MEDIA RELEASE: Government Ignores Safety, Fairness & Public Opinion in Womens Sports

18 June 2024

The Government is now ‘dancing on the head of a pin’ in trying to “ensure both fairness and inclusivity” in community sport. Previously the NZ First-led coalition agreement made it a policy to potentially withhold public funding from New Zealand sports bodies if they do not comply with a requirement to separate transgender athletes from grassroots competitions (I.e. preventing biological men from competing against girls and women in grassroots sports).

This latest backtracking by Sports Minister Chris Bishop came after considering a “briefing” from Sport New Zealand in support the rights of transgender people to participate in sports that “align with their gender identity”.  Note – Sport New Zealand CEO is Raelene Castle, who was also head of Rugby Australia when they terminated Israel Folau’s contract following his posting of a bible verse on social media.

Family First says that the coalition government is ignoring the safety and fairness required in sports especially for women, but also strong public opinion, by turning a blind eye to biological males playing in female sports.

“We have heard of plenty of examples of unfairness and concerns about safety, not only in New Zealand, but around the world. Many international sporting groups have recognised the issue – but apparently not our government,” says Bob McCoskrie, CEO of Family First.

And a recent Curia Market Research poll  found that only 13% of New Zealanders thought that boys who identify as girls should be able to play in a girls team. 68% said they shouldn’t, and 19% were unsure.

“What is most interesting is that a similar poll in 2018 by the same polling company found that support and opposition was locked at 39% each. Opposition has grown markedly over the last five years to the unfairness and safety concerns around boys competing against girls.”

“Contrary to the narrative, ‘trans people’ can still play sport. They just need to align with the team of their biological sex. The other option is to create a new mixed category.”

“But females deserve to play in their own league. The government has dropped the ball on this by not sending clear guidelines to sporting groups.”

Scroll to Top