FORUM 2017

Watch specific clips of the Prime Minister responding to questions on
* abortion
* euthanasia
* marijuana
* definition of marriage
* anti-smacking law
* Family First’s charitable status
* calls for an Inquiry in to the harms of pornography
* Judeo-Christian values in NZ

The Phenomenon of Childhood Gender Dysphoria
Professor John Whitehall – Foundation Chair Paediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine – Western Sydney University

The Effect of Euthanasia Leglislation On Palliative Care – A Doctor’s Perspective.
Sinead Donnelly – Internal medicine consultant & palliative medicine specialist based at Wellington Hospital. Senior clinical lecturer at the Otago School of Medicine in Wellington

Considering Euthanasia & Abortion in an Election Year – What You Need to Know
Dr Jane Silloway Smith – CEO, Every Life Research Unit



The 10th annual New Zealand Forum on the Family will bring together a national network of family-focused organisations, scholars, lobby groups and leaders who seek to promote and protect the wellbeing of families, the role of parents, and the welfare of our children.

Friday 7th July 2017, 8.45am–4.30pm

One of these men will either be our Prime Minister, or will determine who our PM will be, after the General Election in September. Bob McCoskrie will interview each leader separately and find out their views on a number of family-related and conscience issue policies. Where do they stand personally on the issues of abortion, euthanasia, the redefining and role of marriage, abortion, euthanasia, gender ‘identity’, the role and rights of parents, anti-smacking law, media standards, sex education in schools, marijuana, the harm of prostitution, alcohol laws, Easter trading laws, gambling harm, binding referenda, and more.

(Bill English and Winston Peters have confirmed their attendance. Andrew Little has been invited.)

UPDATE: Due to campaigning in the north, Winston Peters has just notified us that he is now not able to attend. In his place, senior MP Tracey Martin will be interviewed – as well as a shorter interview with the new leader of the Conservative Party Leighton Baker.


Professor John Whitehall

In recent years, the issue of transgender identity in children has leapt from the periphery of public consciousness to centre stage of a cultural drama played out in the media, courts, schools, hospitals, families, and in the minds and bodies of children. But is this massive intrusion into the minds and bodies of children necessary? What will happen if parents do nothing but “watch and wait” while their child muses on its gender? Can the child grow out of it? It’s time for a discussion based on biology and research, rather than ideology and agendas.

Professor John Whitehall is Foundation Chair and Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Sydney. John graduated from Sydney University in 1966 and completed his residency at Sydney Hospital before working in developing countries. He then pursued paediatric training in England and Australia, followed by training in neonatology. John has held positions as Staff Specialist in the neonatal intensive care unit at Nepean Hospital, Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Townsville and Chair of Northern Region Women’s and Children’s Committee which oversaw the development of services and the maintenance of standards throughout the region. As Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at James Cook University, John developed and delivered courses in Tropical Paediatrics. Professor Whitehall’s extensive experience working in developing countries includes a refugee aid program in Vietnam, a mission hospital in remote South Africa, the university hospital Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). He has also been involved in aid organisations in Guam (for Vietnamese refugees), East Timor, Lebanon and Mexico. In 2005, he led an aid program in Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami, and became finalist for Senior Australian of the Year in 2006 for this humanitarian work. For two months over Christmas 2014, he worked as locum physician in a remote hospital in Madagascar. John maintains a special interest in international health, and has published on a range of subjects from neonatology to public health. As a neonatologist, John has been particularly interested in the embryology of the brain and the effect of drugs, such as alcohol. It was concern about the interruption of the developing brain by drugs that blocked puberty and evoked sexual characteristics of the opposite sex that inspired involvement in the gender dysphoria debate. That involvement has involved two lengthy articles in Quadrant Magazine (December 16, May 17), radio interviews and public speaking.

Melinda Tankard Reist
We are in the midst of renewed debate on the national scourge of violence against women. This debate is to be welcomed. However what has not been adequately acknowledged is the role of pornography as a driver of this violence. Melinda Tankard Reist will explore what the research tells us about how pornography eroticises and legitimises violence against women and relate young women’s experiences of sexual assault, physical and psychological injury from porn-inspired sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, demands for sexual ’selfies’, and other out-workings of harmful porn inspired behaviours. She will call for pornography to be included in any policies aiming to address violence against women.

Melinda Tankard Reist is an author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is best known for her work addressing sexualisation, objectification, harms of pornography, sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence against women. Melinda is author/editor of five books including Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009), now in its 9th printing, Big Porn Inc: Exposing the harms of the global pornography industry (Spinifex Press, 2011, co-edited with Dr Abigail Bray) and her new release Prostitution Narratives: Stories of survival in the sex trade. (Spinifex Press, 2016, co-edited with Dr Caroline Norma). An opinion writer, Melinda is also a regular on morning television and has appeared on ABC’s Q&A and The Gruen Sessions as well as many other TV and radio programs. Melinda is co-founder of the grassroots campaigning movement, Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, exposing corporations, advertisers and marketers who objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services. An ambassador for World Vision Australia, Compassion Australia and the Raise Foundation, Melinda is named in the Who’s Who of Australian Women and the World Who’s Who of Women. Melinda previously spoke at our Forum on the Family in 2010.

Dr Sinead Donnelly MD, FRCPI, FAChPM, FRACP
Dr Sinead Donnelly is an internal medicine consultant and palliative medicine specialist based at Wellington Hospital. She is also a senior clinical lecturer at the Otago School of Medicine in Wellington. She is a co-Trustee of the Care Alliance, Executive member New Zealand Health Professionals Alliance, and a member of Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine. Sinead is from Ireland – if you didn’t already realise!



Dr Jane Silloway Smith
Across the developed world, societies are questioning their laws concerning the beginnings and ends of life. New Zealand is not immune to these questions and the legislative implications that come from them. Dr Smith will discuss what is going on internationally in the policy areas of abortion and euthanasia, and how these global trends are playing out currently in New Zealand. What are our current laws on abortion and euthanasia; how do they compare internationally; and what challenges and changes to these laws could arise in our next Parliament?

Jane Silloway Smith, PhD is the Director of the Every Life Research Unit, and is an experienced public policy researcher, with interest in the application of social justice to public policy. From 2009 to 2016, Jane was a researcher and Research Manager at Maxim Institute, where her primary areas of research were foreign aid, social policy, and end-of-life care and choices. Jane holds a PhD in history from Northwestern University. Prior to her work at Maxim, Jane taught in the history departments at Northwestern University and the University of Auckland. Alongside her work at Every Life, she teaches history and social justice on the Venn Foundation Internship.

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Cancellation and other terms
Should you wish to cancel your registration at least 30 days before the commencement of the event, we’ll refund you in full minus a $50.00 admin fee. If you cancel within 20 days of the event, we’ll refund 50% of the purchase price. If you cancel within 7 days of the event, or do a no-show on the day of the event, you’ll be liable for the full purchase price. In the unlikely event of cancellation of the event, the liability of the organisers is limited to the return of paid fees. The organisers may alter the times, dates and speakers of this event by notice to you at any time. While we are sorry if this causes inconvenience, the organisers will not be liable for any loss, damages or sadness arising from such changes.

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