Ministry for men on political radar screen – Tamihere
By HANK SCHOUTEN
A ministry of men’s affairs could be set up to deal with serious men’s issues, says Youth Affairs Minister John Tamihere.
He was commenting on a call to set up a ministry made by organisers of a men’s rights picnic that marked Father’s Day with a protest at Parliament yesterday.
“I think the concept of a men’s affairs ministry is on the radar screen,” Mr Tamihere said. “I think we’ve got to have a far more intelligent conversation about men’s health, welfare and performance issues generally.”
Asked why there were ministries for women, youth, families, even horse racing, but no ministry for men, he said: “(We) men have let ourselves down by not raising topics like this.”
He was worried that young men had higher suicide and crime rates and poorer educational performance than young women, he said.
“If it was an ethnic minority suffering these difficulties, we would be moving pretty rapidly.”
Mr Tamihere agreed with those who had concerns about the way men were treated by the Family Court.
“I think the Family Court system needs to look at itself in regard to men’s access rights. Just one allegation against a bloke and he’s on supervised access.”
Speaking at the Father’s Day protest picnic yesterday, Union of Fathers national president Jim Bagnall said a ministry was needed to advocate on behalf of men in all sorts of areas, such as family court, health and education.
The group had 400 members nationwide. The picnic was attended by 20 people, including children, he said.