rape complaints from the real ones. So if a case has made it all the way to trial it’s a pretty sure bet the guy is as guilty as sin.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          fake rape complaints

          You could easily be replaced by a rape culture bingo card.

    • Tophat 6.2

      “Why on earth would you need to do teach consent in schools? ”

      Well, I would be happy to be assured they are teaching sex in schools. I went to a catholic school in south Auckland that shall remain unnamed, ( because to my knowledge there is only 1 in catholic college in that area 😛 .)
      At 14 we were sent home with a consent letter for sex ed’. Once returned we were assured that the classes were forthcoming. At 15, latter 4th form, we were taught that sex was something we would learn about naturally once we were married. We were taught masturbation was self abuse and that was about it. One class run in the school chapel one afternoon, accompanied by hymns and a very embarrassed teacher.
      One would hope that is a passed hang up. But no. I was talking to my 22 year old son recently. They had much the same in his school, another single sex school.

      So were education may help, I think consent is simple act of respect, something, one would hope, that we all learn as a part of our development.

    • Rightly or Wrongly 6.3

      Consent is a huge issue in most rape offences – especially when you look at the legal technicalities around consent and what it consists of.

      Not so much if it is a stranger rape but a large proportion of cases involve people who know each other.

      Often there is no issue that sexual activity took place.

      The hairy question of consent arises with the he said/she said issue.

      If there is no independent evidence corroborating either his or her story what does a jury do?

      Do they say ok the woman is telling the truth – bang the guy can carry the stigma of a rape conviction and jail sentence for the rest of his life?

      Do they side with the man and possibly another rapist got away with it?

      This issue is why many sexual complaints never get to court – it is too hard on the victim what ever happens.

  7. HDCAFriendlyTroll 7

    I’d like to ask anyone who supports this nonsense one simple question. Do you believe that consent can be withdrawn at any time and for any reason including (and this is the important bit) after the event?

    • You_Fool 7.1

      Of course consent can be given or not at any time, that is the point. Someone can say “yes” then 5 sec later say “no” and the no stands (as a yes would if it was the opposite way round). After the fact has other implications, but mostly just regret at the actions (it is hard to take something back once done no matter how much you wish); however in the case of photos of an intimate nature then yes, consent can be withdrawn after the photos are taken and should be obeyed.

      However, all these cases are related to times when a sound state of mind is reality, whilst these protests about boys deliberately creating a situation where there was no sound state of mind so they could get what they want without having to worry about anyone elses thoughts on the subject…

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 7.1.1

        To be clear we’re talking sex here, not taking dirty photos.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.1

          …dirty…

          You’re just a little bundle of shame, eh.

        • You_Fool 7.1.1.2

          but consent is consent; it doesn’t matter what the act is, the fundamental concepts are the same. We could be talking about me breaking one of your dishes as much as me having sex with you. You can say “yes you can do that” one minute and then “actually, no you can’t” straight after and I will know (or should know) that I am not allowed to do what we were originally stating. You are also allowed to state after the fact “actually no I didn’t want that” but then we would have to allow for the fact it happened and we can’t take it back; doesn’t stop you deciding it was a bad idea and you didn’t want it to happen any more. Does it make what I did wrong? No and yes, it was not ‘wrong’ at the time (so legally not wrong) but it is now wrong. Should I feel bad, well that depends on me. Does this have anything to do with what the protest was about, not really.

          The more interesting question you should ask, not taking back consent after the fact but during. If you say yes and we engage but then you say no but I don’t pull out then how wrong am I? If I am just moments away from the end and I don’t stop, can I be in control of myself at that moment?

          The answers are of course I am wrong and no argument says otherwise unless you are trying to justify my own decisions to myself, or my ego is too big to take my punishment. The problem is that these types of circumstances are not being explained clearly to horny 14-15 year old boys so they are thinking they have found a loop-hole or a hack of a girls free will. The other problem is we are teaching our young boys (and young girls) that girls are their for the sexual pleasure of boys, so boys have a right to expect sex, but that has been going on for decades.

