Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018, 16:17 GMT

UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Woen: 3rd and 4th periodic reports of States Parties, New Zealand

Publisher UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Author Government of New Zealand
Publication Date 13 March 1998
Citation / Document Symbol CEDAW/C/NZL/3-4
Reference 49
Cite as UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Woen: 3rd and 4th periodic reports of States Parties, New Zealand, 13 March 1998, CEDAW/C/NZL/3-4, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]

New York, 17 January-4 February 1993


Second periodic reports of the States parties



(Supplement to the second periodic report)




Subsection:Economy (last paragraph, p. 4)

1.Employment contracts act

The Employment Contracts Act places emphasis on voluntary trade unionism and greater contestability in bargaining representation.The Act extends personal grievance procedures to all employees, whether covered by collective or individual employment contracts. Contracts must also comply with minimum conditions set out in other legislation, such as those relating to minimum wages, paid statutory holidays and annual holidays, paid special leave, equal pay and protection against unlawful deduction of wages.


Subsection:The Ministry of Women's Affairs (p. 7)

The following material extracted from the Ministry's Corporate Plan 1993/94 updates the material supplied in this section:

The purpose of Ministry of Women's Affairs is to assist the Government to achieve for women, and Maori women as tangata whenua:

Opportunity and choice in all aspects of their lives;

Fulfilment of their aims and aspirations;

Full and active participation in society; and

Adequate resources of their own.

The Ministry is the Government's primary adviser on public policy issues which affect women.The Ministry also provides Information Services, Ministerial Services, and 1993 Suffrage Centennial Year Services.

1.Policy advice

The Ministry provides policy advice on matters of significance to women's social, economic or political status. The Ministry pays attention to all aspects of policy development, including implementation.In 1993/94 this will include policy advice under five subclasses: work, education and economic development; income, wealth, and family issues; health and disability support services; violence against women; and Maori policy.The Ministry advises on the status of, and impacts of policy on, both Maori and non-Maori women.

2.Information services

The Ministry:

Fulfils requests for information from individuals and groups;

Liaises with a range of organizations, iwi (tribes), firms and agencies whose activities influence or impact directly on women's status;

Produces publications such as monographs and information kits;

Liaises with international bodies and intergovernmental organizations concerned with the status of women, for example, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Working Party on the Role of Women in the Economy of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);

Conducts seminars; and

Communicates policy to the general public, especially women.

Information gained by the Ministry is used in the formulation of policy advice.The following are examples of specific information outputs to be provided during the 1993/94 year:

A seminar for Maori women as health service providers; and

Three policy-related publications.

3.Ministerial services

This involves the provision of services to the Minister of Women's Affairs, primarily through:the preparation of replies to Ministerial correspondence; the provision of the Nominations Service; the preparation of speech notes; and general services which assist the Minister in meeting her obligations to Parliament.

4.1993 Suffrage Centennial Year services

This includes the provision of administrative services for the 1993 Suffrage Centennial Year Trust; liaison with organizations on 1993 projects which recognize and promote the achievements and aspirations of women; liaison with, and monitoring of, the performance of government agencies in terms of their planned 1993 activities; and provision of services to the Minister of Women's Affairs.



Subsection:Human Rights Commission Act 1977 (p. 12)

The Human Rights Commission Act has been amended and consolidated with the Race Relations Act 1971 to become the Human Rights Act 1993.

The new Act extends the prohibited grounds of discrimination to include:disability (including the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness); age (extended beyond employment to all areas covered by the Act); employment status and family status; political opinion; and sexual orientation.Discrimination on the basis of sex is explicitly defined to include pregnancy and childbirth.Marital status is also explicitly defined.The definition of employer has been widened to cover an employer for whom work is done by an unpaid worker.

Note that the published report states that all women were covered by the Human Rights Commission Act.However, certain groups such as lesbians and women with disabilities were previously not covered.The Act covered only those women discriminated against on the basis of their gender.

Under the new legislation, it is not a breach of the Act to offer or provide insurance policies on different terms and conditions according to gender, age, or disability, if this is based on actuarial, statistical or medical data.

Page 12, paragraph four

Under the Human Rights Act, women can now not be excluded from any partnership in firms containing fewer than six partners.


A.Subsection:Women with disabilities (p. 14)

The Human Rights Act 1993 now covers women with disabilities. Disability is defined to mean: physical disability or impairment; physical illness; psychiatric illness; intellectual or psychological disability or impairment; any other loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function; reliance on a guide dog, wheelchair or other remedial means; or the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness.

Under section 29 of the Act there are some reasonable grounds under which an employer can discriminate, for instance, the appointment of the person would require the provision of special facilities or a risk of harm to the disabled person or others, and it is not reasonable to provide these facilities or take that risk.

B.Further information

Maori women

Further information about Maori women in New Zealand is contained in the paper "Indigenous Women:Report from New Zealand on Initiatives for Maori Women".This material was originally prepared for the Australian Commonwealth-State Ministers' Conference on the Status of Women held in Wellington in August 1993 and is attached as appendix A.


Subsection:Temporary measures (p. 15)

Since February 1992 the Government has developed the following initiatives to help women to retrain and/or train in non-traditional occupations:

The Industry Skills Training Strategy involves a major reform of the apprenticeship system.The aim of the strategy is to develop systematic training across all industries and occupations and to ensure that all groups of workers, especially those previously disadvantaged, have access to industry-based training.Although 1991 Census figures show that women make up 43 per cent of the workforce, June 1992 Education and Training Support Agency statistics show that women hold 15 per cent of apprenticeships, 80 per cent of them in the traditional field of hairdressing.The Industry Skills Training Strategy seeks to increase skill levels and portability of qualifications, thus improving women's career development opportunities.

The Education Training Support Agency provides funding for Youth Traineeships, a scheme to assist young people into industry training in areas where there has been no previous structured training.The Agency has encouraged the development of traineeships in areas of employment which are non-traditional for women.


Subsection:Pornography Law Reform (p. 18)

The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act was passed in August 1993.The major features are:

The new law replaces the present three laws covering availability of books, films and videos with one statute and a single classification office;

New classification criteria have been introduced to provide clearer guidelines to censors, enabling them to ban or restrict more material, particularly videos and written material;

The new legislation makes possession of objectionable material an offence whether it is classified or not; and

Display provisions have been introduced which control the manner in which restricted publications can be displayed in retail outlets such as dairies, bookshops, petrol stations and other outlets.

Full details are contained in the paper "Reassessing Censorship Policy in New Zealand", attached as appendix B.This material was originally prepared for the Australian Commonwealth-State Ministers' Conference on the Status of Women held in Wellington in August 1993.


Subsection:New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective (p. 19)

Government funding to the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective (NZPC) increased from $105,000 in 1990/91 to $181,500 in 1992/93.The NZPC receives funding for its role in preventing the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the sex industry.


Further information

1.Women's political participation

The attached paper "Women in Politics in New Zealand" updates some of the material in this section.This paper was prepared by the Ministry of Women's Affairs for the Fourth Meeting of Commonwealth Ministers Responsible for Women's Affairs held in Cyprus in July 1993.It is attached as appendix C.

Since the "Women in Politics" paper was written, a new political party - the New Zealand First Party - has been formed.

2.Suffrage Centennial Year

1993 is the Suffrage Centennial Year in which New Zealand women celebrate 100 years of gaining the right to vote.New Zealand led the world as the first self-governing nation to grant universal suffrage.

Government departments are marking Suffrage Year by undertaking projects which acknowledge New Zealand women's achievements.A list of government department projects is attached as appendix D.

During Suffrage Year there have been a number of books, research projects and events about women in government and women's political participation, including:

Women in the House, a history of New Zealand Members of Parliament, Janet McCallum.

Women and Parliament 1893-1993:100 years of Institutional Change, Carol Rankin, Office of the Clerk of Representatives.

1993 New Zealand Official Year Book, contains sections on women in politics and women in local government.

Beyond Suffrage:Gender and the Political Process, thesis research and project, Caroline Daley.

Political Awareness for Samoan Women in New Zealand, a conference organized by the Council of Samoan Women in New Zealand, Auckland, May 1993.

Out of the Home and into the House, a history of the right of women to stand as candidates for election to Parliament, Department of Justice.

Women in Local Government Conference, Wellington, October 1993.

Book of Political Comment, Women's Electoral Lobby.


Subsection:General background (p. 27)

Due to restructuring in the Ministry of Education's Policy Division there is no longer a Girls and Women Section.Instead, four of the six units in the Division have a policy analyst who acts as a resource for that unit on issues affecting women and girls.The Ministry of Education also liaises with five Consultative Committees on Women and Girls in Education.

Further information

In 1993, the Ministry of Education published a major report on the education of women and girls:

"The Status of Girls and Women in New Zealand Education and Training" provides a detailed analysis of participation and attainment from early childhood through to primary, secondary, and tertiary education.The report also contains an analysis of women in the labour force.

The report shows that female students in New Zealand are performing equally as well as, or better than, their male classmates.While more students of both genders are remaining in secondary school beyond the compulsory age, the improvement is particularly marked for young women.Women are also now taking an equal share of enrolments in the tertiary sector, and there are now comparable numbers of women and men enrolled in veterinary science, law, medicine and dental surgery.Female students are also enrolling in mathematics and the sciences in the senior secondary forms in increasing numbers.The report identified the need to ensure the education system delivers a gender-inclusive curriculum.

Two other reports were published by the Ministry of Education in 1993:

"Maori in Education:A Statistical Profile of the Position of Maori Across the New Zealand Education System" provides an analysis of Maori educational participation, retention, achievement and outcomes from early childhood through to tertiary education.The report identified the need to improve the retention and attainment rates for Maori girls in the education system.

"The New Zealand Curriculum Framework" sets out a foundation policy for learning and assessment in schools, and contains principles which give direction to all teaching and learning.All schools are required to ensure these principles are embodied in their programmes, e.g., that all students must be provided with equal educational opportunities, and each school curriculum must recognize the multicultural nature of New Zealand society.


