And they all cried wolf!

The latest Green party politician attempting to justify her existence is Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter who has asked the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to keep centralised records on sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Genter says incidents will be collated in the same system it uses for employment complaints and allow it to track patterns. This sounds ominously like a 15th-century witch hunt and also resonates with the #MeToo movement, which gives credence to unsubstantiated “sexual abuse” claims.

“The more people know about the scale of the problem, the more we can do to address it,” Ms Genter told Stuff.

No mention of how to prevent sexual abuse which I suspect Ms Genter doesn’t have a clue about.

What will be the effect on workplaces when employers, to avoid conflict, will find it easier to employ only one sex? Men will see workplaces with a high proportion of female employees as risky environments. Sexism and sterile work environments here we come.

Let me share a story with you that would make it on to this bogus register. A female employee with a history of claiming inappropriate sexual advances made by her male colleagues alleged sexual abuse because a male associate waved to her when she was arriving at work. A common enough greeting you suppose but, in the mind of a psychologically damaged woman, the greeting was construed as an unwelcome sexual advance and she made a formal complaint to her employer.

Worse was to come. The employer knew about the woman’s history of misinterpreting innocent social dialogue as sexual abuse but, in a butt-covering exercise, insisted the man apologise to her anyway. Management said they are obliged to follow up all claims of sexual abuse. They said the “misconduct” had to be noted on his employment record but would look a whole lot better accompanied by his letter of apology. I sincerely wish this story was not true but, unfortunately, it is.

How many such incidents will be registered as sexual misconduct so that management isn’t seen to be neglecting their duty? How is a register going to identify genuine sexual abuse? It isn’t. How is a register going to prevent sexual abuse? It isn’t. This is just another waste of taxpayer funds by a silly politician on a self-importance mission.


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Suze aka Sue Sangster is an avid reader, writer and aspiring novelist with a green thumb.

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