Parata overrules Bennett – consent not taught in schools

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, March 16th, 2017 - 33 comments
Categories: Hekia parata, paula bennett - Tags: , ,

In the recent discussion of the rape culture protest and the teaching of consent in schools, I quoted this:

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.

Heard the calls sounds good, right? But today from Parata:

Today, Education Minister Hekia Parata ruled out introducing compulsory education around sexual consent in high schools, saying the subject was best addressed in a family setting.

So Hekia Parata has overruled Paula Bennett’s “heard the calls”, and consent will not be taught in schools. Bravo Nats, bravo. Any chance of Bill English stepping in to the fight to do the sane thing?

33 comments on “Parata overrules Bennett – consent not taught in schools”

  1. weka 1

    Bill English the not-a-feminist?

    Year 10, that’s age 15? Far too late if we wanted to be serious about this.

    And yeah, National are a mess, but interesting Parata is taking the parental responsibility line. Maybe they’re after the Conservatives’ votes.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    ..I get that image of headless chickens running different directions in my head…

    Given the numbers of sexual abuse victims/attitudes demonstrated by a number of our young students in the media clearly it isn’t being addressed and is harming society.

    And yeah, age 15 waaay too late.

  3. Paula Bennett if asked about this: “That’s correct, we did hear the calls, however as Ms. Parata just announced, we’re simply not going to do anything about them.”

    And yeah, Year 10 (the old 4th form) is 14-15 for typical students. Most students should already know everything they need to by that age, because some of them will have started having sex before then. But there should also be age-appropriate sex ed every few years from the beginning of school, (mostly of the “why people normally shouldn’t touch you without your permission” and “what constitutes inappropriate touching” varieties at first) with consent-based education starting at 10 which is likely to beat puberty in most, but not all, cases.

    We got a dose of sex ed at year 7/8 (intermediate) as well where I went to school, which I think from the perspective of “covering all the detailed stuff at once” has the advantage that almost all students will probably have started puberty by that point, (and thus most of them will actually be interested in the subject and understand the reality of sexual attraction) but most of them will have been too awkward and new at everything to have progressed too far in their relationships without the necessary knowledge. It’s certainly the latest I would have thought makes sense to start talking about those things, and it was actually a little worrying in retrospect that they only talked theoretically about safe sex at that stage, and we waited until year 10 to, for instance, handle condoms.

    It’s also worth noting that almost all the sex education we got was entirely aimed at straight, cis teenagers. I hope that if we’re going to start looking at more sensible sex ed, we can throw in some trans, intersex, lesbian, gay, and bisexual sex ed too. 🙂

    • The Fairy Godmother 3.1

      Agreed but I think consent needs to start at ece level. Things like you can’t make someone else play a game if they don’t want to, encouraging children to express their feelings and of course adults need to stop telling children to kiss grandma or grandpa goodbye if they don’t want to. Actually I think that babies should be respected and not passed round like a parcel.

  4. RedLogix 4

    This annoys the crap out of me. I generally avoid these debates because of all the emotional baggage that inevitably gets dragged along with them … but if there is absolutely one thing we can do is give our kids and future generations a much better chance at becoming more fluent and confident around dealing with all the sexual issues and challenges they will meet in the course of their lives.

    Consent is definitely a good framework to start with … but truly there is SO much more we could be doing it’s incredibly frustrating to still be stuck at square one by such regressive attitudes.

  5. Sabine 5

    consent,

    its a nice to have thing

    but surely its not needed.

    Hekia Parata, MP National Party

    • Chris 5.1

      Surprised she was so bold to take stance without John Key to back her up. That’s normally how she rolls.

      • Sabine 5.1.1

        Key is gone, and now they have to own their shit. And full of shit are both of these Dames.

  6. Macro 6

    As I commented yesterday on another thread many Secondary schools have already adopted the Mates and Dates programme funded by ACC as a preventative measure to help reduce the number of rape and sexual abuse claims they currently deal with from young people.
    Whilst it is not compulsory and it comes at the expense in time of compulsory subjects in the already heavy school curricula Principals see the need for this programme and are mostly supportive of it.
    It provides 5 hourly sessions for each year level from Yr 9 to Yr 13.

  7. Infused 7

    What ever happened to parents doing anything?

    You know the school can still teach this if they want, right?

    • garibaldi 7.1

      “Whatever happened to parents doing anything?” In a word – Neoliberalism.

  8. ianmac 8

    Of course there should be a context for developing the concept of consent at a much earlier age. School uniforms. Borrowing. Consent to share. etc
    Long before sex rears its head.
    Sadly an authoritarian approach of some schools blocks the very intent of Consent.

  9. mac1 9

    I taught Year 10 and Year 12 students, along with Family Planning educators, from the eighties and stopped ten years ago, having taught the PE staff how to run the courses on Relationships.

    There was a component in that course on consent, or permission, which covered asking for and receiving verbal consent, the question of age and drugs, and so on. The Year 10 classes, all boys, had a fourteen hour module for the topic of relationships.

    Every year I fronted the parents at a meeting and informed them of the nature and coverage of the course, They could withdraw from them if they wanted. None did, except for a few Brethren, and they took care of their own. The parents were thankful that their boys were getting a quality course which was honest, thorough and unblushing.

    The parents were able to meet the staff teaching the course, which was my speciality, and were able to assess me as a teacher to check out my bona fides.

    The courses offered at our college, and in our sister college, were hugely instrumental in our smaller community in holding down teen age pregnancy and STD rates, according to the local Public Health staff.

    The point is that the course was very honest, and ethical as special mention was made of the need of boys to heed their own ethical beliefs, and the parents were happy to have this Relationships material dealt with in a classroom.

