Equity in the News

Equity in the News is a monthly selection of equity-focused articles and stories from New Zealand and around the world.

December 2017- January 2018

Equity at Work

Combining Parenting and a Career

When Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her pregnancy in January, it was widely considered a boon for working mothers everywhere.

Given this recent news, it is timely to remind all staff that the University is committed to supporting parents as they work to maintain a meaningful career and meet their family commitments.

The Equity Office has a raft of information and support available, including the Combining Parenting and a Career toolkit.


Equity in the News

Summer has not slowed down equity-related news items. Amazon has launched a product in New Zealand that speaks Te Reo Māori, a report from female scientists say that there is a horrifying culture of sexual assault, and James Shaw blames New Zealanders “silly answers” for ruining LGBTI census. Other stories that have been making headlines include:

Attitudes to children with disability 'must change' Education HQ, 12 January, 2018
The Ministry of Education agreed to override zoning rules to help a pupil with autism move schools because of “almost daily” bullying at his previous school. Chief Human Rights Comissioner David Rutherford wants a proven bullying prevention programme to be introduced in more schools and says the statistics around bullying need to improve.

"The ongoing failure to address a problem that New Zealand children have identified as one of their greatest concerns is a national disgrace," he said.

The University has zero tolerance for any form of discrimination.

Find out how we support staff and students with disabilities .

10 years on from Human Rights Commission's inquiry into transgender discrimination NZ Herald, 22 January 2018

Ten years after the 2008 inquiry into Discrimination Experienced by Transgender People To Be Who I Am/Kia noho au ki toku ano ao it is unfortunate to report a lack of progress. Of the nine key recommendations and actions suggested to empower trans people, only one has been fully achieved. The Human Rights Commission has three workshops in the next two months to ask the wider LGBT+ community about their human rights and any recommendations or solutions they have.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports transgender staff and students.

PhD student finds Māori and Pasifika families have inequitable access to resources
Māori Television, 11 January, 2018

PhD student Rachel Brown is working with Ronald McDonald house and Starship to identify how services provided by District Health Boards can be better tailored to Māori and Pacific families. She says she has seen a number of families who lack understanding around health systems and processes.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports Māori and Pacific staff and students

Time's Person of the Year 2017 is 'The Silence Breakers' CNN, 6 December, 2017

Time magazine has named "The Silence Breakers," representing people who came forward to report sexual misconduct, as its Person of the Year.

“It's a recognition of the cultural reckoning this year and the #MeToo movement, which represents the people, mostly women, who have fuelled a worldwide discussion about sexual harassment and assault.”

Relationship violence of any kind is unacceptable at the University of Auckland. Read more .

To receive a monthly in-depth list of equity-related news from around the world, email us to be added to the database.

November 2017

Equity at Work


Last month, the New York Times wrote an article entitled Why ageism never gets old. Ageism is part of the University of Auckland’s Zero Tolerance campaign.

Find out more about how the University of Auckland supports Mature Age staff.


Equity in the News

Australia says “yes” to marriage equality, journalists refused to stop using Māori words and Iceland played host to a gender equality summit. November has been packed with equity-related news and events, including:

Same-sex marriage bill passes in Australian Senate (The Guardian, 29 November)

After 61.4% of Australians voted in favour of marriage equality, it paved the way for the Australian Senate to pass a same-sex marriage bill. After 20 previous attempts, it was the first marriage equity bill to pass either house of federal parliament. It will now go to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass and go into legislation before Christmas.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports LGBTI staff and students and join the University in celebrating Big Gay Out and the Auckland Pride Parade 2018.

Gender Equality summit in Iceland (ABC News, 29 November)

Over 400 women political leaders from around the world met for an annual summit to discuss gender equality inside and outside of the political realm.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports Gender Equality.

Auckland Council misses Māori wellbeing opportunities (RNZ, 28 November, 2017)

An independent review of Auckland Council has found that little has been done to improve outcomes for Māori since the last review in 2014. Reoccurring problems include underspending on budgets and over reporting on some expenditure.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports Māori staff and students

There's a need for more Pasifika teachers in Auckland, educators say (Stuff, 13 November, 2017)

Dr Tafili Utumapu-McBride from AUT’s School of Education says that to make an impact on the students of South Auckland, there needs to be more Pacific teachers and teachers who understand Pacific values.

Find out how the University supports Pacific staff and students

To receive a monthly in-depth list of equity-related news from around the world, email us to be added to the database.


October 2017

On October 5, the New York Times wrote an article exposing dozens of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein. Since then, the list has increased to 82 women. As well as dominating the headlines, it was the inspiration for the viral hashtag #metoo, highlighting that sexual assault is a common and worldwide problem.

It is timely to reaffirm the University of Auckland’s zero tolerance stance of any form of sexual assault or harassment towards its staff and students. See also the Prevention of Bullying and Harassment policy, Family Violence policy and Family Violence information and resources.

Other news that has made headlines both here and around the world include:

1. Sexists need not apply: publisher refuses to look at manuscripts addressed to “Dear sirs” (The Guardian, 28 September)

Tramp Press will no longer consider submissions from authors who assume they are men or only list male influences.

Find out how the University enhances Gender equality and educates about Unconscious Bias.

2. Discrimination harms children, not same-sex parents – study (Newshub, 23 October)

A new study released in Australia debunks one of the Vote No’s arguments against marriage equality. Research has shown that children raised by same-sex parents do just as well as those raised by opposite sex parents.

Find out about how the University supports the LGBTI community and Combining Parenting and a Career.

3. Māori businesswoman bringing culture to boardrooms (Newshub, 1 October)

Precious Clark runs Te Kaa where she teaches business people about all aspects of Māori culture, including correct pronunciation of Te Reo and understanding tikanga.

Find out about how the University supports Māori staff and students.

4. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinds 72 guidance documents for rights of disabled students (The Daily Californian, 23 October)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has rescinded 72 guidelines that outlined rights for disabled students leading to concerns about decreasing support for students with disabilities.

Find out about how the University supports students with disabilities.

To receive a monthly in-depth list of equity-related news from around the world, email us to be added to the database.

September 2017

The celebration of Māori and Tongan language week, widespread public support for minimum accessibility standards in New Zealand, and opposition within the United States military to the pending transgender ban were just some of the Equity-related news in September:

1. Four in five NZers want accessibility standards – study (RNZ, 5 September)

80% of New Zealanders support setting minimum standards for disabled access for public areas and work places. Access Alliance spokesperson Amy Hogan describes the current situation as “pot luck” and enforceable standards being essential to allow those with disabilities to fully partake in society.

Find out about how the University of Auckland supports students and staff with disabilities.

2. Native Affairs – Racism in NZ (MTV, 26 September).
A recent unconscious bias in education report claims some teachers have lower expectations of Māori students and this may influence their achievement.

Find out how the Equity Office works towards combating Unconscious Bias

3. Universities celebrate Tongan Language Week together (RNZ, 7 September)
The University of Auckland and AUT joined together to celebrate Tongan language week.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports its Pacific students.

4. Google allowed advertisers to target racist words (Buzzfeed, 16 September). The world's biggest advertising platform allows advertisers to specifically target ads to people typing racist and bigoted terms into its search bar.

Find out about the University of Auckland’s Zero Tolerance for discrimination

5. Opposition within the US military to transgender ban (ATT: video, 18 September) Those who are currently serving in or who are veterans of the US military are voicing their disproval of President Trump’s move to ban transgender people enlisting in the military.

Find out how the University of Auckland supports transgender and gender diverse students and staff

To receive a monthly in-depth list of equity-related news from around the world, email us to be added to the database.