Flat White New Zealand

New Zealand embraces gender ghosts as the national religion

13 December 2021

2:04 PM

13 December 2021

2:04 PM

From where I sit from across the ditch it appears ‘the land of the long white cloud’ is encased in a smokescreen. While Jacinda Ardern reigns over the most progressive government in the Pacific, the passing of stock-standard progressive policies is coming ‘hand in iron fist’ with the erasure of liberty and the failure of the protections citizens used to take for granted.

New Zealand Parliament has now unanimously passed the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill that allows people to change their birth certificate to the sex of their choice, or as Radio New Zealand put it, ‘to reflect who they are’.

The press and government of New Zealand appear to have wholeheartedly embraced the belief that men and women have gender ‘selves’ and that these ‘selves’ or souls are rendered legitimate by the decree of government.

Green party MP Dr Elizabeth Kerekere said, ‘As a takatāpui, cis-lesbian fem ally to our takatāpui, trans and intersex non-binary whānau, I am very proud to commend this bill to the house.’

Nobody knows what that means, because it’s nonsense.

The Bill was initially proposed four years ago but was withdrawn when concerns were raised about unintended consequences of the legislation. I have been watching submissions to the consultation process for months from people from all walks of life. Many warned of the danger of the Bill – particularly of allowing men to self-identify as women and access the infrastructure that is designed for the protection of female bodies – and the free access of males to sporting competitions designed for female bodies.

Māori woman Rex Landy became a bit of a star with her plain speaking submission to the consultation process and her commentary on how her country is embracing what she called the ‘biggest game of wilful pretend’ that she has ever seen. Landy has challenged the narrative that gender fluidity is native to the Māori culture, claiming that there is no tradition in Māori culture for humans to change sex.

New Zealand made history this year with the first male to compete in the women’s weightlifting category of the Olympics. The picture of the large white male from a well-known wealthy family competing in the women’s category against three women of colour, caused outrage in New Zealand and internationally. The pretence of ‘stunning and brave’ was ultimately impossible to sell to the sports-mad nation, who have always held their head high on the sporting field.

Jacinda Ardern paints a compassionate picture of her progressive Labour government, but the reality is that New Zealand is becoming the living embodiment of the smokescreen of kindness of the new left over a reality of economic polarisation and authoritarianism.

According to Bernard Hickey, Ardern has overseen an extraordinary rise in the nation’s wealth in the last two years, but only at the top end, while workers and renters are showing signs of severe economic stress. Hickey claims that the richest New Zealanders have seen a rise of 50 per cent, while the food banks are seeing record demand and wait-list for public housing have risen 65 per cent.

The press in New Zealand are so enamoured with Ardern that they don’t seem to raise an eyebrow at her saccharine-covered iron fist. Ardern’s regular updates on social media show her making increasingly authoritarian dictates through her trademark Cheshire grin. She recently condescended to allow Aucklanders to ‘see family and friends again in their homes, and use the bathroom inside’.

Today, the New Zealand government banned smoking for the next generation. Not a mention is made of the social cost of criminalising smoking, an activity that is disproportionately prevalent among Māori and Pacific Islanders – a demographic already over-represented in prison. Liberty and choice are being given to affirm gender souls, but when it comes to issues around health choices, freedom is for the compliant.

‘Queen Ardern’, as she has come to be known, can bestow the magic sex rights on the gender diverse and never face the consequences in prisons, in public toilets, or on the sporting field. She can save the next generation from smokes when she will be retired and never see the face of a mother when her son is put in prison for buying chop-chop.

Without an upper house and with a weak opposition, New Zealand has proven more vulnerable to the clutches of the authoritarian left. It is a shame the conservative opposition have laid down on all these issues in New Zealand, but it is not a total mystery.

The strange authoritarianism of the new left echoes of the kind of old fashion conservatism that bypassed liberalism. Even the concept that we live in flesh suits with gender souls, has echoes of conservative religious ideas from another time.

Next will come the hate crime laws where people like Rex Landy will be arrested for her heretical opposition to the belief in human gender souls. Women in the UK like Marion Millar and Ceri Black are being arrested and harassed under hate crime legislation for speaking out about the consequences of gender soul legislation on women. One of the reasons for this open sanction of abuse on a range of women, is that the conservatives won’t stand up for feminists.

Like on so many other issues, we have to realise that left-right dichotomy is not only past its usefulness, it is actively being used against us. We need a broad-stroke grassroots backlash from parents, public servants, employers, people who use public facilities and people who want to keep their daughters safe in sport.


Edie Wyatt has a BA Hons from the Institute of Cultural Policy Studies and writes on culture, politics and feminism. She tweets at @MsEdieWyatt and blogs at ediewyatt.com.

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