Does this make you nervous?

via RNZ

Julie Anne Genter is channeling her inner Stasi and has announced that she is setting up a national register of workplace sexual misconduct.

If that doesn’t fill you with dread then I don’t know what will.

A national register of workplace sexual misconduct is set to be established by July.

The extent of sexual harassment at work is currently unknown, as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has never kept data on it.

But under the direction of Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter, MBIE is set to begin keeping centralised records on allegations of workplace sexual misconduct.

Genter has asked MBIE to provide advice as to how that data could be used, for example to track patterns of sexual harassment complaints by employer.

“Many women have had unsafe experiences in the workplace – this needs to stop, and there needs to be consequences for workplaces that don’t take action,” she said.

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

The move comes against the backdrop of a global conversation about sexual harassment and abuse, triggered by revelations of misconduct by Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein. New Zealanders are among those worldwide who have shared their stories in the #metoo and #timesup movements.

Creation of the register is being welcomed by Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue, who said she approached MBIE about collating national data on sexual harassment several years ago.

And what will be recorded in this register? Will the data be secure? Who gets to decide who and what goes on the register?

This whole exercise has now become the modern-day equivalent of a witch hunt with people being accused, often without a shred of evidence, of the most appalling things.

Normal rules of evidence and justice just seem to have been hurled out the window, often by the very people who have accused other governments of overstepping their mark with regards to spying, privacy and surveillance.

Now they want to establish a register of sexual misconduct.

Obviously, child poverty has been solved. Housing is all sorted. Health is perfect, operations are being performed over and above that which are budgeted for. We’ve got plenty of those new cops on the beat and Shane Jone’s billion trees are all planted. In Auckland, poos pouring on to our beaches has clearly been solved if the government can waste time and money on doing things like this.

This is the thin end of the wedge right here, poking into your nether regions.

Do you trust your government to use such a register wisely? Do you trust civil servants to do likewise?

I certainly don’t. The next thing we will see is the government move the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defence in sexual cases. The presumption of innocence will be eroded by registers like this.

 

-Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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