Have Your Say On Banning Conversion Therapy In Aotearoa

Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill
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Following the government’s announcement to ban conversion therapy in New Zealand, The Justice Committee is seeking submissions from members of the public, who are invited to make their own submissions on the proposed legislation.

The Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill would make it an offence to perform conversion practices on an individual under the age of 18, or on an individual who lacks decision-making capacity. A person convicted of this offence would be liable to a maximum of three years’ imprisonment. 

The Bill would also make it an offence for a person to perform conversion practices on an individual that causes serious harm if the person knows that serious harm could occur, or is reckless as to whether it would cause serious harm. A person convicted of this offence would be liable to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.

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Conversion Therapy is defined in the proposed bill as any practice that:

  • is directed towards an individual because of the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and
  • is performed with the intention of changing or suppressing the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

The bill provides a list of things that are not considered to be conversion practices, including:

  • a health service provided by a health practitioner in accordance with their scope of practice
  • assisting an individual who is considering undergoing, or is undergoing, a gender transition
  • assisting an individual to express their gender identity
  • providing acceptance, support, or understanding of an individual
  • facilitating an individual’s coping skills, development, or identity exploration, or facilitating social support
  • the expression only of a religious principle or belief that is not intended to change or suppress an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Submissions on the Bill need to be made by midnight on Wednesday, 8 September 2021 – You can make your submission HERE.

Submissions will be publicly released by the committee and will be available on the Parliament website. Submitters seeking to have their submissions considered privately or anonymously can contact committee staff at justice@parliament.govt.nz to discuss this.

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