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll 7.1.1.2.1

            So it’s ok for someone to have consensual sex with someone (no alcohol or other drugs involved to keep things simple), have a case of regrets the morning after, retroactively withdraw consent, and lay a rape charge?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Can you give us an example of sometime this has actually happened?

              • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                Ask a cop. Generally there are three sorts of rape complaints:

                1. Genuine.
                2. Revenge.
                3. Regret.

                Here we’re talking #3 and fortunately in most cases of #3 it doesn’t go much further than the cop noting down the complaint and shaking his head.

                Not an example but an argument in favour:

                https://bandanablog.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/you-can-take-it-back-consent-as-a-felt-sense/

                Agree or disagree?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No examples then. Not even any statistics. Just you cuddling up to crims, or perhaps regret is something you spend a lot of time around.

                • weka

                  I’m only about a third of the way through, but that’s a great read thanks. It doesn’t say what you are claiming, although it does describe you to a T. But it’s like post-grad rape culture politics and you apparently are still in primary school.

                  Toward an Ethical Model of Consent

                  How does our relationship to consent change if we think of “consent” as a real experience people have of feeling that what happened to them was okay, and “violation” as more nuanced than simply committing an un-permitted action?

                  In such a model, if Bob and Andy have sex, and Andy says, “Yes,” “Sure,” “Okay, fine, whatever,” or even, “Ooh baby, do it to me!” but still wakes up the next morning feeling like he was raped, that means Andy was raped. Conversely, if Andy and François have a steamy make-out session in which no words are exchanged but they both go home feeling great about it, and they keep feeling great about it, that experience was consensual.

                  If our concern is with not violating a person, rather than not violating a rule, then “a violation” is defined by what happens when a person processes and continually re-processes their feelings about an experience. Likewise, if our concern is about behaving ethically and with integrity, rather than making sure we are not held accountable for coercive actions, then we should respect consent as an experience people have, not a commitment people make.

                  Consent does not equal permission; it is a felt sense.

                  Of course, this understanding of consent fucking terrifies people (mostly men and sadomasochistic “Dominants”), because it implies that consent (as they understand it) can be “revoked” retroactively. But this is only a problem for someone whose desire to understand consent is primarily focused on how to not get in trouble for violating consent, or at the very least on how not to feel bad about themselves for violating consent, rather than on how to not violate consent.

                  I don’t agree with everything that is being said in that article, but it’s a worthy conversation. Personally, I think that quote is way beyond anything you are capable of, but it’s ok, we can still have consent as agreement for the men who want to know how to stay out of prison or court. Think of it as a baseline to protect women from men like you who don’t want society to address consent, and that most people will aim for something more meaningful and human.

                  • You_Fool

                    This is exactly what should be taught though… consent has meaning and emotion and feelings attached to it… means that consent is a living thing…

                    It is how society should see consent, although legally has issues (and thus legal definitions should be on what was said at the time) but this is a moral code that we should all subscribe too

                  • Rightly or Wrongly

                    Weka are you equating consent with satisfaction?

                    A genuine question – not making trouble.

                    The issue with that is often outcomes from sexual encounters do not match expectations for a number of reasons.

                    To say that a person wasn’t consenting because the other person didn’t engage with them in a way that was satisfying puts a lot of people at risk. (Both male and female)

                    • weka

                      “Weka are you equating consent with satisfaction?”

                      Not really. Anyone can have consensual sex and end up not feel particularly satisfied.

                      One of the things I like about the article (haven’t finished reading it yet), is that it names clearly the problem where so much of this debate ends up being centred on men’s fears of being accused of rape rather than looking at how rape might be lessened. And how much of that debate is also about men who think they are entitled to sex. If we leave consent at the level of ‘she said yes’, we’re not too much further ahead (although that would help with getting men past the idea that they can have sex with women who are unconscious).

                      But like I said, the article is dealing with some fairly complex issues and ways of looking at things, I don’t agree with all of it, and it’s not going to be well understood in a culture that sanctions the framing around men’s ideas and need.

                      “To say that a person wasn’t consenting because the other person didn’t engage with them in a way that was satisfying puts a lot of people at risk. (Both male and female)”

                      We’re already in a situation where many people are at risk. I think the conversation in that article would help us reduce risk if we talked about it meaningfully.

