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Download the letter to the CEDAW Committee from WDI NZ and the WRP 12 May 2024

Download the latest report from New Zealand - April 2023 - Feb 2024

Download the report from New Zealand, Jan - April 2023

Download the report from New Zealand, December 2022

Download the report from New Zealand, December 2021

12th May 2024 - WDI NZ & WRP respond to questionnaire by Professor Daphna Hacker, the CEDAW Committee and the Task Force on Gender/Sex Self-Identification

In May 2024,  the Women's Declaration International- New Zealand and the Women's Rights Party jointly wrote a letter to the Committee of CEDAW (The Convention for the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women 1979), expressing  concerns  about  questions they were circulating about including gender identity as a right in law.

Instead of affirming the sex-based rights for women, which are clearly laid out in CEDAW, it appeared  that the Committee could be considering re- interpreting CEDAW as providing rights to a “gender identity", thereby including men who identify as women in the category of women.

If this path were followed, women’s rights would no longer have any protection under CEDAW and CEDAW would cease to have any meaning. It would not be the correct function of the CEDAW Committee to undermine CEDAW in this way.

Link to full response (PDF format)

Key Events April 2023 to February 2024

Click here to see the full report

Events from April 2023 onwards reverberated with the effects of the violence towards women at the Let Women Speak event at Albert Park, with Kellie-Jay Keen, on 25 March, 2023.

Events were also marked by the build up to, and aftermath of, the New Zealand general election which saw a change of government to a coalition of centre to right-wing parties.

For details of the 25 March event, including details about the media bias, see the previous report from New Zealand, Jan - April 2023.

Responses and Follow Up to Violence Against Women (VAW), at the Let Women Speak Event, Albert Park, Auckland 25 March 2023:

In July, the United States band Whistle created a song, Let Women Speak, honouring women at Albert Park.

In April, The Free Speech Union (FSU) wrote an open letter of complaint to the Police Commissioner, complaining about the police inaction at Albert Park. It was signed by 23,000 people.

In April, the Women’s Rights Party (WRP) was formed because no other party was supporting women’s rights and the police had done nothing to protect women from violence.

In April, the Free Speech Union hosted a visiting speaker Nadine Strossen, former leader of the ACLU. She spoke about how the violence at Albert Park was an example of the Thug’s Veto; which prevented women from exercising their freedom of speech.

In June the Independent Police Conduct Authority( IPCA) began an investigation following multiple complaints about the police behaviour. They are due to issue a report in June 2024.

In September, the FSU hosted a debate on the importance of freedom of speech, featuring Professor Holly Lawford-Smith, women’s rights activist, as one of the key debaters.

There were many complaints about how the bias of the mainstream media helped to contribute to the violence at Albert Park and about how the event itself was misreported.

Andrew Doyle, UK, made a telling critique of the absurdity of a TV3 news item.

Laura Lopez wrote a notable critique of NZ media.

There were 16 Complaints to the Media Council (MC) and the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA).

Only one complaint ( to the BSA) was partially upheld. A previous complaint from 2022, about the misreporting of information about puberty blockers, was upheld by the MC.

The BSA wrote new standards which would dismiss any future complaints about sex-based rights.

On 30-31 March, Eli Rubashkyn was charged with assault for throwing tomato juice on Kellie-Jay Keen and Tania Sturt. In October, efforts to get the charges dismissed failed.

The man who punched a 70+ years old woman at Albert Park was eventually arrested. He did not deny a charge of assault and was awaiting sentencing in 2023. Update: On 4 March 2024, the man was discharged without conviction and granted permanent name suppression.

Spark, a New Zealand telecommunications company, was boycotted after backing Shaneel Lal, who was notorious for making inflammatory statements about women’s rights activists, which contributed to events at Albert Park.

Despite the intimidation caused by the the violence against women at Albert Park, women continued to organise several events over the coming months.

These included:

  • Turn Up events organised by Women Act Up and Speak Up for Women, in Wellington, Nelson, Auckland and Hawkes Bay.
  • Suffrage Day events on 19 September, in Wellington Auckland, and the South Island organised by the Women’s Rights Party and others.
  • Let Women Speak on 20 September, St Patrick’s Square, Auckland
  • Voices for Children on 31 October in Wellington, organised by Mana Wāhine Kōrero.

Other Events

Legislation and Policy, Prior to the General Election.

Sex Self-ID came into effect on 15 June.

Corrections Regulations, adjusted for Sex Self-ID, came into force on 6 July

The Education Amendment Act was passed, which asks school boards to recruit members on account of their gender identities.

The Integrity Sport and Recreation Act was passed, which does not recognise women’s sex-based rights in sports.