A.Subsection:The right to work (p. 36)

As noted in the information on Article 2, the new Human Rights Act extends the prohibited grounds of discrimination to include:disability (including the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing illness); age (extended beyond employment to all areas covered by the Act); employment status and family status; political opinion; and sexual orientation.Discrimination on the basis of sex is explicitly defined to include pregnancy and childbirth.Marital status is also explicitly defined.The definition of employer has been widened to cover an employer for whom work is done by an unpaid worker.

B.Subsection:National superannuation (p. 41)

Since the report was published, the three main political parties signed the Accord on Retirement Income Policies in August 1993.The Accord sets out the areas of agreement arrived at by the Parliamentary Group on Retirement Income Policy and is based on recommendations from a task force report written in December 1992.The principal features are:

Maintaining and indexing New Zealand Superannuation to the Consumer Price Index;

Relativity to average wage levels (65 per cent to 72.5 per cent for a married couple);

It continues to be an individual income-tested benefit, with the age for eligibility rising to 65 years; and

It introduces a Transitional Retirement Benefit.

An independent Retirement Commissioner is to be appointed to develop and promote methods of improving the effectiveness of the retirement income policies set out in the Accord.Periodic reports on these policies are to be produced at six-yearly intervals, with the first report due at the end of 1997.

The Ministry of Women's Affairs published two papers on superannuation in 1993:

"Maori Women and Private Provision for Retirement". This document discusses issues which affect Maori women's saving for retirement.

"Women and Superannuation:A Comparative Analysis - NZ, the USA, Australia and the UK".This paper examines in detail the social insurance, private pension, and old age welfare policies of each country and analyses whether these policies provide women with a reasonable income in retirement.

Further information

Work-family initiatives

Since the published report, the Ministry of Women's Affairs held a Work-Family Phone-in in May 1993.The phone-in was set up to find out more about workplace arrangements that help employees juggle the demands of family and work.Employers and women and men with family responsibilities called the toll-free number."Ringing the Changes", a report on the phone-in, has recently been published.

In June 1993, the Ministry of Women's Affairs presented seminars in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on how employers could make their workplaces more "family-friendly".The proceedings of the seminars have been published.

C.Subsection:Accident Compensation (p. 41)

Changes to the Accident Compensation scheme were implemented on 1 July 1992.The main features are:

Employers are now responsible only for providing coverage for injury sustained in the course of employment.

All earners pay a premium to meet the cost of coverage for accidental injury that occurs outside their employment.The earner premium is a flat-rate percentage of earnings.

The cost of injuries arising from the use of a motor vehicle continues to be met by a premium on the registration and licensing of motor vehicles.

The Government continues to meet the cost of care and rehabilitation for all non-motor vehicle injury to non-earners.

Lump-sum payments for loss of faculty, and for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life have been discontinued.

A disability allowance of up to $40 a week is provided, based on the degree of disability.

Coverage of sexual abuse and rape was retained in the changes.

Individuals can purchase up to two years' cover for loss of potential earnings prior to leaving employment.This provision is important for women, as they are more likely than men to move in and out of the workforce.

D.Subsection:Maternity and Parental Leave (p. 42)

As noted in the section on Article 2 above, under the new Human Rights Act, discrimination on the grounds of sex is explicitly defined to include pregnancy and childbirth.

E.Subsection:Childcare and Early Childhood Education

Out of school care services (para. 3, p. 45)

The area of out of school care services is still new and under development. The Ministry of Women's Affairs undertook a practical step in early 1993 by publishing a pamphlet about the OSCAR (out of school care) programme.This pamphlet was distributed to schools to highlight the importance of OSCAR, and how schools could set up a programme.


A.Subsection:Recent Health Reforms (p. 46)

The reforms are based on the separation of the funder and provider and became effective on 1 July 1993.Regional Health Authorities replaced the Area Health Boards and will buy and contract health services, fund primary and secondary care, but not own hospitals. Large public hospitals and related services have been re-established along a business model as Crown Health Enterprises.Some communities will be given the opportunity to take over their hospitals and related services as community trusts.

The reforms now include the purchase and provision of some disability support services.

Some changes have been made to the user part-charge system, in particular: the abolition of the public hospital in-patient charges; and the introduction of a two-tier structure which enables individuals and families on low incomes to receive a higher level of subsidy.

B.Subsection:Infant mortality (p. 47)

The following material updates the 1989 figures supplied in the published report:

Ministry of Health mortality data indicates rates of infant mortality at 10.3 per 1,000 live births in March 1990 and 8.4 per 1,000 live births in March 1991.A national programme to reduce cot deaths has been widely credited with these achievements.As shown in the table below, the Maori cot death rate has been consistently higher than the non-Maori rate.The reasons for this are unclear.

























































Source:Supplied by New Zealand Health Information Service, Ministry of Health.

C.Subsection:AIDS (p. 51)

The following material updates the section on AIDS in the published report:

Twelve people were notified as having AIDS in the final quarter of 1992. Eleven were male, and one female. The total number notified since monitoring began was 360 on 31 December 1992.In the three months to 31 December 1992, 25 people were reported to be infected with HIV.Of the 25, 23 were male, and two female.The total number found to be infected in New Zealand to the end of December 1992 was 821.Care must be taken in interpreting the HIV antibody data, as it is certain that not everyone at risk will have been tested.

D.Subsection:Violence against women (p. 52)

The paper "Initiatives in New Zealand to Combat Violence Against Women and Girls" updates some of the information in this section.This material was originally prepared for the Australian Commonwealth-State Ministers' Conference on the Status of Women held in Wellington in August 1993, and is attached as appendix E.

E.Further information

Health Commissioner

A Health Commissioner Bill has been introduced into Parliament.The Bill will establish the position of a Health Commissioner, responsible for establishing a code of consumer rights and investigating complaints concerning breaches of the code.A system of patient advocates, to promote the code and assist consumers, will also be established.


Subsection:Family benefits (p. 55)

Since the report was published, the rate for Family Support has been altered. The most significant change is an increase which takes into account the higher costs associated with caring for teenagers.


The following additional material has been extracted from a chapter on agriculture in the Draft New Zealand Report on Progress Towards the Implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women 1985-1992 (September 1993).

1.Subsection:Activities of rural women (p. 59)

The following material expands on this section:

As its contribution to the centenary of women's suffrage in New Zealand in 1993, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has funded research on the contribution of women to the rural economy.The research has indicated that it is difficult to analyse, from census and other official data, exactly what makes up the paid and unpaid components of farming activity.This is because farm-based life is more likely to be an integration of domestic activities, a business, and a "way of life".

The research has also identified that there has been an increase in the numbers of both men and women who live on farms whilst undertaking paid work elsewhere.Various reasons have been suggested for this:it may be in order to ensure the economic viability of the farm or to build up capital for farm expansion; it may be to pursue personal or professional interests; for some, farming is a part-time operation or a hobby; for one partner, the farm may simply be a place to live rather than work; or, it may be in order to increase the family income.Reasons appear to change over time, especially for women.Initially women may take up employment to supplement the family income or to support the farm business but they continue in paid employment for personal satisfaction and development.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries research also investigated the contribution rural women and men make to unpaid work in their homes and community. It reveals that women generally undertake considerably more unpaid work than men - much of it in the home.

1986 census data indicates that whilst urban women may spend slightly more time than rural women on unpaid work in the community, a higher number of rural women are active in community activities.Rural women interviewed in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries research talked of the "juggling act" of running a home, paid employment and community services (e.g., early childhood education and other school services).

2.Further information for article 14

(a)Trends in farming employment

In 1991 some 25,182 women across New Zealand were involved in full-time agriculture and livestock production.That is, 25 per cent of the full-time workers in this industry group were female. Of this group 51 per cent were self-employed (35 per cent with no staff, 15 per cent with employees), and 35 per cent were wage and salary earners.The remainder classified themselves as relatives assisting on the farm. When part-time workers (less than 30 hours per week) are included, the number of women involved in agriculture and livestock production increases to 39,168, or 33 per cent of all workers in this industry group.Of these 47 per cent are self-employed (34 per cent with no staff, 13 per cent with employees), 25 per cent are wage and salary earners and 15 per cent relatives assisting.These numbers reflect a growth in the participation of women in agriculture and livestock production, despite a trend of declining numbers of males in the industry.

In addition 3,621 women are involved in agricultural services (particularly agricultural contracting).That is, 36 per cent of those in agricultural servicing were women.

Information from the 1991 Census of Population and Dwellings on the occupations of women living in rural areas shows that while the most important industry group for women remains the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (35 per cent of rural women), also important is work in community, social and personal services (29 per cent of rural women), followed by work in the wholesale, retail and restaurant industry (15 per cent of rural women).Other industry groups where rural women are employed include manufacturing (7 per cent of rural women), and business and financial services (6 per cent of rural women).

The report, "Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture 1993", published by the policy section of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, comments on off-farm activity:

"People living on farms, particularly women with a limited ownership stake in the farm business, are also seeking diverse sources of income and past-times.It is not a new trend for farm people to work in, or run, an off-farm business.However, the trend received little attention until the recent commodity 'crisis' when it was seen as a short-term response to recession.Research now shows that while recessions have acted as a spur to farm women in particular participating in the farm economy, they, like urban women, are becoming more individual in their choice of lifestyle and employment. ... many small-size farms were never intended as full-time units, so a mix of income sources and lifestyles has always been the intention."


Technological advances have improved access to some services for rural women, e.g., the use of toll-free numbers by the Department of Social Welfare to help people access information.The report, "Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture 1993", notes that "the technical support needed for electronic transmission of advisory, banking and retail shopping services to rural areas, and for undertaking local and international sales from rural areas, is still being perfected".

(c)Rural women and the environment

Rural women's involvement in environmental issues has escalated in recent years. Their concern focuses on sustaining the productive capacity of land, compared with urban women's heavier emphasis on protection of resources.Rural women's groups have initiated community tree planting and tree coppicing programmes and local recycling schemes.They have been vocal in expressing their concerns about spraydrift and inappropriate pesticide use.

Women are active in the emerging landcare movement (community action groups), and have participated in tours to study Australian landcare systems.

There are a small number of high profile rural women involved in Operation Springclean (a programme to collect deregistered and unwanted chemicals from farms), the Rabbit Land Management Programme, and environmental groups.


Subsection:Women's legal status (p. 62)

There is now one woman judge in the High Court.

