- We have made a submission to the Education and Workforce Committee about the disturbing nature of these changes.
- I have personally sent this open letter to every MP in the New Zealand parliament.
Members of New Zealand Parliament
Dear Members of Parliament,
As a parent, a grandparent and a Kiwi I write to you on behalf of Vision New Zealand and the many Kiwi families that we represent throughout the nation.
It has come to our attention that the Hon. Minister Jan Tinetti is attempting to influence the make-up of school boards in New Zealand so that they include diverse sexualities and genders.
Currently, New Zealand schools don’t even have prescribed Maori positions for school boards. Less than 3% of Kiwis identify as trans while more than 15% identify as tangata whenua.
The Education and Training Amendment Bill must not be allowed to be rammed through Parliament in less than four weeks when two of those weeks were school holidays. This has not given adequate time to school boards to meet and make a submission.
Hidden among a mass of educational reforms is a new version of Schedule 23, which prescribes that the make-up of school boards should reflect the “the genders, sexualities, and sexes of the student body of the school and within the community served by the school”.
The proposed amendment will mean that all schools, including religious schools , special character and kura kaupapa will come under increasing pressure to have representatives from activist groups such as RainbowYouth, InsideOut, Family Planning and other LGBTQ organisations on school boards.
We are concerned that if Schedule 23 of this Bill is amended, gender ideology will be further embedded in New Zealand schools at the highest levels of our school administration. Gender theory is not established science or fact and Vision NZ opposes the efforts of the Education Minister to dictate these criteria for the selection of school boards. Although Vision NZ supports diversity, we believe that the best people should be elected to serve our schools, not those appointed because of sexual preferences or beliefs.
Vision NZ also believes that the proposed amendment of Schedule 23 unfairly restricts the rights and freedoms of students who do not identify as LBGTQ, along with the parents of such students. Selecting board members based on gender theory could lead to inclusive bathrooms and changing rooms policies. We believe that asking young, vulnerable girls to share toilets, undress or shower in front of socially transitioning males is potentially traumatising and dangerous. As we have seen in the USA and the UK, trans individuals who are still biologically male have abused this policy and sexually assaulted girls in toilets and change rooms. Vision NZ asks Ministers to consider the adverse long-term effects of amending Schedule 23 of the Bill in light of this international evidence. Vision NZ believes that it is our responsibility to ensure the rights and wellbeing of all youth and children in our schools.
Finally, since our schools continue to see abysmal results in literacy and numeracy, Vision NZ believes that the government should focus on teaching core subjects and leave the teaching of gender/identity to mums and dads.
Leader of Vision NZ