The Law Commission was investigating how to include gender in future hate speech law and/or policy.

The government proposed appointing a new media regulator with draconian powers to censor social media.

The Disinformation Project (supported by government funding) claimed that transgender people received threats after 25 March at Albert Park.

Elizabeth Kerekere’s proposed amendment to the Human Rights Act (which would introduce gender identity and expression) was introduced into parliament.

Councils and Swimming Pools

Councils in Christchurch and Invercargill have misinterpreted legislation to claim that they cannot protect women’s spaces, such as changing rooms, in swimming pools.

The Christchurch Council is introducing a new equity and inclusion policy which makes no mention of biological sex.

These have been strongly challenged by women’s rights activists and community groups.

Puberty Blockers and health

Articles by Jan Rivers and Charlotte Paul about puberty blockers were featured in mainstream media.

A Genspect conference, discussing concerns about gender medicine, was held in November.

The Ministry of Health is reviewing its advice on puberty blockers


The Midwifery Council announced a Scope of Practice which erases the words woman, mother and baby.

This has led to protest from midwives and women, and a petition, which closed on 1 March.

General Election, 14 October

During the election campaign, Winston Peters, of New Zealand First expressed support for some sex -based rights. The Act Party expressed support for freedom of speech and belatedly started to question Sex Self-ID.

The Women’s Rights Party (WRP) achieved registration and put forward some candidates.

At the election, the Labour government was defeated.

After the election, A National-New Zealand First- Act Coalition was formed.

Some key policies in the coalition agreements include:

  • No funding for males in women’s sports.
  • The Relationships and Sexuality Education Guidelines, which currently promote gender education, will be dropped and replaced.
  • Universities’ funding will depend on respecting freedom of speech.

Supermarket ban

In late 2023/ early 2024, the The Otaki Supermarket banned a woman for wearing a gender-critical T Shirt.

Other Women’s Declaration related activity

Lesbian Resistance set up an Australia-New Zealand chapter of the WDI lesbian caucus.

Women’s Rights, Gender Wrongs Book was released in 13 October with a New Zealand Chapter.

UN Submissions

WRP Submission to the New Zealand Universal Periodic Review, October 2023

Click here to see the WRP submission.

Submissions to WHO, January, February 2024 by WDI-NZ, WRP and several others.

This has led to protest from midwives and women, and a petition (which would introduce gender identity and expression was introduced into parliament.

Joint submission to Reem Alsalem about Violence against Women and Girls and Prostitution, by WDI- NZ and WRP , 31 January

Click here to see the WDI-NZ and WRP submission.

WDI AU NZ Webinars featuring NZ speakers

26 June -Lesbian Resistance, Sabine Schneider

30 September- Tania Sturt (Let Women Speak) and Chimene Del La Varis (Women’s Rights Party)

28 October -Jan Rivers- on gender medicine policy, Di Landy (Mana Wāhine Kōrero)- on Children’s Rights.

25 November Suzanne Levy (SUFW)- on the new Government, Katrina Biggs - on Christchurch City Council

24 February 2024 Sarah Henderson and Deb Hayes - on the Midwifery Scope of Practice and the Petition, Ally-Marie Diamond on prostitution.

Events of Note Jan-April 2023

On 7 February 2023, the  Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, resigned.
The New Prime Minister is Chris Hipkins. The Deputy Prime Minister is Carmel Sepuloni.

6 March was NZ Census Day. Everyone was required to answer questions about their gender,
and the gender of people in their households. Many women conducted a boycott of the
census, or at least of the gender questions.

On 25 March, a Let Women Speak event  at Albert Park, Auckland, with the UK women’s
rights campaigner Kellie -Jay Keen, was violently shut down by protestors.  2,000 anti-
woman protestors invaded the space of 150-200 women’s rights supporters. An elderly
woman was punched in the face and several women were assaulted. Kellie-Jay Keen’s life
was at risk and she had to be helped out through the crushing mob by her marshals and
security guards.
The police did nothing to protect the women or Kellie Jay Keen, until she was already out of
the crowd.

This followed a week of failed efforts to keep Kellie-Jay Keen out of the country, and wall to
wall attacks on her by the  media and the establishment.  Kelly-Jay Keen  was labelled  an
anti- trans rights activist and accused  of being a Nazi, because some Nazis had crashed a Let
Women Speak  event in Melbourne a week before.

On 25 March and subsequently, the New Zealand media mostly ignored the violence, calling
the event peaceful and celebratory. However multiple vidoes and livestreams were shared in
New Zealand and internationally, causing outrage.

On 28 March, Shaneel Lal, a leader of the protest, won Young New Zealander of the Year

On 3 April, NZ’s Prime Minister, Chris Hipkins, struggled to define what a woman is.