Information and publicity

The Convention, and legislative and judicial responses to CEDAW, were the subject of a half-day seminar during the International Conference of Women Judges held in Wellington from 14-17 September 1993.



This report outlines a number of significant initiatives for Maori women which have impacted on the lives of Maori women in recent years.

The first section deals with some of the most significant initiatives developed and implemented by the Government.The second section highlights significant initiatives developed and led by Maori women in the community.

These actions by the Government and Maori women in the community signal an ongoing need for initiatives targeted at and led by Maori women in New Zealand to address their needs.




The primary Government initiative to take account of the particular needs of Maori women has been the establishment of Te Ohu Whakatupu, a Maori Women's Policy Unit within the Ministry of Women's Affairs.The Ministry has two policy units.

When the New Zealand Government established the Ministry of Women's Affairs in 1984, the then Minister of Women's Affairs received a submission from Maori women in the community setting out the case for the establishment of a Maori women's secretariat to provide policy advice to the Government.The group claimed that the existing government agencies did not and could not adequately provide policy advice on matters relating to Maori women.

The then Minister of Women's Affairs responded by incorporating a Maori women's section, Te Ohu Whakatupu, into her Ministry to provide policy advice to Government and to undertake consultations with Maori women in the community.By July 1986 Te Ohu Whakatupu was established with a manager and four policy advisers.As at 30 June 1993 there were 10 staff members in the Unit.

The manager of Te Ohu Whakatupu reports to the Chief Executive of the Ministry.The Unit has its own cost centre and the manager negotiates with the Chief Executive the policy advice outputs and key results to be achieved in any financial year as part of the Ministry's internal corporate planning process.Other units within the Ministry also have responsibility to take account of issues impacting on Maori women when providing advice to the Minister.


Te Ohu Whakatupu's primary role is to advance Maori women's interests in all aspects of the Ministry's work and to provide advice to the Minister and other government agencies on policies that have a particular impact on Maori women.

In the 1992/93 financial year Te Ohu Whakatupu provided advice to the Government in the following areas:labour market; enterprise development; health, crime prevention; welfare and family issues; education; housing; youth; sport and recreation.

In the 1993/94 financial year Te Ohu Whakatupu's policy focus, along with the Ministry's other policy unit, will be on the following key issues: work, education and economic development; income, wealth and family issues; health and disability support services; violence against women; and Maori policy.Within these broad areas, Te Ohu Whakatupu will be concentrating on issues such as:trends in Maori women's employment contracts; parent education and support in Maori families; and the training and education of Maori women and girls.

Te Ohu Whakatupu also has a role in promoting biculturalism in the public service in New Zealand. Te Ohu Whakatupu has taken the lead in developing a comprehensive Responsiveness to Maori Plan for the Ministry of Women's Affairs.The plan aims to help the Ministry operate within a bicultural framework, taking into account the needs and aspirations of Maori women in all its work.


As mentioned in section 1, Te Ohu Whakatupu's work includes consultation with Maori women.Consultation is seen as critical to the provision of appropriate policy advice. In the first two years of its existence Te Ohu Whakatupu fostered the development of strong network of Maori women.In early 1987 a national hui (formal meeting) of kuia (older Maori women) was held.Te Ohu Whakatupu reported on the work programme of the Unit and developed a work programme based on discussions with kuia.A second meeting of this kind was held in 1991.

In March 1993, 60 kuia gathered at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua for the third Runanga Kuia.Te Ohu Whakatupu acknowledges through the Runanga Kuia that older women play a significant role in Maori development. These women are mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters.They variously fulfil the role of teacher, spiritual and inspirational leader, historian, counsellor, adviser, researcher and political commentator.

The five-day Runanga Kuia carried out an exhaustive examination of issues related to the impact of the Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989, the need for a fully funded and comprehensive plan for Maori education, the private provision of income for retirement, unemployment, settlement of Treaty claims, and the health and housing needs of Maori.

The Runanga Kuia was attended by both the Minister of Women's Affairs (who is also the Minister of Social Welfare), and the Minister of Maori Affairs.A strong call was made by kuia for Maori and the Government to commit themselves to a unified effort to rectify and improve the disparities between Maori and non-Maori, and this was reflected in more than 100 recommendations made to the Government and iwi (tribes).


Apart from giving quality policy advice to the Government on issues which affect Maori women, Te Ohu Whakatupu organizes a range of other activities, including holding seminars, producing publications and piloting special projects for Maori women.Three recent achievements are discussed below:

(a)A significant training programme, Wahine Pakari, was piloted by Te Ohu Whakatupu.The programme is now administered by Te Puni Kokiri, the Ministry of Maori Development.The programme was set up to facilitate the promotion of Maori women into self-employment.Through the programme a core group of trainer-motivators attend a course in self-employment training, and return to their communities with continuing support to train other Maori women in the skills they have acquired.

By February 1992, 15 trainer-motivators had passed on Wahine Pakari skills to 333 Maori women.To June 1992, women trained through this programme had established 22 businesses and 34 business plans had been developed.

The training needs of Maori women identified by the trainer-motivators have been summarized as:

Self-development:motivation, communication, negotiation, structural analysis and awareness of ancestral ways; and

Business management:administration, finance, legal, accounting and networking skills.

(b)In 1992, Te Ohu Whakatupu prepared He Take Toro Haere - A Directory of Maori Business and Professional Women.This work was initiated when an examination of the 1986 Census statistics revealed that the rate of Maori women's participation in business was much less than that of other comparable groups.

As well as listing business details, the Directory provides information on sources of advice and finance for Maori women to assist them to pursue their own employment and business ideas.The book includes an article profiling several Maori women in business.This article gives insight into the barriers and assistance for Maori women entering business.

(c)A Think Export Conference, organized by the staff of Te Ohu Whakatupu, was held in May 1993 in Auckland.The conference, a first of its kind for New Zealand, featured speakers including women involved in exporting, the Minister of Finance, and academics.

The conference provided information on services available to assist exporters, and provided an opportunity for women contemplating exporting to meet with women who had already established successful exporting businesses.The conference revealed the importance of Maori and non-Maori businesswomen working side by side for mutual benefit and gain.

5.Future directions

(a)Te Ohu Whakatupu is currently designing the Te Iho Kohine project, which aims to protect the essence or pith (te iho) of girls and young women (kohine) as positive, powerful and whole.

This project is a response to how the economic, educational, health and cultural status of Maori women is affected by racism and sexism, and the impact of both on their participation in the economic and social development of New Zealand.

The project targets Maori girls before they have completed their psychological development so that they are empowered to deal with racist and sexist behaviours.

During the programme there will be consultation with key Maori women, educationalists and psychologists.Maori girls will also have a chance to have input into the programme design.


Other initiatives to address the interests of Maori women have been put in place by community-based groups:

1.Maori Women's Welfare League

The Maori Women's Welfare League was founded in 1951.It aims to promote interaction and understanding between Maori and non-Maori, encourage the preservation and practice of Maori culture, and further Maori welfare.League activities are coordinated through a hierarchy of local branches, regional councils and a national council.

The League is represented on some government agencies, advisory committees and special commissions concerned with Maori affairs, and seeks representation on local and regional bodies such as school committees and well-baby clinics. Its annual national conferences are major events and serve as significant forums for the shaping and communication of Maori views on public policy.

Over the years, the League has lobbied successfully for Maori advancement in housing, education and employment.The League has also organized its members into a wide range of voluntary work, including hospital and prison visiting, the facilitation of social support networks for rural-urban migrants, and marae restoration.

The League has been active in the promotion and operation of the nationwide Te Kohanga Reo language nests, and in the Maori self-help health campaign (both discussed below).

2.Te Kohanga Reo

Te Kohanga Reo is a nationwide Maori language immersion schooling programme.The programme is based on the philosophy that a language can only survive if it is spoken, and was proposed in order to pass the taonga (treasure) that is language to future generations.

The initial idea for the programme was a joint proposition from community groups, the then Department of Maori Affairs (now Te Puni Kokiri), and the Maori Education Foundation.From 1989 Te Kohanga Reo have received grants on the same basis as other pre-school facilities.This funding is now provided through the Ministry of Education.

The first Te Kohanga Reo opened in 1982.Within three years there were 300 countrywide.Today about 11,000 preschoolers attend a total of around 700 Te Kohanga Reo.There are approximately 1,600 voluntary administrative staff and 1,400 voluntary kaiako (teachers) working almost full-time for the movement.

Research indicates that 75 per cent of Maori need to be fluent speakers if the language is to survive.After the first seven years of Te Kohanga Reo, that fluency was around 15 per cent. there is therefore a need to accelerate growth, so that it does not take 30 years for the 75 per cent target to be reached.

A further programme based on the same philosophy, Kura Kaupapa Maori, has been set up in several primary schools.In response to Maori community initiatives, the Ministry of Education has recently launched a pilot programme to extend Maori language immersion schooling to the secondary school level.The move is seen as a way of reversing the low 6th and 7th form retention rates of Maori students.

3.Maori women's health initiatives

By all the usual indicators of longevity, morbidity, and mortality, the health of Maori women is poorer than that of non-Maori women.In particular, Maori women have high levels of illness due to cancer (particularly breast, lung and cervical cancer), and heart and lung disease.

To reverse this trend, over the last decade much more attention has been paid to Maori ways of thinking about health than has previously been the case. Maori people regard good health and well-being in a holistic sense:taha wairua is spiritual good health; taha tinana is bodily health; taha hinengaro is mental health; and taha whanau is family and societal good health.

A broad-based self-help campaign was initiated by Maori leaders, organizations and health professionals during the 1980s.Several positive initiatives have emerged from the campaign: national health hui have been held to discuss strategies for Maori health; community-based self-help "health groups" have been set up to facilitate Maori access to care, to promote preventive measures such as screening for common disorders, and to organize health seminars; some health care services have been returned to their traditional location on marae; and there has been active recruitment of Maori into the health professions.

