Men’s group bumped off the green
May 2, 2017
A men’s group has laid a complaint with the Human Rights Commission after the Miramar Golf club cancelled its venue booking for a men’s rights conference.
Masculinist Evolution New Zealand (MENZ) was forced to change the location of its annual conference after the golf club said it was “not comfortable” hosting the event.
In an email exchange with MENZ spokesperson Kerry Bevin, the club said it had received feedback from some members and the board had made a decision to cancel the booking.
Miramar Golf Club general manager Garry Smith declined to comment on the matter.
Bevin has laid a complaint with the commission on two alleged breaches: political and gender discrimination and denial of contracted goods and services.
Bevin said he believed the group was setback $10,000 and has requested some compensation and an apology.
It was the second forced venue change. The event was cancelled from its original venue at the Parliament Grand Hall when host MP Kelvin Davis was called out of the country.
The conference went ahead as scheduled on the April 6 at the Registered Master Builders Association boardroom.
The MENZ conference was titled “male well-being and gender-equality” and featured lectures on male suicide rates, shared parenting laws and feminism and rape culture.
Guest speake,r New Zealand Centre for Political Research director Muriel Newman, told the conference there was a desperate need for shared-parenting laws in the Family Court.
“The Family Court is a closed-circuit that brutalises families,” she said.
University of Canterbury criminology professor Greg Newbold praised the positive role of feminism in raising consciousness of rape, but said the ideology sometimes goes “too far”.
“All I’m saying is don’t get too carried away and start tampering with the onus of proof. Rape is a serious problem but falsely convicting someone of rape is an equally serious problem therefore the standard of proof has to remain,” he said.
He said he did not identify as a “badge-wearing masculinist” but rather attended the conference to encourage open debate.
“What Muriel said was fantastic and before that, there was a great talk about male suicide and how male suicide isn’t taken seriously.
“There is more male suicide than there are road deaths in New Zealand and we have so many campaigns about road deaths but no campaigns about male suicide,” Newbold said.