Consultations: personal grievance for sexual harassment, surrogacy, and gender/sex self-identification process

Tue 21 Jun 2022

This story highlights 3 government consultations with closing dates in July 2022.

photo of a notebook and pen with cut outs of question marks

Submissions open on bill to extend time to raise a personal grievance for sexual harassment

The Parliamentary Education and Workforce Committee is asking for submissions on the Employment Relations (Extended Time for Personal Grievance for Sexual Harassment) Amendment Bill. This Member's bill would extend the period of time available to raise a personal grievance involving allegations of sexual harassment from 90 days to 12 months. The purpose of the bill is to allow victims more time to decide whether to raise a grievance with their employer about allegations of sexual harassment.

The closing date to give feedback is 15 July 2022.

Update: The Employment Relations (Extended Time For Personal Grievance For Sexual Harassment) Amendment Bill received Royal Assent in June 2023. It extends the period to raise a personal grievance for sexual harassment from 90 days to 12 months.

Submissions open on Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill

The Parliamentary Health Committee is asking for submissions on the Improving Arrangements for Surrogacy Bill. This Member's bill seeks to simplify surrogacy arrangements, ensure the completeness of birth certificate information, and provide a mechanism for enforcing surrogacy arrangements. According to the Health Committee media release: "At present, the intending parents of a child born through surrogacy do not have any automatic rights. At the time of birth, the child’s legal parents are the surrogate mother and partner, and a formal adoption process is required to complete the arrangement." It also stated that the proposed amendments include:

  • "specifying when intending parents become the parents of a child born as a result of a surrogacy arrangement that is subject to a surrogacy order
  • providing for the appointment of a Surrogacy Registrar, who would establish a register to enable women who are willing to become surrogates to be matched with intending parents
  • enforcing the legal obligations of intending parents if they refused to take custody by making them liable for child support, even if they did not have custody of the child."

The closing date to give feedback is 20 July 2022.

Related news

The Law Commission completed a Review of Surrogacy law and submitted a final report (NZLC Report 146) in May 2022. The report makes 63 recommendations to establish a new framework for determining legal parenthood in surrogacy arrangements and otherwise improve surrogacy law and practice. For more information see the Executive Summary of the report and the Frequently Asked Questions about the review.

Consultation open on key elements of the self-identification process

In December 2021 the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationship Registration Bill passed, making it easier for New Zealanders to change the sex or gender on their birth certificates. A self-identification process will be developed for transgender, non-binary, takatāpui and intersex people to amend the sex on their New Zealand birth certificate. Te Tari Taiwhenua | the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is now inviting public feedback on key elements of the proposed self-identification process. Suzanne Doig DIA General Manager Policy Group said “The self-identification process will be available from mid-2023 and will replace the Family Court process for amending sex on birth certificates. Your submission will help to ensure the process is inclusive, accessible and easy-to-use.”

Th self-identification process will not be available to people born overseas. DIA is also asking for public feedback on the issue of registering gender for people born overseas. Suzanne also said “Te Tari Taiwhenua [DIA] is working towards identifying an alternative process for people born overseas to register their gender. Before we develop solutions, we want to hear why a gender registration process is important, and how people born overseas would use evidence of a registered gender.”

For more information see the DIA consultation on recognising gender on birth certificates and exploring a gender registration process for people born overseas.

The closing date to give feedback is 25 July 2022.

Update: Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs launched the new self-identification process to change the registered sex on birth certificates in June 2023. To change the sex marker on a birth certificate, you must complete a statutory declaration and apply to Births, Deaths and Marriages. For more information, see the official NZ Government information on how to Change the registered sex on your birth certificate.

Related media

Perpetrators of sexual harassment are personally liable, The Post, 28.02.2024

'They think you’re committing fraud': Trans refugees in NZ need usable ID, Re: news, 22.06.2023 

New Zealanders can now identify as non-binary on their birth certificate, Stuff, 15.06.2023

IVF nightmare: Broken up couple fight over frozen embryos amid claims man exploited 'potential babies' for sex and money, NZ Herald, 23.10.2022

More Workplace Support Needed For Survivors Of Assault, Press Release: CTU, Scoop, 27.07.2022

Workplace sexual harassment bill 'doesn't go far enough,' critics say, Stuff, 27.07.2022

Workplace sexual harassers move jobs 'without warning or consequence', Stuff, 21.06.2022

Whistleblower law leaves media out of the loop, RNZ, 12.06.2022

Margaret Casey: surrogacy laws a ‘hot button issue’, RNZ, 04.06.2022

Law Commission recommends allowing parents using a surrogate to be legal parents without court process, NZ Herald, 30.05.2022

Surrogacy law expert on changes considered by government, RNZ, 27.05.2022

NZDF employees slam its handling of assault complaints, NZ Herald, 22.05.2022

The not-the-budget bills, RNZ, 19.05.2022

Coalition Pushes For New Zealand To Join Global Efforts To End Violence In The World Of Work, Press Release: E Tu, Scoop, 17.05.2022

Calls for workplace safety rules to include emotional and psychological protections, Pacific Media Network 531pi, 17.05.2022

The hidden barrier holding metoo back - and the women who are challenging it, Stuff, 12.05.2022

Government bolsters protection for whistleblowers, Beehive Media Release, 10.05.2022

Survivors sceptical about FENZ workplace culture review, RNZ, 29.04.2022

Image: Olya Kobruseva on Pexels

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