Extremely active health councils and committees are now well established in many Maori communities.Strategies to make existing health services more accessible are being developed, along with providing access to alternative health choices for Maori.Programmes are being developed from a tribal basis and Maori healers and health professionals are being trained in traditional skills.There are specific programmes aimed at trying to curb the high levels of smoking in young Maori women and to screen for high blood pressure, cervical cancer and diabetes.Initiatives are often developed through iwi, hapu (sub-tribe) and whanau (extended family) action, or through networks such as the Te Kohanga Reo, the Maori Nurses' Association, or the Maori Women's Welfare League.

4.Maori Women's Development Fund

The Maori Women's Development Fund was established in 1986.An initial fund of $240,000 was granted by Mana Enterprises, a government programme aimed at broadening the Maori economic base through the creation of long-term unsubsidized employment.The broad objective of the Fund is to provide Maori women with access to seeding capital for small business ventures on flexible terms, and to ensure their success by providing advice, planning services, support, and links into a national network of Maori business women.

The Fund provides loans which are usually less than $20,000.Loans are available for Maori women who wish to enter into business.Security is required to the loan amount requested.A feasibility study of the business proposition is required and the applicant must have undertaken business training (e.g., bookkeeping, financial management, operations, knowledge of business, industry and economy). The Fund, in turn, provides business advisory services, training, ongoing support and advice, and links successful applicants into a network of Maori business women throughout the country.

The Fund has received substantial government funding since its inception in 1986.Over the first six years of operation the Fund assisted 76 businesses, and achieved a 92 per cent business survival rate.In contrast, approximately 83 per cent of all small businesses begun in New Zealand in 1988 survived their first year, about 69 per cent were still operational in 1990 and only 56 per cent in 1991.

Businesses which have received funding are represented across the range of industry sectors, but are concentrated in the services and manufacturing sectors.Of the 76 business loans made in the first six years, the numbers of jobs created were:

Full employment129

Part employment56


The success of the Maori Women's Development Fund highlights the positive outcome when resources are appropriately managed and carefully targeted towards Maori women as a growing sector in enterprise development, and one not traditionally included in New Zealand financial and commercial activities.

5.Maori women's refuges:parallel cultural development

For many years, although Maori women made up a large proportion of the client group worked with by women's refuges, very few Maori women worked within their ranks. By the mid-1980s Maori women felt that the best care providers for women escaping domestic violence would be that provided by women from their own cultural background.Maori women made a call for equal representation on the National Executive of Women's Refuges, and endorsement of a position for a National Maori Coordinator.These requests were accepted, along with a commitment by refuges to work towards their membership and workers reflecting the cultural composition of their clients.

By the late 1980s there was a marked increase in Maori women making themselves available to work for refuges, and they presently hold positions of responsibility at every level within the organization.A number of Maori refuges have been set up nationwide.The refuges receive just over one half of their funding from the Government.



Censorship will always be controversial.Of the range of factors frequently held responsible for social ills, material in visual or printed form is one of the few which can, to some extent, be controlled.

Censorship necessarily reflects a set of values and beliefs.These comprise moral judgements, the value placed on freedom of expression, and the value placed on the right to freedom from abuse and denigration.The latter two are both human rights arguments, but from different perspectives.

Most people accept there needs to be some form of censorship, at least in relation to material such as child pornography.So, a line must be drawn.Between a policy which would ban only child pornography and that which would ban all material relating to sexuality and violence, there are a range of options.

In choosing a point within this range a fundamental question is whether we believe images and words cause, or influence, abusive and anti-social behaviour or whether images and words simply reflect social reality.The research in this area is often inconclusive and unreliable, providing little assistance to policy makers.A further issue is that of accurately gauging public acceptance of various subject-matters.Finally, the risks inherent in either being too conservative or too liberal must also be assessed.

This paper discusses past censorship policy, different views on censorship, the aims of censorship policy, and the approach New Zealand is now taking.

A.Past censorship policy in New Zealand

Two key principles are evident in censorship policy prior to the introduction of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill.

The first was a distinction between public and private use.Public dealings with material were subject to censorship while private use was not.The assumption was that material had a different impact depending on whether it was viewed in a private or a public setting.

The second principle was that some matters were morally unacceptable and for this reason were either banned or restricted.Material in this category included explicit depictions of sex and nudity, as well as material dealing with matters such as contraception and homosexuality.

Thus, censorship policy was driven by a sense of moral propriety.

Pornography is more accessible and visible now than ever before, but it has existed as a phenomenon for quite some time.For example, explicit pornographic films produced earlier this century are now in circulation, referred to in the industry as "antique porn".They are remarkably similar in content to contemporary material.

B.Views on censorship

Views on censorship in New Zealand fall into three broad categories.The difference between them is the basis and degree to which they believe censorship can be justified.The three views can be referred to as moral, feminist, and liberal.

1.Moral view

The moral view maintains that explicit depictions of nudity and sex are degrading in themselves and lower the dignity of humankind.Moralists believe such depictions undermine family and church values, and lowers respect for others, particularly women.

The moral view particularly oppose material which describes or promotes sexual relationships other than between a husband and wife.Depictions or discussions of homosexuality are a frequent target for protestation.

The moral view states that censorship of all explicit depictions of sex and nudity is justified, as well as many portrayals of violence, since these result in harm to individuals and society as a whole.

2.Feminist view

The feminist view holds that depictions of nudity and sexual activity are harmful only if they demean or objectify.Examples of such depictions are those which focus only on genitals, those which promote myths about female sexuality, and those which treat sexual and physical abuse as erotic.

Proponents of this view argue that women cannot be equal members of a society which accepts and enjoys a demeaning view of them.

They believe material which condones or promotes inaccurate and derogatory messages about women has an impact on attitudes and behaviour. These include establishing and entrenching sexist values as well as harassment and actual abuse of women.

3.Liberal view

The liberal view maintains that freedom of speech must be protected to ensure a healthy and democratic society.Censorship, they claim, is both paternalistic and patronizing.

Liberals claim that viewing or reading material does not result in harm. They point out that sexual abuse and other forms of violence existed long before videos and glossy magazines. They also note that people have a choice over whether they read or view material they find offensive.

Liberals see depictions or descriptions of sex and violence as reflections of society, rather than the cause of particular problems.

C.The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill

The result of reassessing censorship policy in New Zealand is the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill.

The Bill was influenced by a number of factors. These include:

The emergence in 1983 of an articulate lobby group Women Against Pornography;

The introduction of the Video Recordings Act 1987, to enable the classification of videos, and which was separate from the treatment of films;

A ministerial Inquiry into Pornography which reported in 1988;

A proposal for legislative reform, released by the Labour Government in 1990;

Public submissions and consultations on the 1990 proposal;

An increased volume of pornographic material coming into the country, particularly magazines; and

Greater public concern with sexual abuse and other forms of violence.

D.The purpose of censorship

In reassessing censorship policy the Government first had to consider what it was trying to achieve.The intention or purpose of the policy would provide guiding principles which could then be translated into legislation.

Controversial issues result in conflicting pressures.In an attempt to satisfy as many people as possible policy is sometimes formulated in a patchworkfashion.This approach is not only slow and haphazard but can also result in legislation which is ineffective and sometimes contradictory.Establishing a clear purpose reduces the likelihood of this occurring.

The current Government decided the basis for censorship policy and practice should be the "likely injury to the public good".Censorship was justified if there was actual or likely harm which would result from the availability of a particular publication.

The Government believed the application of the harm principle removed the justification for a distinction between public and private use.It also warranted a much tougher approach to hard-core material and some shift in the treatment of what is often referred to as soft pornography.

A decision was made to apply the same set of censorship criteria to films, videos and printed publications.Again, the application of the harm principle removes the rationale for different treatment. However, the Bill does allow for the censor to take into account the impact of the medium.

The treatment of material which to many is offensive but which is not likely to result in harm has been separated from that which is likely to result in harm.Restricted material in the former category will be subject to display provisions. These allow the censor to direct how any particular restricted publication can be displayed in retail outlets.

E.Issues for policy makers

Having established the intention of the policy, a number of critical issues arose. There were:

Defining harm and distinguishing this from that which is offensive or in bad taste;

Assessing the reliability of the available evidence on the impact of different types of material;

Distinguishing between different treatment of subject-matters.For example, whether a publication tends towards objective neutrality or towards gratuitous glamorization.The judgement, of course, depends on the interpretation by the audience but some direction was required;

Providing guidance to the censor while allowing consideration of context;

Covering material circulated on new computer technology; and

Recognizing that most hard-core material is circulated on the underground market and is submitted to the censor only when seized by the Police or Customs.

F.Key features of the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill

The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill has been reported back to the House from the Select Committee but has yet to go through the third reading to enact it into law.Parts of the Bill are contentious and it is possible that changes may be made during the third reading.

This section outlines the key features of the Bill in its current form. These are:the material covered by the Bill, the criteria for classification, the possession offence, display provisions, penalties, labelling, the Office of Film and Literature Classification, appointments, public access, and reviews and appeals.

1.Material covered by the Bill

The Bill covers films, videos, sound recordings, newspapers, video games, computer discs, and any printed matter.The latter includes books, magazines, comics, pamphlets, calendars, playing cards, post cards, photographs, pictures and computer print-outs. The range of material covered by the Bill is referred to as "publications".

Currently there are three separate statutes dealing with this material. Films are dealt with under the Films Act 1983; videos under the Video Recordings Act 1987; and books, magazines and comics are covered by the Indecent Publications Act 1963. Material outside the jurisdiction of these, such as playing cards, are referred to the courts.

2.Criteria for classification

Clause 3 of the Bill sets out the criteria for classification. Publications deemed to be "objectionable" are banned.A publication is objectionable if it "describes, depicts, expresses, or otherwise deals with matters such as sex, horror, crime, cruelty, or violence in such a manner that the availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good".

The concept of "injury to the public good" is present in existing censorship legislation.Since 1963 it has been adopted as the benchmark by which censors are to judge whether a publication is to be prohibited.The phrase encapsulates the idea that material should be judged for prohibition on the basis that its availability would be harmful to society's interests.

Of the three existing censorship statutes the Films Act is the only one to include the words "likely to be injurious".Both the Video Recordings Act and the Indecent Publications Act direct the censors to prohibit material which deals with its subject-matter in a manner that is "injurious to the public good". The latter test is more rigorous and makes it more difficult for censors to ban material.Thus, the test of "likely injury to the public good" adopted by the new Bill provides scope for the censor to prohibit videos and printed publications which are not currently banned.

