Labour Party pushes for 'man ban'

  • Breaking
  • 04/07/2013

The Labour Party is proposing a new rule that would give electorates the ability to prevent men from contesting a seat for the party.

It is part of a bid to increase female representation within the party, with the NZ Council eyeing a target of 45 percent female representation by 2014, and 50 percent by 2017.

One of the proposed changes to the party's constitution is a provision dubbed the "man ban" by Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater.

The provision states that "a Labour Electorate Committee may request that NZ Council determine that only women may nominate for the position of Labour candidate for their electorate".

The draft list of changes will be discussed at the Labour Party's annual conference in November, where it is hoped the gender-specific rule will be approved.

Labour's general secretary Tim Barnett denied it was unfair practice to males, saying it would involve "fairly modest tweaking to achieve equity overtime".

"Female representation in caucus went up from about 25 percent to 35 to 40 percent when MMP came in, but has since hovered there.

"We had been discussing the way we select candidates and support MPs, and within that we went back to the point that if you want caucus to represent New Zealand, the gender-mix is fundamental.

"After that goal is achieved, it's about sustaining that through mentoring and training instead of any heavy rules," says Mr Barnett. 

If the proposed rule should pass, it would be up to individual electorates to decide whether to select women-only contests in particular circumstances. 

Mr Barnett says if the Council suspects the LEC might be using it to deliberately block somebody they don't want, then the Council can decline the right to allow them to use the rule.

3 News

source: newshub archive

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