            • Antoine 7.1.1.2.1.2

              No it’s not OK!!

              Anyone knows that.

              What is your point??

              A.

              • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                Well since we’re talking consent here I’m curious as to how far people think it should go and what people think the definition should be. For example does it need to be explicit? Must it always be enthusiastic? Can it be withdrawn the day after? A week after? etc.

                Afterall, if you’re going to teach consent in schools you have to know the answers to those questions.

            • You_Fool 7.1.1.2.1.3

              It is ok for any activity to happen with mutual consent and then for one party to have regrets and communicate that they no longer feel happy with the actions and then for the two parties to come to a mutual understanding on how to proceed.

              As to your strawman argument: It is fine, that is what the courts and justice system are for and in general the truth and fiction are able to be sorted out (mostly because the truth is mostly consistent and fiction tends to change). This does show I have faith in both human nature to not be so vindictive to make up rape allegations after the fact and the justice system to find the truth in a matter

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      Which nonsense?

      All you’ve done is constructed a strawman. And demonstrated that you don’t know what consent is.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 7.2.1

        It’s a simple yes or no question.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1

          You are confused about the definition of “simple” too. Either that or you’re asking loaded questions because you’re dishonest.

          It gives rise to the suspicion that you are cuddling up to crims.

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll 7.2.1.1.1

            Fine. I’ll rephrase and use fewer words.

            Do. You. Believe. Con-sent. Can. Be. Ret-ro-act-ive-ly. Withdrawn?

            [You’re the only person running that line here, as a straw man. You’ve refused to clarify when asked. Stop. trolling. Only. warning. – weka]

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Earlier you used the word “regret”. The loaded part of your dishonest question is the hidden assertion that regret turns to malice sufficiently frequently to cause concern.

              You have yet to show that it’s even happened once. But that’s not the point. The point is you are cuddling up to crims. A bleeding heart making excuses for illegality.

              Or something a bit more sinister.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 7.2.2

        Which nonsense?

        The nonsensical idea about teaching consent in schools.

        [you’ve had plenty of time to make an actual case about that and you haven’t. You look like an out and out rape apologist. As a moderator I think women, and rape survivors, have more right to this space than you do, and that your comments are actively exclusionary. Read the Policy on that last bit. If you didn’t mean to come across as a rape apologist or be exclusionary, I suggest you think about your approach for next time. Given I already warned you, 1 month ban – weka]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.2.1

          Antoine has kindly done your homework for you, in providing a link to teaching materials on the subject.

          You haven’t read them. When you have. you’ll be able to form an opinion, rather than just explaining your personal “dating” strategy.

    • Sabine 7.3

      mate, if your partner does not give you enthusiastic consent all along the way you should stop.
      just stop.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.1

        …and maybe check in verbally to see if they’re ok.

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 7.3.2

        Not you as you wouldn’t do such a thing but there are women and men who have gone out looking for shag, not had much luck, and so settled for the first person who’s willing. Did the former give enthusiastic consent? No. But they still consented and therefore can’t claim rape.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.2.1

          No-one wants to hear about your intimacy problem.

        • Antoine 7.3.2.2

          I don’t want to undermine the thread, but I think “enthusiastic consent all the way” may be a slightly high bar to set in a long standing relationship. We can’t all be yelling “More! More! Do it harder! Oh god don’t stop” all the time, every time!

          A.

          • weka 7.3.2.2.1

            lol, that’s not what is meant by enthusiastic consent.

            • Antoine 7.3.2.2.1.1

              Sabine may be able to elaborate a bit more on what she did mean, then

              • weka

                Enthusiastic consent doesn’t mean you have to be all energetic all the time. It means that consent isn’t just about the word ‘yes’, it’s about what the other person is experiencing and the consent is an proactive thing, not a passive one.

                Essentially it’s a concept that means you have to think about/be aware of the other person’s experience from *their perspective not your own. That’s going to vary hugely from situation to situation and relationship to relationship right? So in a long standing relationship, one would hope that the clues and communication methods for mutuality are well developed and understood and can be more subtle. But only if the concept of consent in it’s deeper sense is already understood.

                Louise Nicholas talks about mutuality of desire and who does one know that the other person is feeling that.

                • You_Fool

                  My translation for the RW trolls, S/he should be into it, what ever the “it” happens to be… lukewarm “meh” is probably not really good enough especially for the situation that is being protested

  8. greywarshark 8

    As well as teaching of consent being considered, another word can be introduced and explained and that is restraint. Learning about the power of hormones on males and females and how to stop them getting control over your mind, and how to resist peer pressure. How to recognise awkward situations and how to talk your way out of them etc.

    lots of sensible discussions about not dashing into it because everyone else does it would go a long way. Referring to sex as being on a par with other body-produced stimulants, adrenalin for instance would put teenage sex into a better perspective than some naughty rite that any person would want to do to prove to themselves they are attractive.

    • bwaghorn 8.1

      ”Learning about the power of hormones on males and females and how to stop them getting control over your mind, and how to resist peer pressure”

      Bingo , cultures made rules for young people not because they wanted to spoil the fun , but to keep the little hormones on legs safe, keeping tabs on the sprogs and not giving them free licence to be out boozing and roaming needs to be a part of the cure , ie parental responsability.

  9. mauī 9

    This is a big issue. Our culture has sexualised women so much at the same time boys are expected to have sex and think its their right too. I can’t see how you can unravel those cultural things quickly especially with a lot of men wanting to sweep this whole thing under the rug.

    So yes I agree this dysfunctional culture needs to be combatted with teaching consent at school and parents talking to their kids about not only drinking and driving, but respecting women too.

    • joe90 9.1

      I can’t see how you can unravel those cultural things quickly especially with a lot of men wanting to sweep this whole thing under the rug.

      I can see how you unravel those cultural things – change the culture.

      And you deny anyone the opportunity to sweep this whole thing under the rug by beating the fucking drum long and loud, for as long as it takes.

      (careful, confronting lyrics inside)

      You are the problem here
      You are the problem here
      No one made you do anything
      You are the problem here
      You are the problem here
      No one made you do anything

      https://www.thelocal.se/20170310/first-aid-kit-release-furious-anti-rape-anthem-listen-here

      • Karen 9.1.1

        Wow, that’s a great song.

        Thanks for that Joe90. I’m keeping that link for future use – unfortunately there’s no doubt that I will need to use it.

    • Bill 9.2

      You want it?

      Grab it. Take it. Be a success. Accumulate and revel in the self reinforcing loop of power and entitlement. And the rewards – the rewards! Prestige, privilege, wealth. Ah! – the world of the ‘Big Man’ looking down and taking from an ever greater panoply of deserved pleasures and treats…or striving to realise a version of the above.

      How does that culturally endorsed and economically rewarded approach to life interact or impact on personal relationships?

  10. Ethica 10

    Has anyone else noticed the link between the call for more education and awareness of consent by these young people, and Government wanting to override consent to privacy for those who go to Rape Crisis or other groups for support?

    • jcuknz 10.1

      +1 Ethica
      Double standards of the Politically Correct.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1

        🙄

        Read it again jcuck.

        • jcuknz 10.1.1.1

          OAB .. are you simply attacking me for your perceived belief of me?
          When the ruling came out I thought it was wrong for the additional harm it is very likely to cause women suffering trauma of a broken/violent relationship.

          • Macro 10.1.1.1.1

            And now you have changed your opinion?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1.2

            1. Suggesting that you read something again is not a personal attack.
            2. Where exactly is the “double standard”? Spell it out for me.

            • jcuknz 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Ethica spelt it out for me “one situation good, another bad” The link is a form of double standards as they are both opposing stances on privacy .

              • weka

                You’re not making sense there. Ethics was pointing out that rapists don’t care about consent and neither does the govt. Where’s the double standard?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                “one situation good, another bad”

                1. “the call for more education and awareness of consent by these young people”. That is good.

                2. “Government wanting to override consent to privacy”. That is bad.

                It isn’t a double standard, it’s exactly the same standard: more respect for consent, rather than less.

                That said, your comments are barely coherent, so who knows what you’re trying to say.

    • weka 10.2

      “Has anyone else noticed the link between the call for more education and awareness of consent by these young people, and Government wanting to override consent to privacy for those who go to Rape Crisis or other groups for support?”