Clause 3(2) lists the types of material which will be automatically banned. These include that which "promotes or supports or tends to promote or support" the sexual exploitation of children, bestiality, necrophilia, coprophilia, urolagnia, and depictions of torture and extreme violence.

For material not covered in clause 3(2) the censor is directed in clause 3(3) to give particular weight to the extent, degree and manner in which a publication deals with sexual violence; torture and cruelty; physical harm; sexual conduct with or by children or young persons; material which degrades, dehumanizes or demeans any person; and criminal acts or acts of terrorism.

The censor must then consider a number of contextual factors such as the intention of the publication, the dominant effect of the publication as a whole, the impact of the medium in which the publication is presented, the merit or value of the publication, the likely audience, and any other relevant circumstances relating to the intended or likely use of the publication.On the basis of this assessment the censor can ban or restrict the publication, or determine that it requires no restriction at all.

The guidelines provided in clause 3 are more specific than in existing legislation.The list of the material which is to be automatically banned is new and sends a clear message to censors on how extreme material is to be treated.The list of subject-matters in clause 3(3) that the censor shall consider is also new, although the contextual factors outlined in clause 3(4) which must also be taken into account are present in current legislation.Thus, the approach expected of the censors should be clearer while still retaining the scope for the contextual judgements so critical to the success of contemporary censorship policy.

3.The possession offence

The Bill introduces a possession offence for material which has been or would be banned.The offence is fundamental to a censorship policy based on actual or likely harm. Without it the policy is both illogical and ineffective.

There is no logic in banning material because it is harmful and then not applying any sanction to those who use it.

In addition, the lack of a possession clause leaves demand unfettered, providing a market for those who wish to profit from the production and distribution of hard-core material.

The offence must also cover unclassified material since extreme material is seldom volunteered to censors for classification.

The offence is a strict liability offence similar to that for illegal drugs and firearms.Clause 121(3) of the Bill states that it will not be a defence if the person was unaware the material was objectionable.The onus for ensuring material is not objectionable rests with the individual.The absence of clause 121(3) would create a loophole which would render the clause ineffective.

Clause 121 does allow for some defence.These cover situations where people find themselves unwittingly in possession of objectionable material and have the intention of handing the material over to the Police or the censor.An example of such a situation is where unsolicited mail is received.

Another situation is where a house is rented or purchased and objectionable material is discovered on the property by the Police before being found by the new tenant or owner.In such cases we would expect the courts to follow the same approach as for drug possession.In applying section 7 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 the courts have ruled that people who were unaware there were illegal drugs on their property are not to be "in possession" since they were not exercising control.

Similarly, people who have immediately rejected a parcel of drugs delivered to them have not been held by the courts to be "in possession".

The possession offence is the consistent application of the harm principle. Clause 121 also recognizes that most hard-core pornography circulates on underground markets and only comes to the attention of the censor via Customs or the Police.It closes a serious loophole in current legislations and is likely to have a significant impact on those who use and deal in hard-core material.

4.Display provisions

Clause 25 introduces new powers for the censor to place conditions on the manner in which restricted publications can be displayed in retail outlets.These conditions are that:

The classification (i.e., age restriction) given to the publication must be shown on the publication or on any package in which it is kept;

The publication must be in a sealed package;

The package must be of opaque material;

The publication can only be displayed in premises, or part of premises, set aside for restricted publications; or that

The publication cannot be on public display at all and may be provided to customers only on request.

The latter two conditions can also be applied to any advertising poster relating to a restricted publication.

The basis for display restrictions is the "likelihood that the display of the publication, if not subject to (one or more of these) conditions ... would cause offence to reasonable members of the public".


Penalties in the Bill relate to the following offences:

Production and distribution of objectionable publications (clauses 113 and 114);

Distribution and exhibition of restricted publications in breach of restrictions (clauses 115 and 116);

Exhibition of objectionable publications to persons under 18 (clause 117);

Display of objectionable publications in a public place (clause 119);

Breach of condition on display of restricted publications (clause 120); and

Possession of objectionable publications (clause 121).

These provisions comprise a hierarchy of offences for which there is a corresponding scale of penalties.The most serious offences are those dealing with production and trade in objectionable material, and exhibition of such material to children. These offences carry maximum penalties of $20,000 or 12 months' imprisonment for individuals and $50,000 for organizations.The new maximum penalties represent a substantial increase on existing law.

6.The labelling body

The labelling system was introduced by the Video Recordings Act 1987. The Bill retains the industry labelling body and extends its jurisdictions to films.The labelling body was considered by Government to provide valuable consumer information cost effectively.

The functions of the labelling body are to assign ratings and, where appropriate, assign a description to indicate whether the film or video contains anti-social behaviour, cruelty, violence, crime, horror, sex, or offensive language or behaviour.

The labelling body, which includes one or more community representatives, is approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

7.Office of Film and Literature Classification

The Office of Film and Literature Classification will be a Crown entity, subject to the provisions of the Public Finance Act 1989.

The Office will consist of a Chief Censor, a Deputy Chief Censor, classification officers, complaints officers, and an information unit.The Chief Censor is responsible for all matters of the Office, including the appointment of classification officers and the administration of the Office, as well as all classification decisions. The Office is required to produce an annual report which will be presented to Parliament by the Minister of Internal Affairs.

The information unit will undertake research and provide information to the Office.It will also provide information to members of the public on the role of the Office and the procedures for the classification of publications.

8.Appointment of the censor

Under current legislation the Chairperson of the Indecent Publications Tribunal is appointed by the Minister of Justice while both the Chief Film Censor and the Video Recordings Authority are appointed by the Secretary of Internal Affairs.

The Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill directs that the Chief Censor and Deputy Chief Censor be appointed by the Governor-General by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs, with the concurrence of the Minister of Women's Affairs and the Minister of Justice.

This decision was to ensure some accountability to Government for censorship practice.Governments are held responsible by the general public forthe application of censorship laws, yet they have not always been able to veto inappropriate appointments.

These appointments are likely to follow the procedures for other government appointments where the positions are advertised, job descriptions provided and interviews are carried out by a panel of independent experts who make recommendations to Ministers.This ensures a fair process while still allowing Ministers a choice and veto.

The term of office is for three years, with the possibility of reappointment for a further three years.

9.Public access

While films and videos in New Zealand have been, and will continue to be, required to be either labelled or classified, printed publications have not. These are currently classified on the basis of referral primarily from Customs, the Police, and distributors. Members of the public may submit material for classification but must first seek the approval of the Minister of Justice.If this is declined, they may then apply to the Chairperson of the Indecent Publications Tribunal.

The Bill provides for direct access to the Classification Office. Any member of the public can submit a publication for consideration.The decision over whether the particular publication is classified lies with the Chief Censor.This allows for a speedier response to public concerns.

10. Board of Review

The Board of Review will consist of nine members appointed by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Minister of Internal Affairs acting with the concurrence of the Minister of Women's Affairs and the Minister of Justice. Board members are appointed for a term of three years which may be extended for a second term of three years.

The function of the Board is to review the classification of any publication referred to it.

Those entitled to seek a review include those who submitted the publication to the Classification Office, the owner, maker, publisher or authorized distributor of the publication.Any other person who wishes a review be undertaken must obtain the agreement of the Secretary of Internal Affairs.

11. Appeals

The Bill provides for appeals on questions of law to the High Court, and then to the Court of Appeal, against decisions of the Board of Review. People can appeal if they sought the review or are the owner, maker, publisher, or authorized dealer of the publication in question.


Liberals argue the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Bill goes too far and infringes on human rights.The moralists and anti-pornography feminists claim it does not go far enough.

The Bill represents a significant shift in censorship policy. The harm principle has been redefined and established as the cornerstone of the policy.The concept of "indecent" has been discarded.The line taken on hard-core pornography is tough and the approach to so-called soft pornography will include consideration of whether the material is degrading or demeaning.The display provisions provide the opportunity for significant change in the visibility of pornographic and violent images.

While the Bill will not remove every pornographic and violent image from our cinemas or video shops, it sends a clearer and more consistent message to censors, the industry and the general public about what is no longer acceptable in New Zealand.


A paper prepared by the New Zealand Ministry of Women's Affairs for the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Women's Affairs to be held in Nicosia, Cyprus 5-9 July 1993

"... up on stage together [with men] I would always be the one who was asked who looked after my children.I would reply that as long as I was asked that question, and not my male colleagues, then women would be kept out of politics." The Hon. Jenny Shipley, Minister of Women's Affairs


This paper was prepared in response to a request from the Commonwealth Secretariat for a country paper on "Women in Politics in New Zealand" for distribution at the Fourth Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Women's Affairs. The Commonwealth Secretariat's letter stated:

"This [paper] will provide other Commonwealth countries with an opportunity to understand the processes which you used to achieve [your] level of political participation by women.We hope that the paper will also make them aware of constraints which you encountered and strategies which were utilized to overcome them".

The following material sets out the processes which allow women in New Zealand to participate in the political arena:formally at the State and local government levels; and informally through non-governmental organizations.

It is timely for New Zealand to present a paper on women in politics in 1993, the Suffrage Centennial Year in which women in this country celebrate 100 years of gaining the right to vote.


A.State level

1.Head of State

The Head of State for New Zealand is Queen Elizabeth II.Her representative in New Zealand is the Governor-General, Dame Catherine Tizard, who was appointed in December 1990.This was the first time a woman has been appointed Governor-General in New Zealand's history.

2.Political system

New Zealand's political system operates under a simple plurality (or first-past-the-post) framework, with single-member constituencies.However, the electoral system has been the subject of public debate for some years, and in 1992 a public referendum was held to ascertain interest in proportional representation systems.

The New Zealand Parliament consists of only one chamber - the House of Representatives.Parliament operates on a mainly two-party system, although there are and have been members of third parties and independent members elected to the House.

3.Women's representation in Parliament

New Zealand women obtained voting rights in 1893.However, the right to stand for election was not gained until 1919.The first women in Parliament was Elizabeth Reid McCombs, who was elected on 13 September 1933.

There are 97 Members of parliament, 15 of whom are women.there are no seats reserved for women.

