Green Party calls for Government to urgently prioritise banning 'harmful, traumatising' conversion therapy

The Green Party is calling for the Government to urgently prioritise banning conversion therapy, saying it has "no place" in Aotearoa.

On Sunday, spokesperson for rainbow communities Elizabeth Kerekere will launch a petition calling for the ban to be pushed up the Government's agenda.

"Aotearoa should be a place where no matter who you love or how you identify, you are accepted, and no one should be allowed to force people to change who they are through this harmful and traumatising practice," she says.

"Many parties have committed to banning it, yet the Labour Party has indicated that any plan to prioritise is not urgent, with no plans to introduce legislation immediately."

In the lead-up to the October 2020 general election, the Labour Government pledged to ban the practice, which attempts to convert an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity using harmful psychological and physical interventions. 

Conversion therapy has been linked to severe mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is aiming for legislation before the House by the end of the year, but won't promise an exact timeline, saying it's important to get it right.  

"If we don't draft this in the right place; if we don't get the law right we won't have the positive impact we need to have." 

Where to find help and support: