MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

First NZ Men’s Issues Summit 2005

Filed under: General — JohnPotter @ 9:10 am Fri 8th April 2005

You are invited and challenged to attend to the first ever gathering in NZ to address Men’s Issues.

This is a one day event which draws together a variety of perspectives on men, from academic to activist, from psychosocial to social service.

Its intention is to open up the full breadth of the issues for discussion, find common threads, and strategise ways to improve male well-being and relationship. We hope that it will spawn other related events.

For two decades men have been responding to the issues raised by a climate of social change in areas such as fathering, health, work and lifestyle, male violence and education. Little has been done however to draw those strands of endeavour together into a more integrated approach to the male condition. Policy on Men’s Issues in party politics, social services and government and has been either non-existent or incidental to other issues. Men have often been trapped by their own isolation, care for family, and dependency on others, and so neglected to advocate for themselves in a climate of gender change. Men’s need to examine their condition will benefit not only themselves but also their families and community.

This is a call to social services, policy writers, planners, politicians and men and women to consider the male condition and advocate for change. This is particularly a call to men come together in a spirit of creative change and advocacy for the betterment of all.

Welcome in anticipation,
Warwick Pudney

REGISTRATION FORM and more information at


1. Men in Policy and Politics
John Tamihere 9.20 – 10.00am
MP for Tämaki Makaurau, Former Cabinet minister, father and red-blooded male

2. Men’s Health
Bruce Mackie 10.00 – 10.40am
former director of Lifeline NZ and Lifeline Auckland, Counsellor and neuro-feedback therapist

Morning Tea 10.40 – 11.00am

3. Men and Violence – The Cost to Men
Warwick Pudney 11.00 – 11.30am
author, AUT lecturer and director of the New Zealand Violence Prevention Society

4. Men in Research – What needs researching and how?
Stuart Birks 11.30 – 12.00pm
Director, Centre for Public Policy Evaluation, Massey University

Lunch provided 12.00 – 12.45pm
Entertainment 12.45 – 1.00pm

5a. Men and Work
Dr. Paul Callister 1.00 – 1.45pm
Consultant Researcher and Policy Adviser

5b. Men in the Social Services
Alan Blackburn 1.00 – 1.45pm
ManAlive CEO, Social Entrepreneur Scholarship 2004

6a. Fathers and Fatherlessness
Rex McCann 1.45 – 2.25pm
Author, Founder-director of Essentially Men

6b. Family Court – Marginalised Men
Jim Bagnall 1.45 – 2.25pm
Fathers’ Advocate

7a. Boys in Schools
Joseph Driessen 2.25 – 3.05pm
Former Associate Principal of Wanganui High and consultant on Boys in Education

7b. Men Prisons and Community
Kim Workman 2.25 – 3.05pm
Former Assistant Secretary (Penal Institutions), Department of Justice, Head of the Prison Service and Deputy Director General (Mäori Health)

Afternoon tea 3.05 – 3.30pm

8. The Problems and the Possibilities of Advocating Men’s Issues
Philip Chapman 3.30 – 4.00pm
National President, NZ Father and Child Society, men’s health and fathering promoter.

9. Panel of speakers: Summing up discussion and recommendations for a strategy
Facilitated by Warwick Pudney 4.00 – 4.30pm

Closure by Mayor Bob Harvey 4.30pm


  1. Well done chaps – great news . I would like to say I will attend, but I have judges list hearing Christchurch 1 Family Courthouse May 5th! (Self Litigant ).Guardianship Act 1968 S15 Burns v ?. As many of are well aware a court hearing can be is very stressful ,worse than any game of rugger I hav played – not kidding either! The judges are hoping I die before then.
    Carry on the good work as it is time for Fathers to stand up for what is our right! Take care -dad4justice

    Comment by Peter Burns — Fri 8th April 2005 @ 3:17 pm

  2. I am challenged by the lack of any apparent opportunity to discuss
    Domestic Violence in a Gender Neutral way.

    There appears to be programme of addressing Male Violence, and indeed
    one of the sponsors is an organization active in this field.

    Female Violence is a larger problem for men, because
    1 It is at least as common as male violence, as we all know-
    2 It is more likely to affect the children of the relationship
    3 There is a lack of support for men in this situation,
    4 There is even good evidence that female violence is automatically
    treated by the Police as if it were Male Violence, as alleged in
    certain recent cases.

    Please advise that this short-coming is to be rectified, before you
    can expect support from the Mens movement.

