Winston Peters is reigniting the trans-debate with a contentious policy of excluding trans-people from women’s bathrooms and sporting leagues.
Government buildings would ban trans-women from women’s bathrooms, and sporting bodies would lose their funding if they don’t provide a category exclusively for biological women, according to the NZ First policy announced on X (formerly Twitter), Thursday.
“To allow biological men access to women and girl’s restrooms, changing rooms, and other safe places, goes against the commonsense and logic of the vast majority of kiwis,” Peters said in his tweet.
New public organizations, including those in sports, education, and commerce, would be forced to provide unisex bathrooms for trans people, and separate single-sex bathrooms based on biological gender, in legislation NZ First would introduce.
Public funding of sports organizations would be witheld unless or until they provide a biological female league.
“This entire debate is about finding the balance between fair inclusion and fairness for all,” Peters said in the post.
The announcement comes against the backdrop of a charged trans debate that gained momentum in March, when anti-trans activist Posie Parker cancelled an event in Wellington, after protests erupted during her first in Tāmaki Makaurau.
A ‘liberal elite’ were deciding for all New Zealanders that the ‘removal of women’s safety, privacy, and freedoms’ is an ‘expected sacrifice’ for their ‘woke ideological and social crusade’, the NZ First leader claimed.
Responses to the contentious policy were mixed with around 2000 people liking the post and hundreds more re-sharing it. Some though, were outright enraged.
“You voted to keep homosexuality a crime, you hateful liar. And you’re yet again making exceptions pander to the transphobes for your political gain,” Shaneel Lal wrote, citing part of the post in which Peters claimed it was policy that NZ First ‘has no business in the nation’s bedrooms’.
“Where do you expect trans-people to go? What support will trans-people have in sport?” another wrote.
In the post Peters argues the policy is ‘not about being ‘anti anyone’ or ‘anti anything’.
“This is about standing up for commonsense, safety, and fairness for everyone,” he wrote.
The NZ first leader claimed ‘liberal elite’ are trying to decide for all New Zealanders that ‘the removal of women’s safety, privacy, and freedoms’ is an ‘expected sacrifice’ for a ‘woke ideological and social crusade’.
Recent Taxpayers’ Union - Curia polls and Roy Morgan polls suggests New Zealand First may return to parliament, having met the 5 per cent threshold for election.
Voters are set to cast their ballots in 58 days on Saturday, October 14, 2023.