Govt gives career boost to people in the creation business – but those in the conversion business will be banned

Our Beehive Bulletin … 

The price tag was left out of the announcement, when Carmel Sepuloni, Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage and Minister of Social Development, launched a Creative Careers Service which is expected to support up to 1,000 creatives across three regions over the next two years.

The new service builds on the most successful aspects of the former Pathways to Arts and Cultural Experience (PACE) programme, she said.

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Ministry for Social Development have partnered to pilot the service.

Sepuloni’s announcement was one of three new posts on the Beehive website since last we checked.  The others are –

  • The PM’s speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake
  • Justice Minister Kris Faafoi reaffirmed the Government’s “urgent commitment” (as stated in its 2020 Election Manifesto) to ban “conversion practices” in New Zealand by this time next year.

Conversion practices?

We suppose Faafoi is not gunning for missionaries trying to convert heathens to Christianity or environmentalists trying to convert motorists from petrol-powered vehicles to electric ones (or, even better, to walking and cycling) or Labour politicians trying to convert Maori Party voters for support at the next election.     

But the press statement is somewhat coy about the conversion practices that are being urgently addressed and it does not clearly explain who will be banned from doing what. 

“The Government has work underway to develop policy which will bring legislation to Parliament by the middle of this year and with the aim of having a ban passed into law by the end of this year, or by February 2022 – at the latest,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said.

“The fact that we are dealing with this issue in the first year of this term of Parliament clearly shows the level of priority it has in our legislative programme and shows our commitment to ban these cruel and damaging practices that can amount to coercion and mental abuse in the misguided belief that a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression needs to be treated or somehow ‘cured’.

“There is no therapeutic purpose or medical basis for these conversion practices, which can cause real and lasting damage, particularly for vulnerable young people who are often the victims of these practices,” Kris Faafoi said.

Faafoi confirmed that the Ministry of Justice is working to draw up law which will create a new criminal and/or civil offence which will prohibit conversion practices.

“That work requires considering issues like how to define ‘conversion practices’, how legal protections would work and for whom, and whether conversion practices should be regulated by civil law in additional to criminal law, where civil penalties might be more appropriate than criminal liability.

“We know this is an important issue, which is why we made the Manifesto commitment before last year’s Election, and we want to ensure the legislation passes as quickly as possible so the Rainbow community and all those affected by these abhorrent practices are protected.

“We welcome that both the Green Party and National Party appear to share the Government’s position against conversion practices and we hope they’ll work constructively with us to ensure good, fair and robust legislation is put in place,” Kris Faafoi said.

 In her announcement of good news for “creatives”, Sepuloni followed the government practice of bringing COVID-19 into the justification for spending (after borrowing) on its initiatives: 

“COVID-19 has been tough on many creative people in New Zealand, who are often self-employed contractors and freelancers relying on non-creative work for income”, Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The Creative Careers Service recognises the importance of supporting people to pursue their creative ambitions, and to retain or regain employment without needing to go onto a benefit.

“The service is for MSD job seekers in the pilot regions, recent creative graduates who are outside the benefit system, as well as creative sector workers who have had their work opportunities reduced due to COVID-19.

Participants are expected to benefit from learning how to apply complementary skills in the areas of business management, contract negotiation, marketing, networking, applying for funding, and linking people to employment opportunities.

“The service will also tailor career advice according to the individual’s career aspirations, giving them an opportunity to extend their knowledge and gain sustainable employment in their chosen creative field. Participants will be able to develop their skills and talents, equipping them to work and thrive in the arts and creative sector.”

 The pilot is initially being delivered by Depot Artspace in North and Central Auckland, Ngahere Communities in South Auckland, and The Big Idea in East and West Auckland.

Creative Waikato will be offering the service from today, with plans to extend the pilot to Nelson in early March.

Eligible participants will be able to sign up for the programme from February 2021.

Further information on the service, including details on local providers, can be found here.

Latest from the Beehive

22 FEBRUARY 2021

Speech to National Remembrance Service on the 10th anniversary of the Christchurch earthquake

Government reaffirms urgent commitment to ban harmful conversion practices

21 FEBRUARY 2021

New creative service aims to benefit 1,000 peoples’ careers

2 thoughts on “Govt gives career boost to people in the creation business – but those in the conversion business will be banned

  1. Snuck in there (worryingly) is “gender identity”. So when an 11 year old boy insists he should have been born a girl and wants irreversible medical treatment, his parents should just play along and send him to the hormone clinic and chopping centre.
    As the Auckland Transport fella pointed out the ‘trans lobby’ is hi-jacking the agenda.
    Here’s hoping commonsense will prevail over the nutters.


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