The Campaign to Pardon Gays in Aotearoa
Public Submissions to Select Committee
Photo by Parliament TV, used under fair use
On 6 July 2016, the petition organised by the Campaign to Pardon Gays in Aotearoa was
submitted to Parliament by MP Kevin Hague. The petition calls for two related actions:
- An official apology to be issued for the systematic persecution of gays in New Zealand. This would be on behalf of all New Zealanders, but would have special significance since the basis for the prosecution of gays by the criminal justice system were Acts of Parliament.
- A process to be put in place to pardon gay men. The specifics of the process are not specified, because there are a number of technical details that would need to be considered.
Since the petition has been presented to Parliament, it is no longer
possible to sign the petition. Furthermore, submissions have closed
for Select Committee. We would like to extend our deepest appreciation
to those who made submissions.
Questions and Answers
Where can I read submissions made to Select Committee?
You can read some of the submissions made to Select Committee here
How does the Select Committee relate to the Parliamentary process?
After the petition was presented in Parliament, it was refered to a Select Committee as allocated
by the Clerk of the
. The function of the Select Committee is to consider the issues surrounding the
requests of the petition, and make formal recommendations to Parliament concerning what happens
The Select Committee stage is therefore an important stage in the life of any proposed legislation.
Select Committees often solicit evidence in the form of submissions from experts and the general
public, to allow for the full consideration of the issues involved.
In the case of this petition, by soliciting submissions from members of the public, the Select Committee
has indicated that it considers the pardoning
of men convicted of homosexuality to be important and worthy of serious consideration.
Has the Campaign made a submission to Select Committee?
The Campaign was invited to make a submission to the Select Committee prior to the opening
of submissions to the public. The written submission made by the Campaign can be found
. This was followed by an oral presentation to the
Does the Campaign believe that the Select Committee is acting in good faith?
The Campaign believes
that the Select Committee has approached this issue in good-faith, and has indicated its good-faith
by choosing to solicit feedback from the public. We ask submitters to take this into account when
writing their submissions.
Another issue relates to the method used to find cases to examine. The method prefered by the Campaign is one in which the government proactive checks criminal cases to find cases to pardon. This is in contrast to the approach of waiting for individuals to apply to be pardoned before examining their case. The Campain prefers the proactive approach, because it would allow for an across-the-board correcting of the record, which would be beneficial for rainbow communities, and would also allow for a clearer historical record of wrongs perpetrated against the gay community.
Finally, you may wish to indicate that you support both a pardoning process and a proceeding
formal apology. The process proposed by the Campaign and formalised in the petition is a two
step process: first, an apology, and then a case-by-case pardoning.
Where can I read more about the background of this issue?
If you wish to learn more about the background of this issue,
here are a few places that may be of interest.
Please note that these sites are provided
in the hope that they are useful, but the Campaign does not endorse them or vouch for their
To learn more about the more recent efforts of the Campaign to Pardon Gays in Aotearoa,
you may find the list of news items
When did submissions close?
Submissions to Select Committee closed on 6 October 2016.
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