Of a Cabinet of 20, 2 women are currently Cabinet Ministers.The Hon. Ruth Richardson is New Zealand's first woman Minister of Finance, and the Hon. Jenny Shipley is responsible for the Social Welfare and Women's Affairs portfolios.The Hon. Katherine O'Regan (a Minister outside Cabinet) is Minister of Consumer Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Women's Affairs.In 1990, the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark became New Zealand's first women Deputy Prime Minister.

Women have held the following major Cabinet portfolios:Finance, Health, Social Welfare and Police. These posts have been held during periods of significant restructuring of the economy and the public sector.

The New Zealand electoral system includes representatives of general electorates and the four Maori electorates.The geographically largest Maori electorate has been served by a woman Member of Parliament for the last 20 years, the Hon. Whetu Tirakatene-Sullivan, who has previously held the Tourism portfolio.

Women also hold the following high-level positions in the parliamentary administration:

Secretary and Deputy-Secretary to the Cabinet

Deputy Clerk of the House

Clerk-Assistant (Select Committees)

Deputy General Manager, Parliamentary Services Commission

See also the annex, which lists significant events about women in politics.

4.Party structures to promote women candidates

There are three main political parties in New Zealand - the National Party, the Labour Party, and The Alliance.Parties have provided the following reports on strategies they have in place to increase opportunities for women to participate in the political process:

(a)New Zealand National Party

"The New Zealand National Party was formed and held its first conference in May 1936 and Mrs. J. Ashton from Wellington, a prime mover in setting up the Party, proposed the name of the Party.

From 1936 onwards provision was made for each electorate to send a woman representative to divisional meetings and each Division nominated a woman representative to the National Executive.That rule no longer applies and women have achieved representation through election.

The first National Party woman member of Parliament was Mary Grigg, elected in 1942.Dame Hilda Ross, elected in 1946, was the first woman Cabinet Minister.In 1982 the National Party elected its first woman President, Sue Wood.

The National Executive administers the general affairs of the Party.Five of the 29 positions on the National Executive are filled by women.They comprise three of the seven vice-presidents of the Party and two elected divisional representatives.All members of the National Executive, including parliamentary representatives, are elected by open election.

The Woman Vice-President is the only position that is exclusive to a woman and she is elected at the Party's Annual Conference.At the divisional and electorate levels women can stand for all elected positions.

There is no quota system for parliamentary candidates in the National Party.All prospective candidates offer themselves for selection, which is run at the electorate level.Parliamentary candidates are selected by a Selection Committee comprising one voting delegate for every 15 financial members.There is no influence from the National Executive or the divisional structure in the selection process.

The democratic nature of the Party allows women to be elected to any position and be involved in decision-making about electorate meeting times and the way the electorate functions.In the past child-minding facilities have at times been made available those who needed them, but in most electorates an information structure evolves where people are assisted with caring for dependent family members.

Divisional Women's Committees comprise two delegates from each electorate. These committees provide a women's perspective in the formation of policy. They also encourage and assist women to stand for office within the Party and for parliamentary candidacy.

Women's sections exist in some electorates.The rules do not state that an electorate has to have a women's section.Their role is generally fund-raising and social.In some electorates, where the membership of the women's section is made up of younger women, policy debate is high on the agenda.

Any person over the age of 12 years may become a member of the Party as a Young National, subject to the rules of the Party.Young women have held positions at all levels within the Young Nationals structure."

(b)New Zealand Labour Party

"About 40 electorates currently have a Women's Branch.All branches are entitled to send delegates to their local electorate committees, their regional councils and regional and annual conferences. Women often prefer Women's Branches because they deal with issues important to women from a women's perspective. Women find they can speak without being interrupted and can learn basic meeting skills and confidence in a friendly, informal atmosphere.

As one Women's Branch member states:'We don't want to be a tea-making, fund-raising male support group - not that we refuse such activities at the appropriate times.We do not want to have our own voice at a local political level, and to be in a position to have input to the Party at regional and national levels.'

Every electorate is required by the Constitution to have a Women's Liaison Officer (WLO) appointed to their Labour Electorate Committee (LEC).The WLO has particular responsibility for encouraging political activity amongst women members, for keeping in touch with community groups active in the electorate, and for liaising with other party women.

Most areas have Regional Councils which are made up of delegates appointed from LECs in their region.Most of the Regional Councils have Women's Subcommittees to coordinate regional activities for women.They organize policy seminars and skills-based workshops for women and help support Labour women working in the region.

The Women's Vice-President takes women's issues and concerns to the Party's quarterly New Zealand Council meetings.She is a voting member of both the New Zealand Council and the Women's Council and is elected by all delegates at the Party's Annual Conference.

The Women's Coordinator position is a full-time, paid, Party staff position with responsibility for women and women's policy.Labour is the only Party with a paid Women's Coordinator, and has had this position for over 10 years.

Women's Day is an annual meeting open to all Party women.The only entry criteria are that you must be a woman and a Party member (Although men often come as observers).Women's Day is usually the day before Annual Conference and is the Annual General Meeting of the Women's Council.The Women's Council for the following year is elected by the women present on that day.

The Labour Women's Council is a sector group within the Party and coordinates and initiates activity amongst women in the Party.The Women's Council has voting and non-voting members.The voting members are the Women's Vice-President, the four women elected on Women's Day, two Maori representatives and one Pacific Island representative.The Maori and Pacific Island representatives are elected by women at the Maori and Pacific Island Sector Council AGMS.Ex officio members of the Council (with speaking rights but not voting rights) include all women elected to the New Zealand Council, all women elected as members of Parliament (the Women's Caucus) and the Women's Coordinator.

The Women's Council is responsible for women's policy development and dealing with women's policy issues and concerns.HE Women's Council meets quarterly.The Women's Council also produces a newsletter to keep Labour women in touch with activities, policy and debates.

The Women's Caucus is the group of women elected to Parliament which meets regularly when the house is in session.They work on women's issues and concerns in a parliamentary context and often invite women's groups in to brief them on topical issues of concern. The Women's Coordinator and Wellington Women's Council members are welcome to attend these meetings and add items to the agenda.

Every three years the Women's Council holds a Women's Policy Conference. The Conference is open to all Labour women and formulates women's policy for presentation to the Policy Council. It is generally held over a weekend. Policy can also be formulated by branches through the Party structures."

(c)The Alliance

"Five separate parties constitute The Alliance.Of these the Green and the New Labour Parties have policies of providing for gender balance.

The two deputy leaders of The Alliance are women.There is a national Women's Policy Subgroup with representatives from each of the Parties.

The Alliance has a comprehensive women's policy for the provision of affirmative action, pay equity and equal opportunity for women. These measures will ensure that it will be possible for women to stand as candidates and participate in other ways in public life.Women are represented on all policy committees of The Alliance.

Seven of the 26 members of The Alliance National Council are women. Four of the 12 national spokespeople are women.For of the seven associate spokespeople are women."

5.Reasons for women's lower participation

Women are eligible as candidates on the same terms as men.However, far fewer women than men actually seek selection to stand for Parliament.Reasons identified include:

Some candidate selection processes;

A lack of recognition of women's skills and experience as being "suitable" for a political career;

The pressures experienced by women who combine family responsibilities with the demands of a political career; and

An underestimation by women of their own abilities.

The Hon. Katherine O'Regan (National), Minister of Consumer Affairs, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Women's Affairs (outside Cabinet):

Coming up through the local government system, "there is a tendency for men to promote each other for 'jobs', while women are overlooked, ignored".

The Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, (Labour), Deputy Leader of the Opposition (former Cabinet Minister of Health):

"The main block to being a women in Parliament is not being one of the boys; not being in the networks they operate; not hanging around the same quarters as they do ... Discussions around Parliament are entirely conducted in terms of 'he'."Ms. Clark also noted that women had to face a whole set of barriers when working in Parliament that men did not usually have tocontend with, including being attacked about voice, hair and clothes.

The Hon. Ruth Richardson (National), Minister of France:

"Initial selection and election is always the toughest political phase - excel in your preparation and conduct a saturation campaign - these are the two essential ingredients of success".

The Hon. Fran Wilde, Mayor of Wellington and former Labour Cabinet Minster:

Problems encountered are:"Being criticized for neglecting family in favour of job or for neglecting job in favour of family, to cope with being patronized and having to continually demonstrate you are as capable as your male colleagues".

The Hon. Margaret Shields, a former Minister of Women's Affairs (now Director of INSTRAW - the United Nations Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women), commenting on the political system itself, has written about the difficulty that women have in entering the political arena in our present system:

Strategies (for parties) in countries like New Zealand, where we have a first-past-the-post, single member constituency, must be designed to ensure women are selected for winnable seats and are supported by the party.In these sorts of systems, women are more reliant on party support."Ms. Shields believes representation by women in a proportional system is often higher because "parties run the risk of looking entirely sexist if they do not have an adequate proportion of women in their lists".

B.Local government level

At local government level women have made significant gains, comprising 35 per cent of the membership of city councils by 1989, and 24 per cent of the membership of district councils.A total of 12.5 per cent of New Zealand's mayors are women, and three of New Zealand's largest cities (Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch) elected women mayors in 1989.In the 1992 local body elections a woman was elected mayor of the capital city, Wellington.

C.Strategies to increase women in decision-making positions at State and local government levels

1.Nominations Service

A strategy to increase women's opportunities to participate in decision-making is the Nominations Service provided by the Ministry of Women's Affairs to the Minister of Women's Affairs, other Ministers, and government organizations.The Service identifies suitably qualified and skilled candidates for positions on statutory boards and committees.The Ministry holds a computerized database of the curricula vitae of 1,800 women from throughout New Zealand.The Nominations Service was formerly known as the Women's Appointment File and has been operative since 1979.

2.Public Service initiatives

It is believed that a commitment to equal employment opportunities (EEO) for women will enable more women to work in decision-making positions, thus paving the way for more women entering the formal political arena.The State Sector Act 1988 requires the Chief Executives of government departments to develop and publish an annual EEO programme for their departmental staff, to ensure that this programme is complied with, and to report on progress.