    Comment by John Brett — Sat 9th April 2005 @ 9:44 am

  3. Challenged to attend eh?
    Oh deary
    It’s interesting to see that it’s mainly the same old faces fronting on men’s issues.
    And after all those years where have we got to?
    Not far I fear.
    Men fill up our anger management programs, prisons and cardiac wards; our addiction and suicide statistics.
    They die earlier whilst working harder and paying more taxes.
    They are less likely to remain in contact with their children after a realtionship breakdown than are the mothers.
    Thier own sex specific cancers are overlooked.
    Policy input from them is routinely marginalised or completely ignored.
    They are now less likely to marry and raise children than previous generations of men.
    Media, academia and advertising often denigrates men without a second thought.
    It is indeed a very sad and perplexing situation.

    The inescapable conclusion I draw from all of this is that what’s been done for men over the years has been largely ineffective. That’s not being defeatist, mind you, but IMO simply grounded in reality.
    And as the old counselling maxim goes – “if what your doing isn’t working to get you the results you want, then you need to do something different”.
    I’m also aware that this group of conference speakers has been networking with one another for a long time. They haven’t just suddenly woken up in the same bed so to speak. From what I can tell they’re also mostly left leaning politically.
    So I’m going to be very interested to see if we end up with some blandly worded warm and fuzzy gliberalism. Or whether this group can rise to the challenge and put some real solid markers with timeframes and specific social relations, health and wellbeing goals for men into it’s final statement.
    If it’s the former and not the latter outcome, I for one will think it’s been basically little more than a pinko-talkfest designed to quell male anxiety in election year, by making it look like something is being done for men. And given all the yabbering these guys have been doing to one another over the years, I won’t swallow the excuse that one day together in the same room wasn’t enough to achieve a robust coherant timeframed policy statement.
    Gentlemen, I believe the ball is now in your court.
    Stephen Gee.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Sat 9th April 2005 @ 12:33 pm

  4. John, when you complain about the:

    “lack of any apparent opportunity to discuss Domestic Violence in a gender neutral way.”

    you are not wrong – the small amount of advertising released so far does not emphasise this particular issue.

    There are many other important and contentious issues facing men (such as prostate screening for example) that likewise have not been specifically mentioned. The venue is limited, time is short, organising is largely voluntary, resources are limited. Perhaps it can be done better next year…?

    I personally think it is time men’s and fathers’ groups stopped positioning themselves “outside” the tent and started becoming actively involved in the on-going process of developing social policy. One of the aims of this Mens Summit is to publish the papers delivered as a refererence which will have to be taken into account by the drafters of future rules and regulations.

    The number of effective men’s advocates is few, and I suggest that requiring ideological purity will prove counter-productive to advancing the cause.

    Comment by JohnP — Sat 9th April 2005 @ 12:39 pm

  5. Good grief John!

    ‘The venue is limited’ – Come on! How limited is a plush city council premises venue with guys toting cellphones, computers and PDAs connecting to the outside world? Duh.

    ‘Time is short. Let’s wait another year’ – Yeah right. Most, if not all of these guys have been jabbering to one another for years! Holy Moses. IMO it’s more accurate to say ‘time is long overdue for these guys to finally get thier shit together’.

    Organising is voluntary – Wakey, wakey. Smell the coffee. These dudes I know in this gang are PROFESSIONAL men’s advocates and politicians. As voluntary as the Business Rountable! How much will get written off as tax exempt ‘expenses’ is probably more to the point IMO.

    ‘Resources are limited’ – Oh my God! Please pass the bucket! I’m gonna wretch! Just look at the rollcall and add up the dolleros. This is’n’t Sudan. This is upper middle NZ we’re talking about here.

    ‘it’s time men’s and fathering groups stopped positioning themselves outside the political tent’ – Astounding twaddle. For years these groups have been actively excluded by the socialist feminist lace curtain (media/academia/political nexus). Want examples? Just ask.

    Wow! Shockingly disappointing.

    Stephen Gee

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Sat 9th April 2005 @ 2:49 pm

  6. Stephen asks:

    SG: How limited is a plush city council premises?

    I’ve been told the limit is 175- probably due to fire regulations.

    SG:venue with guys toting cellphones, computers and PDAs connecting to the outside world?

    I must confess I will be carrying a PDA, and hopefully I’ll be accompanied by someone with a video camera, and if all goes well we might find a way to get some footage to those of you in the outside world. Why is this a bad thing?