      Yep. It’s why I consider what National are doing around data to be one of their most serious acts and one of the most important things we should be resisting.

  11. Bill 11

    So we might say that consent is about not treading on people – about not assuming entitlement. But that attitude (entitlement and disregard) has become somewhat culturally ingrained. So how does it work out if people are to be “taught” that consent is required ‘over here’ but not elsewhere?

    I’d suggest that the prevalent attitude in society would wash away and undermine any undertaking that seeks to treat consent or respect as something to be practiced in an isolated or specific situation.

    So if we want to live in a society that encourages basic human decency in any given situation, then we have to tackle its lack across the board, and not just in relation to specific or discrete interactions.

    I’m going to guess the appetite for that’s somewhat lacking and so we’ll hypocritically barrel ahead with an unsustainable contradiction.

    Of course, there’s always the possibility that acknowledging the need for a fairly basic human approach in one aspect of life could create ripples that alter how a person perceives and behaves in others too. But that’s a fairly huge ask at the individual level given the cultural and systemic edifice of reward and sanction that stands before any such shift in general attitude and behaviour.

    • weka 11.1

      In the meantime, teach boys that if they don’t get enthusiastic consent they’re going to end up in a court and possibly a prison.

      Sorry, but even living in the cultures we do we have respect for people across a whole range of human interactions that for some reason doesn’t get applied to women and sex. Yes, there are always generic problems in societies based around domination, but in this case the issue is very gender specific and has some pretty clear solutions that can be applied now without having to dismantle the patriarchy at the same time. In fact we could use teaching consent in regards to sex and bodies to children and teenagers as the basis for common human decency and power relations.

      btw, I don’t think the idea is to teach sexual consent in isolation.

      “So we might say that consent is about not treading on people – about not assuming entitlement.”

      We might, but I think there are better ways of approaching it. In the first instance I would say we should spend a lot of time listening to what women are saying about it.

      “But that attitude (entitlement and disregard) has become somewhat culturally ingrained.”

      5,000 years 😉

      • Antoine 11.1.1

        > teach boys that if they don’t get enthusiastic consent they’re going to end up in a court and possibly a prison.

        Indeed do that, but I don’t think you should be laying that kind of talk on someone under the age of (say) 12, so then there is a question of what you teach younger kids.

        > In the first instance I would say we should spend a lot of time listening to what women are saying about it.

        We should do that, but we should also pause a moment and reflect that the dialectic used among feminists, while fit for that purpose, may not be the best way of communicating the issue to teenage boys.

        A.

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          I’m not talking to teenage boys here, I’m talking to the men who will be and who are the ones in society that need to step up and make change.

          And please bear in mind that many feminists raise boys, so that whole dialectic comment was pretty weird.

          “Indeed do that, but I don’t think you should be laying that kind of talk on someone under the age of (say) 12, so then there is a question of what you teach younger kids.”

          Actually I think boys should grow up knowing that rape is illegal and people go to prison for it. Yes, that needs to be age appropriate language, but it’s mistake to wait until boys are teens before bringing that to the foreground.

      • Bill 11.1.2

        Not sure if it was clear that much of my comment was addressing the issue of consent in its broader context.

        When you say in response to my very first sentence that we ought to listen to what women have to say about it, the assumption would appear to be that people don’t generally act in a non-consensual or utterly selfish fashion towards others, or that consent only applies, or perhaps matters, in relation to sex between men and women… and yet our society is riddled through with non-consensual behaviours, both sexual and non-sexual, and the resultant fall-out.

        And the thoughtlessness, selfishness and total disregard for others is reinforced by legislation as well as cultures of reward. In the workplace for example, a boss is entitled to demand an employee carries out any lawful order or instruction issued to them. That’s an environment many people have to inhabit for most of their waking hours – one where the lesson is to do as you’re told, or act as another expects you to, or as they demand of you…in other words, to be an object at another’s disposal. Some might say the same or similar applies to school.

        And from there, or so I’d argue, the attitude and lessons bleed into our informal spheres of life. And acceptable behaviours or ideas about reasonable expectations (for some) are then steered by perceptions of relative power and what has been learned vis a vis the generally accepted nature of interactions between people with different levels of power.