There has been a steady increase in the number of women employed in the civil service:52 per cent in 1993, compared with 28 per cent in the early 1960s and 35 per cent in the early 1980s. However, there is a disproportionately small number of women (20.7 per cent in January 1993 up from 14 per cent in September 1990) of women in the Senior Executive Service (the group of senior executives who manage at the most senior level departments of the public service).At the Chief Executive level (Head of government department) 5 are women, compared with 36 who are men.


Non-governmental organizations

Civic education and action to increase women's awareness of political life is also carried out by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Three examples are:

1.National Council of Women (NCW)

The coordinating body of 49 affiliated societies - these include most of the major women's groups e.g. service, church and educational.The aim of NCW is to advance the social, legal and economic status of women irrespective of race, creed, class and employment status.

The NCW has a Parliamentary Watch Committee who provide information to member organizations around New Zealand on new Bills coming before Parliament. Submissions are written and presented to Select Committees.

2.Women's Electoral Lobby

The aim of this group is to achieve equality for women by showing them how to use the political system.For instance, this group runs skills training programmes for women prior to local and central government elections.

3.Maori Women's Welfare League

The general aims of the League are to promote interaction and understanding between Maori and non-Maori, encourage the preservation and practice of Maori culture, and further Maori welfare.Over the years, the League has lobbied government for Maori advancement in a number of areas, including housing, education and employment.


Celebrating 100 years of women's suffrage

As noted in the introduction to this paper, 1993 is the Suffrage Centennial Year in which New Zealand women celebrate 100 years of gaining the right to vote.New Zealand led the world when women gained the vote, becoming the first self-governing nation to grant universal suffrage.

In 1991 the Government established the 1993 Suffrage Centennial Year Trust, Whakatu Wahine, to commemorate the centenary, to publicize the positive contributions women have made to the country's political, economic and social life and to enhanced the status and advancement of women.

Government departments are also contributing to the successful celebration of this landmark event in New Zealand's history by developing a range of projects reflecting women's past, present and future in this country.

Women and Parliament 1893:1993 - 100 Years of Institutional Change has recently been published, and a book on New Zealand women Members of Parliament is due to be released shortly.

A number of other publications have been funded by the Suffrage Centennial Year Trust, including books on women and politics.


How New Zealand fares

Most of the 22 Proposals for Action outlined in the recent Commonwealth Secretariat Paper, "Decision-Making:Women in Politics", have been used in New Zealand, including:

Publishing books on the status of New Zealand women such as:Women in New Zealand, joint publication, Department of Statistics and Ministry of Women's Affairs (1990), and Status of New Zealand Women 1992:Second Periodic Report on the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, published by the Ministry of Women's Affairs (1992);

Collecting and publishing gender disaggregated statistics to monitor women's economic and social condition;

Encouraging television commercials which promote a suitable image of women; and

As mentioned above, a databank of women qualified and recommended for appointive office has been operative since 1979.

"In politics people are harder on women than on men.That provides opportunity and cost.The opportunity is that there are fewer of us and so our visibility is high. The cost is that you can be over-exposed and pushed quickly.Your skills and quick-footedness can assist you to compensate for lack of experience, but you cannot purchase experience, you have to acquire it."

The Hon. Jenny Shipley, Minister of Women's Affairs


(Text not available for display for technical reasons.)


(Updated October 1993)

1.Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

Major project on "The Contribution of Women to the Rural Economy".The first stage is on the opportunities for, and barriers to, women's contribution to the rural economy.The second stage is on paid and unpaid work and women's involvement in business and the primary production sector.

2.Audit Office

Research project on why women, who represent 50 per cent of Audit recruitment intakes, are not equally represented at middle and senior management levels.

3.Ministry of Commerce (including Consumer Affairs)

Research projects on "How Women in Target Groups Receive Information", (i.e., women in Maori, Pacific Island and low-income consumer groups); "Women Establishing Businesses - Barriers and Solutions"; and, "Women's Contributions to the History of the Ministry of Commerce/Department of Trade and Industry and its Contributing Organizations".

4.Department of Conservation (DOC)

Support for special events for women to encourage participation in outdoor recreation activities, e.g., "Summits for Suffrage" on 13-14 February 1993.

Modifications to existing DOC programmes for women to increase their opportunities to experience conservation.

5.Crown Law Office

Series of suffrage centennial lectures relating to Crown legal business planned for the Women and the Law month in November 1993.

6.Ministry of Cultural Affairs

A woman photographer has been commissioned to take a series of photographs of women in the cultural sector, which may be published as a book and/or tour New Zealand.

7.New Zealand customs

Major project - "The Customs Child Pornography Project" - aimed at considerably enhanced enforcement activity with extended inter-agency and international cooperation, and with the rescue and protection of children who are victims of this crime as its ultimate goal.

8.Ministry of Defence

Investigating possibility of funding an annual scholarship, beginning in 1994, for women to undertake strategic studies at the Australian National University, Canberra.

9.Ministry of Education

Audio tape "Votes for Women" and an accompanying booklet was distributed to all schools (forms 3-7) in first term of 1993.

Quarterly newsletters Arahina W~hine M~ - Women take the Lead have been sent to all schools.

The education of girls and women has been highlighted in the Ministry's policy work programme.

A report, "The Status of Girls and Women in New Zealand Education and Training", has been published.

A committee representing each of the six networks within the Ministry (women, ethnic minority, differently abled, Maori, Pacific Island and lesbian) has developed a list of actions for staff.

10.Education Review Office

Projects involving enhancements to the new standard assurance audit methodology to enable reviewers to identify and analyse data concerning:

Why girls choose non-traditional subjects; and

Early childhood education for girls.

11.Ministry for the Environment

Convenor of Women and the Environment Month (June 1993).

Poster, supporting school kit material, and calendar of events on women and the environment launched on Earth Day, 22 April 1993.Seminar on women and the environment also held at the launch.

Celebrity Debate on "Women and the Environment" held on 3 June 1993 in the Beehive, two days before World Environment Day on 5 June 1993.

Joint sustainable land management project with Women's Division Federated Farmers and Lake Coleridge Landcare Group.

12.Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Development of the programme of Guest of Government and visitor programme visits by prominent international women, including President Mary Robinson of Ireland and Dame Roma Mitchell of Australia.

Disseminating information on the centennial to overseas posts.

Small-scale promotional events overseas.

13.Ministry of Forestry

Information series of four booklets on Women in Forestry.

Seminars, displays and publicity material for Trees and Forests Week, 8-14 August 1993.

14.Government Superannuation Fund

Research examining the use of gender-neutral factors in the Government Superannuation Fund Act.

15.Ministry of Health

Formulating a national policy on contraception and planned pregnancy.

Survey on toxicity of cosmetic ingredients.

Research on "Women and Aids".

Booklet containing biographies of 20 women significant to New Zealand health.

A report on the health status of Maori women.

A mentoring programme for women staff members.

16.Ministry of Housing

Public education leaflets on women and housing have been produced and were released in National Housing Week in September 1993.The leaflets cover five areas:boarding, flatting, renting, home ownership and co-ownership.

17.Inland Revenue

Research in conjunction with the Institute of Policy Studies on women and the tax system.

Suffrage year logo on all IRD envelopes during 1993.

Two "Suffrage Centennial Women's Tertiary Awards" established within the Department for 1993.

Small book on progress women employees have made in the Inland Revenue Department.

18.Department of Internal Affairs

Publication of The Suffragists, containing essays from Volumes I and II of The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, on women who fought for the vote.

Major publication entitled Women Together:A History of Women's Organisations in New Zealand.

Publication of A Guide to Women's History.

A survey on "Women in Local Government".

National Archives

Conservation work on the petitions includes refilming onto 35 mm film.

Exhibitions at National Archives Headquarters, Wellington, including: the 1892 and 1893 petitions; "Purple, White and Green" exhibition from the Museum of London containing a video and photographs of the suffrage movement in the United Kingdom; and "Bringing the Records Home" exhibition which contains material about the New Zealand suffrage movement previously stored in the United Kingdom.

Regional exhibitions in Auckland and Christchurch.

The 1893 petition was displayed at Parliament for one week in July.

19.Department of Justice

Survey on community attitudes to violence against women and children.

Discussion paper on the Domestic Protection Act.

Sponsored three overseas women judges to attend 1993 International Conference of Women Judges in September 1993, and provided administrative support for the conference.

An historical booklet on Women and Elections.

An oral history of women in the corrections system.

"Ethel Benjamin Fund" established to help women staff members increase their skills.

Funded a hui on women in prisons in New Zealand, attended by staff and inmates of the women's prison in Christchurch, as well as invited guests.

20.Department of Labour

"Women in Self-Employment":which is a joint project of the Labour Market Analysis Unit; National Advisory Council for the Employment of Women and the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

Other projects include:

"Survey of Women with Disability:Employment and Training Experiences";

"Occupational Health and Safety Suffrage Centennial Project";

"Review of the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987";

"An Historical Report of Maori Women Employed by the Department of Labour 1893-1993";

"A statistical analysis of women aged 18 and over who entered New Zealand under the Refugee Quota Scheme from 1982-1992"; and

Women and Work:A Bibliography.

21.National Library

Major "About Women, About Time" exhibition reviewing women's lives and achievements from the early 1800s to the 1990s and related events programme featuring musicians, authors and women speakers.

Small display on "Women's Lives in 1893".

Photographic exhibition, "Lydia", from the Alexander Turnbull Library collection.

"Saturday Stories", a series of lectures, dramatic presentations and music presented over seven Saturdays from July to October 1993.

"Midday Movies", lunchtime films from the collections of the National Library, during August-October 1993.

22.Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs

Publicity material sent to Pacific Island women's groups and media people about the significance of 1993.

Joint project with PACIFICA to publish resource material for Pacific Island language nests.

Funded the PACIFICA Radio Access programme for one year.

23.Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

On 1 July 1993 Her Majesty the Queen issued a Royal Warrant instituting the Suffrage Centennial Medal.On 18 September 1993 the Governor-General awarded 545 medals to women and men who have made a contribution to women's issues in New Zealand.

The Governor-General hosted a function at Government House to open the Suffrage Centenary Conference of women historians held on 27-29 August.

24.Public Trust Office

Research project on the social and economic needs of older women living alone.

The Office has agreed to act as Trustee for funds allocated to the Joint Women's Caucus Suffrage Committee.