    SG:IMO it’s more accurate to say ‘time is long overdue for these guys to finally get thier shit together’.

    “These guys” is us – and I think if we are getting our shit together that is surely a reason for celebration rather than criticisim.

    SG:These dudes I know in this gang are PROFESSIONAL men’s advocates and politicians.

    Which ones would they be?

    SG:Just look at the rollcall and add up the dolleros.

    I have limited knowledge of the finances, but I would be prepared to bet the budget is less than 10% of a similar conference being held soon:

    SG:For years these groups have been actively excluded by the socialist feminist lace curtain

    And that is about to change – look what is happening accross the ditch. The door is opening, and we shouldn’t waste energy arguing about who is worthy to pass through.

    Comment by JohnP — Sat 9th April 2005 @ 5:07 pm

  7. John,
    To hopefully make myself perfectly clear…………..
    A plush city council premises with 175 guys attending a men’s conference, listening to a speaking list of largely upper-middle NZ guys who’ve been discussing men’s issues with one another for many years is IMO immense in it’s potential to bring about positive change for NZ men. If…
    with all the telecommunications technology to hand and unified solidarity of purpose it creates clear timebound policy objectives and strategies – which then get widely disseminated nationally and internationally.
    However, looking at the political leftness of the speaking lineup, and with it being election year, I have my suspicions it’s going to be hijacked and end up little more than an ineffectual warm and fuzzy gabfest pretending to be taking solid action on behalf of NZ men.
    Reponding to some of your comments
    – Getting our shit together is IMO reason for both criticism AND celebration.
    – All of the speakers apear to be professional in the sense that they derive at least part of if not all of thier income from advocating for men and taking political action.
    – The speakers appear to be largely upper middle NZ with lots of dolleros between them, and friends who have lots more.
    – I didn’t know of the Women’s conference so wasn’t financially comparing the two in my last posting.

    – IMO recent positive happenings for men in Oz aren’t, and won’t translate as quickly to the same thing for NZ men, unless NZ guys can emulate Oz men’s stridency and collective bonding. As the old adage goes – ‘United we stand, divided we fall’. Hence my call, hopefully more clearly stated this time. And all the more so in election year. Squander this opportunity and I fear another 4 years of anti-men, anti- heterosexual family, socialist-feminist government – a nightmarish prospect.

    Stephen Gee.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Sun 10th April 2005 @ 5:18 am

  8. Gentlemen, I believe the ball is now in your court.

    Your Court? Surely its our court? It up to all of us to make some change, somewhere, somehow, big or small. It all goes into the pot.

    I dont think your negative defeatist attitude is reqd here SG.

    Comment by Mark Lloyd — Sun 10th April 2005 @ 7:55 am

  9. My Court? Less and less as time goes by, and I watch on in perplexed amazement from overseas.

    Call me a Negative Defeatist all you like. I still challenge those guys remaining in NZ to get thier shit together. And I still question whether those left leaning can deliver for men, given Labour’s domination by fems.
    Bear in mind I’ve also seen years of factional infighting in the Men’s movement in NZ. Guys scrapping for pieces of the pie, and look what it’s allowed to occur – a bunch of feminazzi cronies and thier lackies holding the reighns of power.

    Incidentally I’m not the one living in misandric NZ which I’m embarrassed to say appears to be something of a laughing stock amongst men internationally. Sorry, but sadly someone had to break that to you. I had the sense and fortune to find somewhere else to hang my hat. That’s not a defeat in my book. It’s a bloody great success!

    Cynical, Yes.
    However I stand by what I said peviously.

    Stephen Gee

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Sun 10th April 2005 @ 12:13 pm

  10. I agree with you completely Steven. But John Potter also has a point- the FIRST Men’s Summit occurred last year at Taupo, and achieved NOTHING, nobody noticed that it even happened, and no manifesto was ever written. This event HAS profile, WILL be noted, WILL have outcomes.
    It may have been organized by PC Groups- but hopefully will be dominated by the real Mens activists. I wait for a reply to my query from the organizers.