        And so it goes, in a dreadful self reinforcing and self perpetuating cycle.

        So pick one discrete area of all that messed up world of human interaction, and suggest behaviours there, in that discrete sphere, ought to be different to those that we learn from across a wide range of direct experiences, and it’s probably not going to be too successful.

        And sure, we can and do threaten courts and jail time for failing to obtain consent around sex. It kind of works but I’d say that mostly it doesn’t. I doubt if many potential sexual abusers have stepped back from inflicting abuse at the thought of jail time. I’d further guess that a lot of rapists who are doing jail time see themselves as having been banged up the crime of simply having sex.

        And then there’s the utter mess that ensues when all the systemic and cultural bias about power plays out through a justice system charged with addressing abuses of power…the culture of victim blaming etc

        Teach about consent in schools? Absolutely. Limit the parameters of that teaching in any way? Absolutely not.

  12. All this and how it shows we are teaching our children to sexualise young girls makes me sorry to be a man, to be of the type of humans that is bring about this state of being, this world, where young girls cannot walk around in what they feel comfortable in without being judged for their appearance, where they think and are thought of in terms of how they will satisfy a boy with his needs. It makes me ashamed.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      The interesting thing that with the stepback of government from our lives in some ways where they are needed, and in your face where they should be reticent, schools are able to decide on how or whether they teach ‘life skills’ appropriate for the children’s ages. Sometimes it is covered in just one classroom period in the year, and if a child is away, then the information is never passed on and the child is vulnerable to all sorts of myth-making from classmates who have been present.
      The situation is very unsatisfactory and strange for an advanced, educated country.
      Maybe we are not!

      Children may be taken out of classes on sexual behaviour by religious who think that sexual behaviour outside marriage is worse than violence, or stealing or twisting calves tails etc. They should all be able to answer a health questionnaire from their own knowledge and if not, there should be a special evening time when the parents are requested to come to the school and give their children the instruction they need. The absence of information with a respectful approach which prepares youngsters must have a major effect on crime figures and people with dysfunctional marriages.

  13. Macro 13

    There is a well developed programme available to schools funded by ACC “Mates and Dates”.
    Not all schools carry this programme because it comes at the cost of core curricula, but many do. My daughter is a facilitator of the programme, and I can assure everyone , that this is a very much needed programme. Many times young women come out for the first time about not only an experience with a friend, but also by others close to them. Fortunately here we have the capability to help these young women, I’m not sure about other centres.

  14. jcuknz 14

    You Fool 1.2 ….This doesn’t make me sorry I am a man but rather like most I was taught nothing meaningful about sexual relationships … physical and mental . instead gradually learning a small amount over many years. Perhaps a result of my guardian believing that sex was purely for procreation to the extent he never slept with his wife, an extreme example to be pitied and sorry for what he missed. And more sad for his wife who had had two children by her first husband.

    No proper education of both girls and boys is required so that rape is simply mal-adjusted violence and from an early age an understanding of sexual desires is gained to aid relationship without the corruption of religious belief.

  15. Sabine 16

    yeah,

    tell us what to do to change this behavior, and how we should teach this thing called ‘common decency’ in school.
    cause obviously its been forgotten.

    http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/03/this-dude-humping-the-fearless-girl-statue-is-the-worst.html

    At the end of the day consent is no more then ‘common decency’ or a case of ‘do unto others as you wish others do unto you”.

  16. jcuknz 17

    It boils down to “Do unto others that you would have them do to yourself” rather than ..”..before they do it to you”
    true I learnt it from a religion but not all religious beliefs are screwy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      In fact, the golden rule predates the local god-botherers by several centuries.

      “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself.” — Confucius

  17. jcuknz 18

    A. 1.5 That is wonderful news to me although there is so much involved from reading the first pages I doubt if they propose the meaningful information I’m thinking is needed which does in fact boil down to my 1.7 or what Confucious apparently said… rather I think OAB a couple of milleniums [ [ ? spelling ] ago rather than a few centuries [Ignoring the calendar changes a Pope Gregory [?] organised ]
    Is Confucious BC or AD ? 🙂

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Confucious lived around 500BCE: I also have a habit of confusing centuries and millennia in this context. I’m not his biggest fan, but he got a few things right.

