The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec

The Press
June 10 1993.

Bank's campaign 'petty, vindictive'
by Peter Luke
in Wellington

The MP for Christchurch Central, Ms Lianne Dalziel, last night accused the Minister of Police, Mr Banks, of waging a "petty and vindictive campaign" that could only add to the woes of an already traumatised Christchurch.

She also accused the Minister of homophobia in response to a statement he made in Parliament yesterday.

Mr Banks earlier drew the ire of a Ministerial colleague for using the Ellis child sex-abuse case to further his own fight against homosexual law reform.

An Associate Minister of Health, Mrs O'Regan, who is leading the reform drive, immediately expressed outrage at the Mr Banks's link between the sexual abuse of children and homosexual behaviour.

Mr Banks said Ellis's conviction last week provided "some hard lessons for the supporters of the so-called Human Rights Amendment Bill and should stiffen resolve against it".

"Surely decent New Zealanders have learnt from the appalling saga of the Christchurch Civic creche. I cannot for the life of me understand why Parliamentarians are rushing to further liberalise unnatural behaviour with this misguided Bill which is soon to come back to Parliament."

Mr Banks also said it was time to stop "our nation's muddled infatuation with tolerance".

Ms Dalziel hit back, saying tolerance was what our society "should be built on".

The Bill as introduced does not ban discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Mrs O'Regan last year signalled her intention to include this in amendments MPs are expected to vote on next week.

She also wants a ban on discrimination on the grounds of carrying disease-causing organisms (such as HIV or hepatitis).

"No doubt there are paedophilics who are homosexual, but most paedophilics are heterosexual," Mrs O'Regan said yesterday.

"People need to be reminded that paedophilia is a crime. I know from my contacts with the gay community that homosexual people themselves are absolutely appalled at such behaviour.

"I would never, never support legislation that would see behaviour of this sort legalised, let alone promoted," she said.

Ms Dalziel joined the assault. "John Banks's attempt to smear all gays with the Ellis case is sick. In this case, Mr Banks is using a terrible example of child abuse to fight his private war against homosexuals," she said.

Ms Dalziel, a member of the select committee considering the Bill, is understood to be pushing for the amendment to be added to the Bill at the select committee stage.