Q-Topia media statement

06 10 2013

Media Release

QTopia initiates inquiry into its own policies and procedures

QTopia – the Christchurch peer support group for gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex youth –
confirmed today (6 October 2013) that it has requested the Canterbury Youth Workers’ Collective to
examine the group’s policies and procedures to ensure they provide the best levels of confidentiality
and protection for young people associated with the group.

Spokesperson Neil Hellewell says the move follows two incidents involving members of QTopia’s
board. In one case Paul Findlay stepped down voluntarily after an incident involving a private
conversation on a cell phone contact application. Hellewell said he did not expect Findlay to return
to the board. In the other incident a board member has stepped down at his own initiative to focus
on legal action he is taking against people who have been making a series of accusations about his

“The member concerned completely denies the accusations but needs time to sort this incident out.
We support his decision.”

Hellewell says the board has no evidence of any inappropriate behaviour or risk from the two
members toward the youth members of Qtopia.

“We believe that the timing of these two different cases is coincidental and not an indication of a
symptomatic problem at QTopia. “However, we need to ensure our processes are robust, ethical,
transparent and accountable, which is why we have asked the Youth Workers Collective to look at
how we manage things like this.”

Hellewell says he has no indication at this stage as to how long that inquiry might take.
Media inquiries to: Steve Attwood, 0274191080 or steve [A T] xtra.co.nz




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