By April, many more groups had sprung up in response to the violence against women on 25
March and the silencing of women.  On 15 April, they held rallies  across the country in
support of women’s rights.

For a more detailed report, with links to videos and media reports about the 25 March event
at Albert Park, please see the attached document

Download the report from New Zealand, Jan - April 2023

Upcoming Events
In June 2023, the Birth Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Act (the Sex Self ID
law) comes into force,

On 14 October there will be a General Election.

New Zealand/Aotearoa Highlights for 2022

  • The Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Act, which allows Sex Self ID, was passed on 9 December 2021. S 79 (2) means that the birth certificate doesn’t need to be taken as the sole determinant of a person’s sex.
  • In 2022, the Department of Corrections received submissions about changing its Regulations. In November it placed a male triple stabber in a women’s prison.
  • The Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act was passed on 18 February 2022.
  • In April, the Ministry of Education announced its Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Resource Pack.In May, the Resist Gender Education website was created.
  • Around July, the LGB Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand was formed.
  • In August, the Child and Adolescent Therapists Association (CATA), who do not support the affirmation approach, held a conference.
  • In September, The Ministry of Health removed claims that puberty blockers are safe and reversible from its website.
  • On 20 September, the Media Council upheld a complaint about a report about the CATA Conference.
  • On 7 November, The New Zealand Midwifery Council, announced its intention to eliminate words for Mother and Woman from its literature.
  • On 6 December, Sport NZ announced its Guidelines on Inclusion of Transgender People in Community Sport.
  • On 23 December, The Media Council upheld a complaint about a report about a protest about pronoun posters.

Download the report from New Zealand, December 2022

Update from New Zealand 2021

  • Sex self-ID passed into law, 9 December 2021
  • Conversion therapy bill will hear oral submissions into 2022
  • Select committee members were revealed to be extremely hostile to those submitting evidence
  • Informal submissions were sought around hate speech, adoption and surrogacy but no formal legislation has been drafted yet
  • Green Party minister launched an initiative to end domestic and sexual violence
  • Many new gender critical feminist groups have launched to protest against government legislation
  • Several street actions took place on International Women's Day, Women's Suffrage Day and others
  • Speak Up For Women NZ organised a number of public meetings
  • The Media Council found that calling SUFW 'anti-trans' was an opinion and must not be reported as a fact
  • Laurel Hubbard competed in the women's weightlifting competition at the Olympics
  • Rainbow Midwives Alliance demanded the NZ Council of Midwives cancel feminist birth campaigner, Milli Hill
  • NZ media continues to promote gender ideology
  • High Court found that Speak Up for Women was not a hate group and was entitled to hold meetings in public spaces
  • Women's Liberation Aotearoa  launched their website:    and their youtube channel:
  • Mana Wāhine Kōrero launched their youtube channel:
  • Lesbian Action for Visibility Aotearoa launched their website:

Download the report from New Zealand, December 2021

Update from New Zealand, September 2020

The Births Deaths Marriages and Relationships Registration Act (BDMRRA)

The BDMRR Act 1995 has a category of "Nominated sex" which allows the idea in some cases that a person can be born a different sex to what they really are and have their birth certificate changed accordingly.

The Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Commission wants to include gender in the Human Rights Act as a category of discrimination.

The Statistics Survey

The government proposes to change the way statistics are collected under the leadership of James Shaw from the NZ Green Party. The changes they want to make about sex and gender are concerning. They propose to have two categories - sex and gender; and to make gender the default category. They are utterly downplaying the importance of collecting accurate information about sex, stating that gender is much more important. Many women, both from the Women's Liberation Aotearoa (WLA) and Speak Up For Women (SUFW) as well as other individuals, have sent in submissions expressing concern about and opposing this idea.

Women's Economic and Social Rights

Regarding women's economic and social rights, it is worth noting that the Labour led government raised benefits by $25 per week and increased a winter fuel allowance. However, it ignored most of the recommendations of the Welfare Experts Advisory Group, which recommended doubling most benefits, which need at least $100 per week increase. There is extreme poverty in NZ which badly affects women and children.


The government said that "sex workers" would be eligible for the various forms of income support it offered during the COVID crisis. In response Wahine Toa Rising, a group led by survivors of prostitution, wrote to the government, asking for funding for women to exit prostitution. More recently, Kiwibank, a (partially?) state owned bank, first refused to do business with brothel owners; then changed its mind due after pressure from the NZ Prostitutes Collective. Wahine Toa Rising wrote to the bank, congratulating them on their original stance, and asking them to maintain it. They published this on social media.

Abortion Legislation

Legislation making abortion much more freely available and taking it out of the Crimes Act was passed on 23 March 2020.