Man lodges complaint to Human Rights Commission over Julie Anne Genter's 'old white men' comments

  • 26/03/2018

A Christchurch man has lodged a formal complaint with the Human Rights Commission over comments made by Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter. 

On Thursday, Ms Genter said older white men on company boards should move on to make way for younger, more diverse talent.

"If we're going to improve the diversity of boards, then we will need some of the current positions vacated so there can be room for new diversity and talent," the Green MP said.

John Stringer, former Conservative Party board member and currently on the Papanui-Innes Community Board, says he is "tired of the continual denigration and stereotyping of European males of older ages in politics and the media".

Mr Stringer says he has written to Ms Genter seeking a public retraction of her comments, and has also laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission.

Ms Genter says around 80 to 85 percent of New Zealand company board members are male and many were "old white men in their 60s", Stuff reports.  

Ms Genter and Mr Stringer have both been contacted for comment.

National Party leader Simon Bridges told the AM Show on Monday he disagreed with the minister's comments. 

"What I don't like is the virtue signalling here. It's pointless stuff. If you look at the reality of it, their Cabinet has fewer women than ours did, their front bench has fewer women than ours did.

"I'm all for positively trying to increase your diversity over time and doing the right thing there, as long as you're bringing merit through. They're not doing that in reality. This is just cheap, silly talk."