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.”
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. 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
Please note – due to timing of the preparation of Value Your Vote, we were unable to ask the parties for their official policy on this issue. However, as the photo below shows, most parties did attend the presentation of the 22,334-signature petition.
From left, Chester Borrows (National), Louisa Wall (Labour), Marama Fox (Maori Party), Jan Logie (Greens), Aupito William Sio (Labour – sponsor of petition), Ria Bond (NZ First). (Both Peter Dunne and David Seymour were invited). Far right, Sue Reid (Board member).