25.Te Puni Kokiri

Joint funding of "Te Puni Kokiri Scholarship" with Hillary Commission for a Maori woman studying a B.Phys.Ed at Otago University in 1993.

Celebrating United Nations International Year for the World's Indigenous People by marking 1893 as the year Maori women gained the right to vote.

Funding of "Wahine Pakari programme" to increase business skills of Maori women.

26.Ministry of Research, Science and Technology

Study on human resources in research and development, including issues of special importance to women in the research and development workforce.

Women in science and technology to be featured in articles in a bi-monthly newsletter.

Liaison with Royal Society of New Zealand to develop projects.

Offer of conference facilities to small groups holding suffrage-related meetings.

The development of a list of women in science who are willing to act as mentors for young women in science, as well as a database of women in science classified according to fields of expertise.

27.Serious Fraud Office

Compilation of statistical information relating to the impact of white collar fraud offending on women.

28.Department of Social Welfare (DSW)

Introduction of four Suffrage Centennial "Second Chance" Bursaries to enable women to make a new full-time career choice of social work (four Maori women from different DSW regions have been chosen).

Research into problems faced by, and what is available for, women returning to the workforce after raising children.

Research on changes in the workforce participation for women over the last century and the implications of this for income maintenance.

Publication of a book which profiles New Zealand women who have worked within the voluntary, social and welfare sector over the past century, and publication of a bibliography on women in welfare.

29.State Services Commission

Research on "The Equitable Design and Management of Part-time Work".

Conference "Barriers and Opportunities for Women Wanting to be Managers" was held in July.

"Looking Both Ways" poster, illustrating the work of women throughout the public service.

30.Department of Statistics

1993 New Zealand Official Year Book will focus on the advancement of women since 1893.

Update of 1990 book Women in New Zealand.

Preparation of feature articles on women for publications and special analyses in media releases.

31.Department of Survey and Land Information

Promotion of career opportunities for women in the land information industry.The project will include publishing a pamphlet together with an awareness raising programme for young women at secondary school.

32.Ministry of Transport

Three projects:a university scholarship; in-house suffrage publicity; and a seminar on transport issues as they affect women was held in October 1993.

33.The Treasury

Universities have been contacted about the award of "Women's Suffrage Centenary Year Prizes" to the top female Commerce Faculty student at each New Zealand university in the 1993 academic year.

34.Valuation New Zealand

Major project was the publication of booklet drawing together historical information on women in Valuation New Zealand.

Two study awards of $2,500 have been made available to women students in their final years of study towards a valuation based degree.

Regional offices have offered vacation employment to women university students for the 1992/93 holiday period.

35.Ministry of Women's Affairs

All of the work of the Ministry focuses on women.

The Ministry is subsidizing the work of the Suffrage Year Centennial Trust by absorbing overheads amounting to approximately $20,000.

36.Ministry of Youth Affairs

Conservation projects for young women.

Publication of young women's edition of Youth Matters.

Projects enhancing images of women in the media.

Sponsored two young Maori women to Darwin Indigenous Youth Conference in July.


(a)New Zealand police

Seminars on "Women in Policing" held regionally in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch.

Establishment of a national "Women's Consultative Committee" within the New Zealand Police.

Two New Zealand policewomen have been sent on overseas police training courses/conferences.

(b) New Zealand Defence Force

Suffrage exhibitions have been mounted at service museums in Waiouru, Christchurch and Auckland.



This paper contains a summary of the main activities, legislative provisions, and organizations which seek to address violence against women and girls.

A 1987 report on violence in New Zealand, "The Roper Report", concluded that 80 per cent of violence occurs in the home, most of it by males and most of it undetected.Police estimate that they are called to more than two incidents of family violence every hour.

There has been a movement in recent years towards greater cooperation between Government and community agencies in an effort to deal with the problem of family violence.While many of the strategies mentioned in this paper focus on family violence, other support services are also noted, e.g., self-defence programmes and Rape Crisis.

The key Government and community initiatives to address and/or prevent violence against women and girls are set out below:



1.The Domestic Protection Act 1982

This Act seeks to provide protection from violence for girls and women by way of Court orders.A discussion paper will be released in November 1993 to canvas some of the issues that have arisen since the Act was passed.Public and government department consultation will be sought by the Justice Department with a view to updating and improving protection under the Act.

2.Tougher treatment for sex offenders

In early 1992 tougher measures were introduced to deal with sex offenders in an attempt to offer greater safety for women.The changes included:wider powers for judges to impose preventative detention and non-parole periods; and remission and parole opportunities being conditional on sex offenders taking part in treatment programmes while in prison and after their release.In June 1993 the Government passed legislation which increased the maximum penalty for both penile and non-penile rape from 14 to 20 years.

3.The Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Act 1992

This Act includes provision for victims of sexual abuse and rape.Claimants are entitled to coverage of any medical costs, and counselling costs.If consequent disability prevents employment, earnings related compensation is also provided.

4.Victims of Offences Act 1987

The Victims of Offences Act has two main parts:a set of nine guiding principles or rules about the way crime victims should be treated; and legislation about the setting up of a Victims Task Force. The Task Force was in operation from 1987 until early 1993 to look at services for victims, and reparation payments by offenders to victims.During the period of the Task Force's operation, nationwide Victim Support Groups came into existence.These groups have continued and are funded by the Department of Social Welfare.

Two new initiatives for victims of crime have recently been announced: four pilots have been set up to create Victims Court Assistance Officer positions to provide assistance and information to victims who have involvement with the court process; and a $750,000 per annum fund to reimburse those who suffer loss when assisting in the administration of justice, where no other source of compensation is available.

5.Censorship and pornography legislation

This legislation is discussed fully in the New Zealand paper to this conference entitled "Women and Pornography".

B.Crime prevention strategy

In 1992 the Government established the Crime Prevention Action Group (CPAG), an interdepartmental group of officials, to develop a crime prevention strategy for New Zealand.CPAG recommended that the Government establish a crime prevention strategy in partnership with the community with the following mission: to enhance community security through crime prevention.Two of the seven key goals in the crime prevention strategy which will affect women and girls are to reduce the incidence of family violence, and to address the concerns of victims and potential victims.

C.Police Strategic Plan

The New Zealand Police have developed a five-year Strategic Plan, which has as one of its main priorities the prevention of family violence.

The Police have also established a Keeping Ourselves Safe project aimed at primary schools.There are plans to extend the project into secondary schools.The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) and Men for Non-Violence (see sections B5 and B6) assist the Police with modules about self-defence for girls and alternatives to violent behaviour for boys.

D.Government-funded agencies

The Family Violence Prevention Coordinating Committee (FVPCC) is the main agency which focuses solely on family violence.The Committee comprises Government officials and representatives from national community service agencies.The Committee receives full funding from the Government through the Department of Social Welfare.The Committee provides policy advice to the Minister of Social Welfare and other agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.FVPCC's advice concentrates on public education needs, services for victims and abusers, possible new initiatives to prevent family violence, and research directions.

The Hamilton Abuse Intervention Pilot Project (HAIPP) was established in July 1991.The project is modelled on a scheme from Duluth, Minnesota.The project aims to provide an integrated and consistent approach to domestic violence based on:an active police policy of arresting abusers; the sentencing of convicted abusers to a structured 26-week education programme; and an advocacy and support programme for victims of abuse.The programme is being evaluated for effectiveness.


The Government also partly funds the following community initiatives.

1.Women's refuges

There are currently 53 refuge services throughout New Zealand.Rents and other costs are subsidized by the Government.During the 1992/93 financial year the Government allocated more than $2.8 million to fund the operational and coordination costs of the refuges.Refuges also receive funding from voluntary contributions.The use of refuges has continued to increase - over 19,000 women and children use refuges each year.Children in refuges have become a greater priority and specialist children's programmes have been developed.There are a number of Maori women's refuges nationwide.

2.Rape Crisis Centres

There are 34 Government-funded Rape Crisis Centres in New Zealand. Funding is obtaining primarily from the Department of Social Welfare and indirectly through the Accident Compensation Corporation.The work of Rape Crisis Centres focuses on counselling and education/prevention programmes.

3.Sexual abuse counselling

Sexual abuse counselling is currently provided through Help Centres, Sexual Abuse Centres, health services, or privately.Some Rape Crisis Centres also provide sexual abuse counselling. Te Kakano o te Whanau is an agency which assists Maori women and girl victims of sexual abuse.The Pacific Island Women's Project, a cooperative which exists to empower Pacific Island women, also offers rape and sexual abuse counselling.Agencies providing sexual abuse counselling receive Government support in the form of funding and other resources.

The demand for these services is high.A greater awareness and acceptance of sexual abuse counselling has led to a greater need for these services.Counsellors have noticed that more children are seeking counselling, and that the age of children requiring access to the service is dropping.This could be a result of the Police's Keeping Ourselves Safe programme mentioned above.

4.Family violence networks

Family violence networks, comprising community and government agencies, cooperate to provide information and develop consistent responses to family violence in these areas.The HAIPP project, mentioned above, is the most well established, and there are more than 12 local networks set up in other areas such as Henderson and Lower Hutt. Many are voluntary and some get funding from a variety of sources.

5.Self-defence training

Self-defence courses are held throughout New Zealand.The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) has piloted a self-defence programme from 2,295 girls in 100 intermediate schools, and there are plans to extend the programme.The YWCA has also produced a video Take a Walk on the Safe Side designed to portray everyday situations for dealing with obscene phone calls, strangers at the door, sexual harassment, and intruders around the home at night.

6.Men for Non-Violence

Men for Non-Violence run 27 groups throughout New Zealand.In 1991/92 2,600 men attended Men for Non-Violence programmes.Forty-two per cent of men attending programmes were Justice Department referrals. These programmes are based on a power and control model.

Runanga Tane o Aotearoa and Te Roopu o te Whanau Rangimarie are two organizations which seek to address Maori men's violence in a culturally appropriate way.


New Zealand has actively participated in the process of drafting The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women.The Declaration is due to be adopted at the General Assembly of the United Nations later this year.

New Zealand also co-sponsored the Commission on the Status of Women resolution 37/3 in March 1993 about the rape and abuse of women in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

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