Media Release 10 August 2017
A petition calling on an expert panel to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography and which received 22,334 written signatures in just two months has been deferred to the next Parliament by the Government Administration Select Committee.
The petition states: “That an expert panel be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament.”
“We’ve been advised that, with the upcoming dissolution of Parliament, the time remaining is not sufficient for the Select Committee to fully consider the issues and that they will leave the substantive consideration of the petition to a Select Committee of the next Parliament,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ who is sponsoring the petition.
“This is disappointing given that most of the political parties were present to receive the petition and there seems to be a strong will amongst the politicians to see this issue tackled. We would hope that the appointment of an expert panel is an urgent and early item of business as soon as the next Parliament is formed.”
A nationwide poll in April found high levels of concern around the effects of online pornography and its link to sexual violence, and the easy access that young people have to offensive material, and significant support for action from government and internet providers in terms of filtering and Opt-Out provisions.
“These poll results are indicative of the growing community concern over this issue. Society is starting to catch up with the science on the harms of pornography, and are now calling for better support and protection of families and young people,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“There has been an important national conversation around consent and ‘rape culture’. At the same time, there is increasing consumption and availability of online pornography and sexual violence. It’s time we connected the dots.”
The official website is www.porninquiry.nz