MEDIAWATCH: Spinoff laments no convictions of poorly judged Conversion Therapy Law


Revealed: the conversion therapy prosecutions since legal ban kicked in

In the 15 months since the Conversion Practices Prohibition legislation came into force, no legal action has been launched under either the criminal or civil strands of the law. The Human Rights Commission cautions that there is no cause for alarm, but some are concerned about a lack of police initiative on one hand and a “bureaucratic jungle” on the other.

Police had not received any complaints nor launched any investigations, detective inspector Warren Olsson told The Spinoff in response to an official information request. For its part, the Human Rights Commission said it had received 33 inquiries, but none has been formally escalated into the civil redress process. 


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When I first heard about the Conversion Therapy Law, I imagined an exorcism with an old Priest and a Young Priest spraying someone with holy water while crying, “The power of Christ compels you’, and I agreed, that would probably be a wee bit traumatising, so sure, that should probably be a situation where you make it illegal to charge money for a service like this, but it turned out that the threshold for ‘Conversion Therapy’ was micro aggression snowflake trigger level…

Conversion therapy ban: Advocates fear prosecution threshold in law banning conversion practices is ‘unattainable’

The Government has unveiled its long-awaited legislation banning gay conversion therapy, but advocates fear the prosecution threshold is “unattainable”.  

The law change will make it illegal to carry out conversion practices if they cause serious harm, and those who break the law could face prison sentences of up to five years

Shaneel Lal was told they could be changed.

“A church leader walked up to me and offered to pray my gay away,” Lal told Newshub. 

Paul Stevens had an experience too. 

“I was told that there was fundamentally something wrong with me and that through counselling and through talking through the issues as they saw them, that I would be able to change my sexuality.”

The practice, called conversion therapy, is considered junk science and can be incredibly harmful. 

…so their threshold for activating this law to throw a person in jail FOR FIVE YEARS is not a ceremony or period of brainwashing, it’s just a Priest coming up to you to say they will pray the gay away????

We on the Left are first to argue that prison is a violent counter productive organization and yet the second we have power to punish people for issues we hold dear we get all Caligula like with revenge fantasies!

5 years in jail for Gay Conversion Therapy? Sweet Jesus at Mardi Gras, that’s an eye watering State overreach of power for a practice that can’t be even be numerically quantified!

5 years for a religious teacher or acolyte who helps in a pray the gay away jamboree is martyrdom not reasonable punishment!

As far as I am concerned, anyone who believes in a magical flying invisible spell casting Wizard for their moral and ethical compass and uses that magical flying invisible spell casting Wizard to force a sexual orientation on another human being is fucking insane and incredibly damaging.

You can’t pray the gay ghosts away and anyone suggesting otherwise is a demented clown.

However, our own Ministry of Health questioned banning gay conversion therapy and that needs to be acknowledged and understood more because they claim criminalising this would be more detrimental…

Ministry of Health Advised No Ban on ‘Conversion Therapy’

Official advice to the Minister and Associate Minister of Health regarding ‘conversion therapy’ has revealed that a ban is not recommended.

Official Information Act requests show that in 2018, Associate Minister of Health and Green MP Julie Anne Genter was advised by the Ministry of Health:

“Due to the current protections that are in place, and the need to balance the rights of people with preventing harm, it is not recommended that a legislative ban of conversion therapy would be the most effective way to reduce the harm it causes…”

The ministerial advice also notes that people have the freedom to willingly engage in the practice, that protections already exist in the health sector, and that a ban “could be inconsistent” with the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990 “which provides for rights of assembly, free speech and rights to freedom of religion”.

…are we saying an adult who chooses to pray the Gay away is not allowed to? Who defines the series harm to trigger a criminal act?

What if there is no malicious intent by the person doing the praying? What if they believe this garbage?

Now again, I think that person needs to seek actual counselling and real therapy to come to peace with who they are, but are we going to criminalise if people choose this hocus pocus?

Who will we be arresting here? The religious quack selling this nonsense or the person who assists?


I think Gay Conversion Therapy is crazy and harmful and stupid, but I think there are an enormous amount of things that are crazy, harmful and stupid that we don’t criminalise.

What I would hate to see is some religious nutter actively attempting to breach the law and becoming a martyr for this stupid cause.

I agree that the civil process via the HRC would be successful and a far better way to respond to this, but criminalising it with such extreme punishment is an enormous overreach.

What makes this even more concerning is the entire untested issue regarding puberty blockers and the way this law could be used to prosecute a parent who refuses to grant puberty blocker treatment…

Expert concerned Government’s planned gay conversion therapy law could criminalise parents

There’s concern parents could be caught out by the Government’s planned gay conversion therapy law.

Under the Bill, they could face jail time if they stop their children from taking puberty blockers.

…this entire piece of legislation was a poorly thought out law that virtue signalled for a problem that didn’t actually exist. Watching The Spinoff lamenting the lack of prosecutions is like listening to the Salem Witch Trial begrudge running out of witches to burn.