    That was an historical account, and I believe that our college was more advanced than many, but the fact is that good courses including the issue of consent have been taught in NZ schools.

    I was and am proud of my work. I used to tell the boys that I had a special concern for the subject as I wanted their education to be better than what I had as a student myself which was limited to “beware of cars, boys, they’re bedrooms on wheels.”

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Parata’s mana in the National Party didn’t last long once Shonkey bailed.

  11. JanM 11

    We used to have a great program in Early Childhood around ‘my body belongs to me’ which did not specify the sexual aspect but sought to empower children to understand that they were entitled not to be abused on any level. I think some centres still teach it

    • The Fairy Godmother 11.1

      Yes that’s where education on consent needs to start.

      • Lara 11.1.1

        I agree, that’s the right age to introduce it and it’s necessary.

        I wonder though if when introducing that idea, we also introduce the idea of it not being okay to try and force someone else to do something for you.

        Like, if another kid doesn’t want to play your game, it’s not okay to force them to.

        It’s the other side of the coin, but it’s necessary to teach both sides. Not just one. And it’s this side that will stop entitled attitudes regarding access to others bodies that can build up and be present at puberty when they become sexual.

        • JanM 11.1.1.1

          Yes, you are right, and that was part of this programme too – that others need to be treated with the same respect and dignity that you want for yourself

  12. Antoine 12

    Im wondering if education is now so decentralised, that the Minister of Education simply cannot mandate that all schools must teach a particular topic in a particular way. Those days may have gone.

    Does anyone know if this could be the case?

    A.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      The Ministry of Education’s website has all the information you need: there’s a link on their front page. Let us know what you find out, eh.

      • Antoine 12.1.1

        Was more looking for some informed comment from someone actually in the profession

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1

          You could be polite and not waste their time asking questions that the MoE website answers. They even have helpful pictures of the way in which school boards interact with their community, the Ministry, and the National Administration guidelines on the subject.

          It’s very useful for anyone who’s actually interested in the answers. Google “moe” and look for the most recent article.

          They encourage you to talk to your local schools to find out their particular approach.

          Section 60B of the Education Act is also relevant.

          Happy reading.

          PS: the short answer to your question is “no, it isn’t the case.”

          • Antoine 12.1.1.1.1

            I did read that document but Im still left wondering if the MoE could actually force all schools to teach a particular subject in a particular way, in practice (as opposed to ‘providing guidance’ and ‘expecting schools to follow it’)

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1.1

              What would that look like in practice?

              In practice, it would look like the current system: schools are required to teach the curriculum, the Ministry reviews their methods to ensure that they stay within the guidelines.

              You have heard of the completely dishonest and totally shit notional standards that the National Party used to vandalise our schools; you voted for them.

              They imposed them in the face of implacable opposition. I don’t believe you’ve forgotten all about it: I believe your amygdala is just helping you suppress the memory because it suits your agenda.

              • Antoine

                Sure, I guess National Standards proves you can still impose something on everyone if you try hard enough; but you dont want to go through a battle like that every day.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  It will be good to see them consigned to the dustbin, because they hurt children and damage their potential. There is something wrong with people who vote for that shit.

                  • Antoine

                    Someone proposing to.repeal them?

                    • JanM

                      Of course Labour will have them ‘gone by lunchtime’. They have been imposed over a new and enlightened curriculum, brought in by Labour, for which teachers have been given no PD (as far as I am aware) and which is almost impossible to implement in its true spirit under the present restrictive and negative regime

                    • Antoine

                      Yes Cunliffe said this in 2014

  13. mikesh 13

    “Consent not taught in schools.”

    An ambiguous headline if ever I saw one.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Typhoid report shows health officials under the hammer
    A chaotic picture has emerged around the response of Auckland public health officials to this year’s typhoid outbreak, says Aupito William Sio Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesman.  “Our Pacific community was left exposed by the Auckland Regional Public Health Services’ ...
    15 hours ago
  • Huge high country station risks going to overseas ownership
    The real estate advertisement is spot on in describing Mt White Station as an “iconic” South Island high country station. The 40,000 hectare property is adjacent to Arthur’s Pass National Park and the upper reaches of the Waimakariri River. Mt ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    17 hours ago
  • Bill English must be upfront about his involvement in Barclay scandal
    Bill English’s explanations that he was on the periphery of the long running employment dispute involving Todd Barclay don’t stack up, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister claims to have been a bystander, but we know he was ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour will not resile from royalties
    Labour believes cleaning up our rivers so that they are clean enough to swim in is the most important freshwater issue for this election, but that it is also fair that a royalty should be charged where public water is ...
    3 days ago
  • With friends like Hone, who needs enemies?
    With less than three months until the election, Hone Harawira has delivered another blow to the Māori Party’s flagship policy of Te Ture Whenua Māori reform and the already unstable MANA-Maori Party alliance, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “On The ...
    3 days ago
  • Shifty Bill jumps the shark
    Bill English's claim today that it has never been established that Todd Barclay's recordings of his staff took place is bizarre and shows a complete lack of honesty and leadership, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  "Todd Barclay told Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Te Ture Whenua – gone by lunchtime?
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has to front up about yesterday’s mysterious withdrawal of Te Ture Whenua Bill from Parliament’s order paper, says Labour’s Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Has he lost his way and has decided to run ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill English ignorance of law beggars belief
    For Bill English to claim he and others in the National Party didn’t realise the law may have been broken in the Todd Barclay taping scandal is simply not credible, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister ...
    5 days ago
  • Government ignored advice on Pacific people’s superannuation
    The Government ignored advice from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples that raising the Superannuation age of eligibility would have a ‘disproportionately high impact’ on Pacific people, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Aupito William Sio.   “The Ministry for Pacific ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    5 days ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    6 days ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    6 days ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    7 days ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    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