    Comment by John Brett — Mon 11th April 2005 @ 8:54 am

  11. [John] Brett,
    We’ll see whether my suspicions are right or not. I agree it will have profile. Given the parliamentarians and other high fliers amidst it’s ranks. And that’s what I worry about too. That it simply gets reduced by labourites to a warm fuzzy soundbite sop which in effect does sweet FA for men – AGAIN!
    If as I suspect it fails, what will come in it’s wake is a whole lot of grass roots innitiatives from guys who see the top table and thier methods aren’t delivering for them.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Mon 11th April 2005 @ 11:18 am

  12. Hi ,
    Most of the comments criticising the Summit to date do have some substance to them, as would any event that anyone organised. Who is represented, age, ethnicity, setting, this is unavoidable.

    The comments about the violence are inaccurate. The thrust of my address will be primarily about men as victims. However men are victims of male violence more than female violence. When we stop attacking and damaging each other we will begin to address our isolation and get ahead on the many issues that we are disadvantaged in.

    You are welcome to have a go at me after the event if you feel I missed your particular issue but otherwise come and see for yourself.
    Regards Warwick

    Comment by warwickpudney — Mon 11th April 2005 @ 8:33 pm

  13. Dear Warwick- thank you for responding.
    I re-iterate my original points:
    Female Violence is a larger problem for men, because
    1 It is at least as common as male violence, as we all know-
    2 It is more likely to affect the children of the relationship
    3 There is a lack of support for men in this situation,
    4 There is even good evidence that female violence is automatically
    treated by the Police as if it were Male Violence, as alleged in
    certain recent cases.
    The “Protection Racket”, the sentancing of good, peaceful dads to ‘Anger Management” courses, and denying parenting contact, This is the Extremist position, this is the source of this division. Without this extremist racket, this division would not exist.
    Change is needed- this is one thing which must change.
    Regards John Brett

    Comment by John Brett — Mon 11th April 2005 @ 9:16 pm

  14. Warwick,
    Wow! what an alarming commentary!
    Sure, officially recorded violence perpetrated against males shows as done mostly by other males. However I fear you seem to offer a superficial, and left on it’s own, dangerous analysis. And to boot overlook key considerations which play right into the hands of socialist feminists – who make thier way in life with a gender-class analysis that demonises men whilst angelising women.
    I’d flesh out your statement considerably.
    For starters I’d add that allot of the violence perpetrated by men against one another is encouraged by women. That doesn’t get men off the hook as far as taking personal responsibility for thier violence towards other men is concerned. But it does mean that there are sanctioning supporters/conspiritors of violence who uphold it’s taking place.
    In addition IMO there are many guys who are so addicted to women that they’ll unwittingly shaft other guys whilst in effect calling it virtuous chivalry – IMO the NZ abuse/anger management industry has been, and for all I know still is, riddled with these guys – and many women have come to intuitively known this and play on it.
    Then there’s the ever burgeoning unrecorded acts of violence against men. As NZ still holds to the anachronistic and misandric paractice of recording ‘Male assault female’ but has NEVER in several decades recorded it’s equivalent opposite ‘female assaults male’ there is affectively no way of measuring the amount of actual female violence against men.
    Add to that the consideration that some women can and will resort to emotional violence (false allegations, scuttlebutt, inuendo, privately delivered but publically denied threats) all much harder to disprove and far easier to hide than physical abuse. Then let’s consider the very real violence that’s been perpetrated in open daylight with regular newspaper and magazine articles, and TV programs which routinely denigrate males.
    That’s compiling a very different picture than the apparently superficial comment you’ve posted.
    I believe it’s therefore entirely reasonable to say that NO-ONE can state uniquivocally that males are more often violent to other males than women are as you have.
    Yes, men will get ahead by breaking out of thier isolation when they stop attacking and damaging each other. Your comments leave me feeling precisely that way as a man – attacked, damaged and sadly isolated (at least from you).
    Please desist and think some more.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Tue 12th April 2005 @ 12:46 am

  15. Adendum to last posting – My apologies for any misunderdtanding caused in my last posting. Where I have said that in my opinion women’s emotional abuse ‘is much harder to DISPROVE than physical violence’ I meant to say ‘it’s much harder to PROVE and much easier to hide than physical violence’.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Tue 12th April 2005 @ 3:00 am

  16. Dear Warwick
    You are wriggling out of the issues I raised. The discussion was about RELATIONSHIP allegations (violence and sexual), and how this is the tool used to separate fathers from their families.
    We need to UNITE against this PROTECTION RACKET –
    or men are going nowhere.
    Don’t deflect the discussion into men vs men.
    Don’t talk about ‘divisiveness’ when it is you are part of the Protection Order racket doing the dividing.
    We have not been impressed by the outbursts of certain of your staff, claiming that ‘most men need Anger Management anyway’.
    Fathers have successfully appealed against directions to attend “Anger management” and “Supervised Access” as SENTANCES PASSED WITHOUT EVIDENCE OR TRIAL.
    As a suggestion, what about a ‘code of ethics’ so that Man Alive are not seen as complicit in breaking up families?

    Comment by John Brett — Tue 12th April 2005 @ 8:46 am

  17. John Brett,
    Sorry for confusing your name in an earlier post on this thread.
    Bingo. Right on the button mate. I agree 100% with what you’re saying above to Warwick P. Obfuscation through diversion doesn’t cut it with me either. I was there at Man Alive as an anger managemnt counsellor for approximately 2 years from 2000 – 2002 and saw it close up first hand. It was ugly and brutal. In fact I was the one who mightily upset most of the other counsellors there by telling all men directed to me for assessment for group counselling of thier legal right to appeal protection orders – and more to the point the specific method of appeal. I noticed almost NONE of them knew of this information until I spelt it out to them. To my horror when I informed staff at Man Alive that I was doing this most other counsellors told me they didn’t bother to do likewise because thier view was as you’ve stated – that ‘most men need anger management anyway’. I’m still appalled at the ingrained arrogance and misandry of that, and proud of the fact that I resigned shortly therafter in open disgust. Thereafter I was concerned enough to keep tabs on what was happening at Man Alive and was told by a worker there that what I’d been telling those men referred to me for assessment had quickly gotten around the local community. Men referred to Man ALive for anger management were then arriving at Man Alive informed (as they should have been in the first place but for a misandric family court failing in it’s duty to provide such information). They were then successfully appealing against UNCORROBORATED accusations of abuse and the numbers of men attending Man Alive’s anger management programs plummetted dramatically. Several of those working at Man Alive were clearly really pissed at me because I’d spoilt thier gravy train and made some enemies. Hey what’s new.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Tue 12th April 2005 @ 10:24 am

  18. Alan,
    Interesting that you missed me in all the two years I was at Man Alive. I never did see you visit the shop floor in all that time. And Warwick Pudney was absent much of the time touring the country pushing ‘Boys in schools’ etc. Not the most closely supervised organisation I’ve worked in! As I said to Warwick once – whilst the cats away the mice will play.

    You present a strikingly different impression from that which I experienced at Man Alive. I hope it’s actually gathered by being at the office.

    As for certain staff who were there during my stint not being pissed with me any longer – I prefer to see for myself just how forgiving people are, not secondhand.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Wed 13th April 2005 @ 11:30 am

  19. This was a good conference. Many worthwhile issues were raised and clarified.
    However, in the intervening years, lack of men working together has somewhat thwarted progress on these issues.
    Every single one of these topics is still a serious issue for NZ boys and men.

    Edited by STUART BIRKS
    If anyone would like to watch these speeches, let me know.

    Chapter One The State of Male Health 1 What can we do? Bruce Mackie
    Chapter Two Trends in Boys’ Education in New Zealand Joseph Driessen
    Chapter Three Gender and Power – Myths and Misuses Warwick Pudney
    Chapter Four Fathers After Separation: Promoting the Two Home Option Don Rowlands
    Chapter Five Fathers and Fatherlessness Rex McCann
    Chapter Six Men and Violence: The Cost to Men Warwick Pudney
    Chapter Seven New Zealand fathers: Overworked, undervalued, and overseas? Paul Callister
    Chapter Eight Men in Research Stuart Birks
    Chapter Nine Problems in Working with Men Philip Chapman

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 12th November 2016 @ 11:12 am

  20. Chapter Eight MEN IN RESEARCH By Stuart Birks see page 79

    It might be expected that this paper would consist primarily of a list of research topics on men’s
    issues. That would give a very narrow perspective. With the limited resources for research, it is
    important that they be used as efficiently as possible. The really important concern relates to the
    question, what information is influencing decision making? In other words, what information is
    available, and how is it being used? Are key points being disseminated? Often, the most
    important part of the research is the choice of questions to ask.

    There is little value in getting the correct answers to the wrong questions.

    Stuart’s word’s and warnings are as relevant today, as when he wrote them in 2005.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 12th November 2016 @ 11:20 am

  21. Videos are now on YouTube.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Sat 4th August 2018 @ 4:39 pm

  22. Great Work Murray

    Comment by JustCurious — Mon 6th August 2018 @ 1:10 pm

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