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  1. The Conversion Therapy ban is the Ardern government in a nutshell. Couldn’t or wouldn’t do anything about the country’s real problems, invented pseudo-problems and pretended to solve them.

    As for 5 years in the slammer – that should be reserved for the medical professionals who are mutilating the bodies of confused teens in the name of radical gender ideology.

    • Exactly! The UK has disbanded the Tavistock clinic because they were doing demonstrable harm to kids, were anti gay, and had no evidence base behind their medical practices. Meanwhile in NZ we have a much higher conversion rate than event the UK! I mean, wtf?
      This is why that psycho Lal is pushing this law to be widened – he’s afraid that we will regulate this rush to irreversibly damage kids into being Trans.

      • he needs his support based widened to keep raking in the $. Heaven forbid he should get a real job.

    • Pope P Agree, but what about the gender ID ideology being pushed into the school system and sexualising, confusing, and worrying innocent children ? It’s indefensible, and downright bad, and the Dept of Education bureaucrats peddling this potentially very damaging scenario are unlikely to ever have to explain themselves or to be called to account. They should be.

      • Quite agree SW – happy to send them to the slammer for 5 year too.

        The term “gender whisperer” is so appropriate. “Pssst! Maybe you were born in the wrong body”.

        • Pope P. A girl gets a crush on Cathy, captain of the hockey team, and is told or wonders if this is because she’s really a boy, and ends up taking irreversible medical steps to become one. A boy is attracted to another boy, and is lead to think he must really be a girl, and takes sometimes terrible steps to become one. In both cases it may be nothing very much at all, or they may simply be lesbian or gay.

          But throughout the western world, and here in New Zealand, the transgender ideology, with no medical or scientific basis, can take over, and massively exacerbate or cause tragic mental health issues. Parents with misgivings about their underage children being subjected to damaging medical procedures can now be imprisoned under New Zealand law.

          As an erstwhile educator, and mother and grandmother of biological females, I share Kelly-Jay Keen’s concern about the genderID programs being promulgated in our schools. This shouldn’t be interpreted as anti- trans, because it isn’t, even though some politicians and irresponsible media tried to present Keen’s “Let women speak” campaign as such. It was pro-women.

          The unfortunate anti-trans backlash in the wake of Albert Park 25/3/23, is the fault of the transgendered persons who bullied and physically attacked women, and did succeed in shutting them up. Some allegedly received tax payer or rate payer funded support to do so.

          The Spin Off may have seen all this as an expression of “ pure trans joy”, and various politicians did say that it was a celebration of love and inclusiveness, but they were wrong, and IMO, sick in the head in interpreting thuggery and censorship and silencing women in this way.

          The Auckland police allegedly stating, 25/3/23, that it’s not their job to protect women, is either very chilling, or stupid, or both.

  2. Welcome to the World of the Woke.
    What’s next – A couple of years in prison for mis-gendering or using the dead-name?

    In reality no-one would go to prison for misgendering but the Police would visit your home to interview you then give the illegal ‘Formal Warning’ they have been handing out.

  3. Lack of prosecutions probably indicates a lack of offences. Something unfortunate which allegedly happened to gay Green supporters is not necessarily indicative of the wider community in contemporary New Zealand where being gay is no big deal. It’s not like eg domestic violence where the police face multiple call-outs daily, or child abuse with it’s more voiceless little victims where just existing can be risky.

  4. A bit like the anti-smacking legislation. Pointless law that just makes people feel righteous.

    • Nothing like it actually. Sue Bradford’s “Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill” supported by John Key in the end, essentially removed a defence for child bashing under Section 59. A light correction to stop a kid burning themselves or whatever was never the intention but the media and various right wingers went apeshit on it.

    • Andrew. Disagree. The ‘anti-smacking’ legislation got a message thru’ that violence to children is unacceptable. I think that we lead the OECD with our shocking baby and child abuse and killings,but there are still people who argue that parents have the right to do what they like to their children, and Dr Sue Bradford is still vilified for a much needed law, which wouldn’t be needed in a decent healthy society, and which had cross-party support; best thing John Key ever did was to support it. Bradford will be imbedded in our history books for her action here.

      • Snow White, what is your evidence that the smacking ban “got a message thru” to it’s target audience? Has child abuse declined since this legislation was brought in? And seriously, what does John Key’s support prove?

        We already had laws to punish parents who assault their children – as opposed those who administer an occasional light smack on the bottom to point their 4-yr old in the right direction.

  5. A church group once laid hands on me and prayed that my shoulder problem would go away.
    It worked.
    The specialist doctor found a spot for me on his surgery roster and a miracle followed.

    Christian philosophy(ies) shares many ideas that underpin woke philosophy.

  6. This bill is not to prevent the praying the gay away- which has happened when the last time in NZ? 15 odd years ago? This bill is to prevent parents from keeping their kids from going down the medicalization path that is transgenderism as has happened in the US, OZ and Canada.

