Make Sexual Consent Education Mandatory In NZ Secondary Schools

Make Sexual Consent Education Mandatory In NZ Secondary Schools

2,389 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
Petition to
New Zealand Ministry of Education and

Why this petition matters

Started by Mia - Nina Adams

Last year when I was in year 12, my school like many others did the Love’s Me Not Program. This story had such a large impact on many people in the room, but for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately, by the time we were hearing about the story of Sophie Elliott, many people in the room had been victim to similar situations and it was already too late to unteach what had been previously learned.

Sexual Consent is a topic that is necessary and should be mandatory within all secondary schools in New Zealand. It’s not good enough to have this topic as an ‘option’ for schools to pick and choose.

As of May 2021, less than 15% of schools within Aotearoa were using the government-funded program on sexual consent.

What we learn in our early years of schooling is what enforces our life values, and the lack of education around serious topics such as sexual consent effectively withholds a proper foundation to these learnings for the young people of Aotearoa.

“Children’s brain development is influenced by their experiences, so what happens can help or harm their well being…What is happening in the environment surrounding the child influences whether or not the pathway will survive or become redundant. The more a pathway is used, the stronger and faster it becomes.” - Learning and the brain | Te Whāriki Online (

An article from as recently as the 17th of February 2022, ‘My rapist was found not guilty’ provided insight into the fact that rape is still very prominent within New Zealand secondary schools, but also that once put through this trauma, people may be too afraid to come forward and speak, for fear of being told they’re a liar. Whilst little information is able to be released, this article focuses on the fact that the victim was a young girl still in school, who was told by a fully grown male lawyer “My client would say you asked for it…You're lying, aren't you…Do you have no morals…that you can get up here and lie in front of all these people?”. -


I’m proposing that the New Zealand Ministry of Education work in partnership with the White Ribbon Organisation to create a compulsory course that provides real knowledge on the purpose of sexual consent, the consequences, and the right sources of who to go to. 

This call was made by many in 2017, after male students at Wellington College made comments in which they not only condoned, but glorified rape. At the time, this outcry for action was met with a response from the then Minister of Education of how consent education would not be made compulsory in schools and is best left to families to teach. Research shows that sexual abuse towards young people is most likely to be perpetrated by a family member and that many young people will experience and/or witness family violence at home. This would indicate that the government cannot rely on family members to teach this kind of information, when they themselves may in fact be the perpetrators.

This is a topic that cannot be quickly taught in a year 10 health class, then forgotten about for two years. It’s something that needs to be taught at every year level. 

“The more we practice (including bad habits) the stronger the connection gets until the skill becomes automatic” - “

We also need to ensure that students are made aware of all the options and outlets they have available to them if they are affected by sexual assault. Programs such as ‘Mates and Dates’ should be funded to be readily available for all secondary schools in the country that wish to use the services they provide.

Waiho mā te whakamā e patu

2,389 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!