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August 6, 2018 | by  | in VUWSA | [ssba]

VUWSA

I got a letter from a Minister!
The “March on Midland” was epic. I’ll give you a brief run down. On Thursday 15 March 2018 over 300 students banded together to demand future workplaces that are free of sexual violence. The march was in protest of the sexual harassment and violence students, interns, and graduates are subject to within the legal fraternity and professional services. After the rally, we wanted to ensure that the momentum continued. We split off into various sub-groups (outreach, law firms, Government, and the Law Society).
I led the Government sub-group alongside my fellow law students, Amelia Vincent, Olivia Hyland, Jessica Sutton, and Odette Fordbrierley. With the help of our VUWSA president’s high up contacts, we put together a policy submission to CABINET!! (caps intended).
We campaigned the Government to change their procurement policy so that in order for companies to bid on contracts, they must have in place a sufficient sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policy. Such a policy will publicly affirm a commitment to fostering a positive workplace culture where employees are respected and valued. In addition, we suggested that a black asterisk could be used by companies to act as a confidence mark signaling presence of an appropriate sexual harassment policy.

Minister for Economic Development, Hon David Parker, responded to our proposal positively. Mr. Parker said that our proposal is in line with the Government’s re-introduction of the “four well-beings” to local government. Furthermore, Mr. Parker asked the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to undertake a programme of work to strengthen the Government’s procurement policy. He thanked us for taking the time to write the submission and commended the “Not Above the Law” campaign. But this is certainly not the end of the campaign.
Stay tuned!

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