    Cause ‘conversion therapy’ in this case does not apply to the gay boys and girls, but it applies to ‘trans children’.
    It is conversion therapy to not have them go down that path of lifelong medicalisation that is irreversible and in some/many cases is regretted bitterly later in life. Once you remove the sexual organs you can not undo what is done. Once you block a puberty in kid at Tanner 1 that kid is castrated. One you remove the gonads, that kid is requiring hormones for the rest of their life. Once you remove the uterus that kid goes into menopause and is requiring hormones for the rest of their life.
    This article from the Daily Fail refers to Marcy Bowers, transwoman who is a specialist in neo – vaginas who states quite clearly that puberty blockers will chemically castrate boys if given at an early stage. But we know that cause we used the same drugs on Turing – chemically castrated for being a homosexual, and for prostate cancer patients who all are quite open about the side effect of these drugs, that essentially are now given off label to kids who wanted to play with the doll, truck, wear the frilly dress of the pants, and that was teh sign for their parents that they are of the opposite sex.
    The kindness, is slaying kids the western world over.

    • Interesting that the Victorian Labour government seem to be all for it, and with bipartisan support from the useless Liberal Party – to the extent that they’ve passed a bill making it a crime for medical professionals (and probably anybody) to try and persuade people to not undergo trans drugs & surgery if they think they’re the wrong gender.

      And yes, that includes children who think they might be trans.

      • And that, ladies and gentlemen, is “progressive” politics in the 21st century.

      • Another thing Russia were right about and vilified for in the “Civilised” West”: blocking transgenda propaganda targeting minors. Ahead of their time. Yet, the uproar.

    • 100% Bratwurst

      The law attempts to criminalise parents or medical professionals who do not immediately affirm the delusions of the gender cult. Apparently allowing natural, healthy adolescence is a hate crime.

      It means that exploratory therapy cannot proceed and underlying pathologies go ignored. New Zealand gender docs are now handing out dangerous sterilising drugs like candy.

      It’s a chilling move against therapeutic interventions in the middle of a mental health crisis.

  7. Well, it looks like it can be extended to the question “Are you sure?”, that could also get some prosecutions.

    • So Spinoff is correct.
      If the government sets a metric I am sure the police can use your advice and meet that metric.

  8. There is very little evidence of attempted Gay Conversion being a significant problem in NZ.

    I followed some of the Select Committee process, and it seemed pretty clear this is a trojan horse pro trans Act to stop intervention by parents, medical opponents, or caregivers in child/teen transitions and drug treatment.

    Let me state also, I support full rights for all sectors in society apart from Nazis. I marched for homosexual law reform, and gay rights in the 80s. Trans people deserve to live their lives unharrassed.

    BUT some Trans Activists are alienating a lot of people that could be allies with their anti woman activities.
    If men with dicks want to be women good on them–but they are actually Trans Women if you have any respect for science–and need to be aware of all the struggles half the population including lesbian women had to go through in previous decades to gain some rights at least.

    • “Real women” are now a subset of “Women”. Identified variously as “CIS Women” or “Gay Women” but sharing the overall title of “Women” with the revolutionary new “Trans Women”

      • Reminds me of the Ricky Gervais skit where he says “Oh those old fashioned women, you know the ones with wombs. Dinnasours! I like these new women, the one’s with cocks and balls”

    • These days they would fill him up with drugs, castrate him and give him a reverse tuck.
      Who are the “converters” now?

    • How’s your guy in Gisbourne going with getting the police to prosecute that 70 year old woman in Albert Park for throwing the first punch????? Nothing I hear…………………………….

  9. a quota of convictions is something as far as I’m aware was only ever applied during stalins purges…

    • Exactly acies.

      When the lesbians are kept out of the indoor Pride event with security guards and police by the Trans Rights activists, surely thats when you start to query this authoritarian movement

      • Anker. Why biological women who are lesbians, were regarded as having fewer human rights at Albert Park than transgendered women, is certainly a puzzle. Why an event aimed at giving Kiwi women voices was used to silence women, is also odd.

  10. I suppose you cant always be happy all of the time, eh?

  11. How about those who convert “gay” children into transgender by use of drugs and surgery.
    Surely this is the mist extreme form of gay conversion therapy and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, at least 5 years in the slammer!

    • Grumpy. What about the school teachers telling young children that just because they have a penis or a vulva doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a boy or a girl, and that there are many other genders? That’s far too big a concept do be dumping on children, and is highly medically dubious anyway.

      Small wonder that there are not enough child psychologists to meet the growing demand from kids needing help. Small wonder this government decided to dump the Commissioner for Children when they created this disturbing mess in the first place and for no good reason whatsoever. A tidal wave wiping out the Education Department could enhance the health and wellbeing of all of our children more than any meds or chats with shrinks might. Good governance could too.

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