  18. Glenn 19

    My daughter was sexually abused by a close family member from the age of 6 until 11 when it stopped when I found out. The amazing thing was neither her mother or I knew until one day I asked the question that I had asked a few times before and this time she nodded..
    I was rather stunned when she told me what had been going on and told the family
    Doctor of all people……….. then the SHTF.

    Police, social workers, councilors. psychologists we got the lot and the more it went on (months of enquiries by officialdom and years of counselling) the more disturbed my daughter became. Screwed the family up and left my wife and I with unresolved guilt feelings.

    Perhaps I had an inkling, I don’t know, but there must have been a reason I asked if she had ever been touched by anyone, unless fathers normally do ask those things. It turns out her school teachers had some suspicions but that’s all they remained..suspicions.
    If only they had voiced their concerns but they didn’t.

    Looking back I think sexual abuse is as much a power thing as a sex thing. My daughter was repeatedly told by the perpetrator that we would be so ashamed of her if she told us. He told her she would be in trouble. He destroyed any confidence she had. The intimidation was worse than the act.

    At 37 she’s never been on a date, never had any romance in her life and for almost all her life she would never stay in a room if it was only occupied by males. She lives at home with us.She loves her nieces and nephews and would really love to have kids but the biological act revolts her.
    She never really progressed socially from her childhood years. She was bullied at school and finished her schooling with years of correspondence school and private tutoring provided by the state. She became obese and ended up at 160kgs. Then she developed cancer which luckily was completely curable after a rugged operation .

    Perhaps schools, both primary and secondary, and doctors surgeries, should make a point of asking children, even teenagers in a one on one situation every year about the possibility of abuse, perhaps schools do now, I don’t know.

    The good news is that out of the blue 2 years ago my daughter decided that remaining a victim wasn’t much fun and dropped all excess weight on a strict diet. She now runs half marathons and goes to the gym daily. She now has a good job and lots of friends (all female). She is incredibly insecure though but getting a bit better.

    However the first 30 years of her life were fucked up because she didn’t have the opportunity to confide in someone removed from the family who she trusted that could help.

    • r0b 19.1

      Bloody hell I’m sorry. Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story.

    • greywarshark 19.2

      Glenn
      Thank you for telling this family history. So sad. I have a friend who struggled for years to overcome the emotions and basic instability caused by male family sexual dis-ease, this led to her not having a stable trust system, and belief in the respect of others and self-worth.

      But as you muse on teachers, it is incredibly hard for them to do anything – they
      might surmise, make educated guesses but the family could be incredibly angry even if they were wrong. And the child may not see a way out of hiding the information. I remember some years ago one child defecated on a classroom desk, and the teachers felt it was a virtual cry for help but did not know what was the appropriate route best for the family. Speak up and the family will be split, maybe with you, the child alone on one side, or your parents splitting up but secretly blaming you, the child. Worse, sometimes the mother may know but because it would split the family as a unit, and as a financial entity, leave the burden all on her shoulders, she may pretend it is all fancy and determinedly ignore it.

      They do talk at school about what touching is right an what is not. And I think they emphasise that your body is your own and that the child has a right to say “I don’t like that. Stop doing that.” I think it is power that is wanted, but also it comes from sterilising the whole body/sex thing, no talk, no look, almost Victorian still with some parents. When it is too naughty to mention, when it is in the mind lurking all the time, then it turns into that obssessive thing and possibly can never be satisfied so resulting in poring over videos, magazines, and unreal beliefs about females.

    • BM 19.3

      Sorry to hear about your daughter,

      Police, social workers, councillors. psychologists we got the lot and the more it went on (months of enquiries by officialdom and years of counselling) the more disturbed my daughter became. Screwed the family up and left my wife and I with unresolved guilt feelings.

      Endlessly rehashing a terrible experience is probably the worst thing you can do it a victim.

      All you’re doing is creating a neural superhighway to that part of the brain that contains all these bad and terrifying experiences.

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    7 days ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    1 week ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    1 week ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago