ACT Party asks, why no 'Minister for Men'?

ACT Party leader David Seymour (file)
ACT Party leader David Seymour (file)

We've got a Minister for Women, so why not a Minister for Men?

That's what ACT Party leader David Seymour wants to know - or better still, he wants all of what he calls "demographic ministers" to be scrapped.

"I think it's wrong to have ministers exist purely for a particular type of person. I actually think that all ministers should be working for all New Zealanders," he says.

It comes off the back of huge criticism of the Minister for Women, Louise Upston, for not directly addressing the Chiefs stripper scandal.

"Men are doing worse than women in just about every imaginable social statistic," Mr Seymour says.

"If you believe it's worth having a minister for a particular type of social issue, then it's far more important in 2016 that it's a Minister for Gender rather than merely women."

Mr Seymour says it seems like the Government is "trying to appoint a minister for every conceivable sub-group of people".

Mr Seymour says there are a range of men's issues that need to be brought to the table too, and if "demographic ministers" need to stick around then men should be represented.

"If you're seriously saying that being higher in suicide statistics, higher in imprisonment rates, higher in mental health statistics and lower in educational attainment for men are not worth addressing, but income differential for women is worth addressing, then I don't think you're part of a 21st century debate about gender."

If the Minister for Women must stay, Mr Seymour thinks the role should be changed to a 'Minister for Gender'.

"If we're going to be serious about gender issues and take it as a 21st century issue rather than a 1970s issue, then we should be looking at issues such as equal pay across a whole range of issues for both genders, rather than this old fashioned view that it's entirely about women's liberation," he says.

But it's not just the gender minister he's targeting - he also thinks the Ministers for Māori Development, Ethnic Communities and Pacific Peoples should go and be represented by one body.

"Asian New Zealanders now make up nearly 10 percent of the population, why shouldn't there be a Minister for Asians, and then where does it end?" he says.

"If we're going to have a minister for a certain group of people, then it should be simply a Minister for Ethnic Affairs."

And it doesn't even end there - he wants the Ministers for Youth and Seniors to be scrapped too.