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Empowering Men:

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A Ministry for Men (slightly edited and thirteen times updated)

Peter Zohrab 2019

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(This page originated as an Official Information Act request to the Minister of Justice, who passed on part of it to the Minister of State Services.)

 

Undated reply from Minister of State Services

My Telephone Call to Office of State Services Minister

Email from Office of State Services Minister

My Email to Office of State Services Minister

The Issue of the Undated Letter

Second Reply from Minister of State Services

Letter to Minister of State Services

Third Reply from Minister of State Services

My Letter to Ombudsmen

Reply from Ombudsmen

My reply to Ombudsmen

Second reply from Ombudsmen

My second Reply to Ombudsmen

Third Reply from Ombudsman

Email to Minister of State Services

Reply from Office of State Services Minister

Second Email to Office of State Services Minister

Second reply from Office of State Services Minister

Second reply from Office of State Services Minister

Fourth Reply from Minister of State Services

Second Letter to Minister of State Services

My Email to Ombudsmen

Fourth Reply from Ombudsman

state

 

Since his letter suggested that I might like to discuss this response with him, I phoned his office, requested a meeting with him to discuss the evidence to support the establishment of a Ministry for Men and also asked him where he had looked to find "evidence of existing or imminent issues or needs which require dedicated resources to address them" with respect to men (although I probably used different words).

 

This is the email which I received from his office in reply on 30th October 2018:

 

Dear Mr Zohrab,

Many thanks for your phone call requesting a meeting with Hon Chris Hipkins to discuss evidence to support the establishment of a Ministry for Men.

Unfortunately due to diary pressures we are unable to meet your request at this time. However, we will be in touch should this change.

Thank you for your understanding.

Regards

Megan Bray

Acting Private Secretary

*Megan Bray | Acting Private Secretary *

Office of Hon Chris Hipkins |**Minister of State Services

Mobile 021 872 329

 

Here is the reply which I emailed to his office (I have deleted some personal information which I included at the end of my email):

 

Subject: Re: Request for meeting with Minister Hipkins

From: Peter Zohrab <peter.zohrab@xtra.co.nz>

Date: 2/11/2018 3:09 a.m.

To: Megan Bray <Megan.Bray@parliament.govt.nz>, Christina.Connolly@parliament.govt.nz

 

Dear Megan Bray or Christina Connolly,

Thank you for your reply as to that question.

However, there were two questions which I put to you in my telephone call.  The other one referred to Mr. Hipkins' statement in his undated letter to me:

"I have seen no such evidence for the establishment of a Ministry for Men."

I asked, and I repeat the question under the Official Information Act:

Where did he look to find "evidence of existing or imminent issues or needs which require dedicated resources to address them" with respect to men (although I probably used different words)?

I ask that question because it seems to me that Mr. Hipkins is a sincere person, but it also seems obvious that he has devoted no effort whatsoever to actually looking for such evidence.  Moreover, if he has relied on the State Services Commission to provide such evidence, I can confidently advise him that the Commission is ideologically opposed to, and incapable of producing such evidence.

Such evidence is readily available, however.  If Mr Hipkins is unable to meet with me, could I please email him a selection of such evidence and ask him to comment on it, with repect to the need to set up a Ministry of Men's Affairs?

Mr. Hipkins' list of reasons for the existence of the Ministry of Women's Affairs itself is so one-sided and factually incorrect as to constitute "evidence of existing or imminent issues or needs which require dedicated resources to address" the rights of men.  He and the State Services Commission are subjected to one-sided advice from the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

I will close by saying that I have quite a lot in common with Mr. Hipkins, in that ... <SNIP>.

 

Regards,

Peter Zohrab

 

I mentioned above that I thought that Mr. Hipkins was a sincere person, but that is always a risky thing to assume with politicians! The sequence of emails below casts doubt on the integrity of Mr. Hipkins' office, if not on that of Mr. Hipkins himself. I had not received a reply from him within the period of time stipulated in the Official Information Act, so I contacted his office to say that I had not received it. The following email from his office, dated 29 October 2018, had his letter attached to it:

 

Dear Mr Zohrab,

 

Please find attached the letter of response to your question to the Minister of State Services about measures in place to create a Ministry for Men. I acknowledge and apologise that there has been a delay between the Minister signing this letter and it coming to you.

I am currently acting as the Minister’s Private Secretary for State Services and I haven’t been able to confirm whether the letter was emailed to you, or to explain why you haven’t received it. I do note there were two email addresses on your letter and I have sent this to both, just in case that was the problem.

My apologies again for this late response.

 

Kind regards,

Megan

*Megan Bray | Acting Private Secretary *

Office of Hon Chris Hipkins |**Minister of State Services

Mobile 021 872 329

 

 

I then emailed her as follows:

 

From: Peter Zohrab [mailto:peter.zohrab@xtra.co.nz]

Sent: Monday, 29 October 2018 3:21 PM

To: Megan Bray <Megan.Bray@parliament.govt.nz>

Subject: Re: FW: Letter to Mr Zohrab

 

Dear Megan Bray,

 

Thank you for your two emails, both of which I have received.

I am a bit surprised that the letter has no date on it. Do you have any comment on that, please?

 

Regards,

Peter Zohrab

 

I received the following reply on 1st November 2018:

 

Hello Mr Zohrab,

 

Letters are date stamped in the office once signed and ready to send. That suggests to me that the letter was signed and filed, without being stamped and forwarded to you. I apologise again for this oversight.

 

Regards,

Megan Bray

 

That may have been an oversight. However, someone in that office may have decided that they would avoid sending the letter to me, in the hope that I would forget to chase it up! Which of those two possibilities is more likely to be the truth of the matter will -- I think -- be indicated by Mr. Hipkins' response to my suggestion that I email him a selection of evidence on the need for a Ministry for Men and ask him to comment on it.

 

This is the response which I received:

 

 

Some time later (on 4th January 2019), I responded as follows:

 

The Need for a Ministry for Men

(Open Letter to the Minister of State Services)

Dear Mr. Hipkins,

I am writing to reply to your letter dated 22 November 2018.

With respect, it has been hard for me to decide how to respond to it, because it appears, at the very least, to contain many wrong-headed unspoken assumptions which are hard to guess at.

You made the following point in the above letter:

That I had engaged regularly with a number of government agencies “on this matter” and that you had received no advice from any of those agencies “that there are issues for men that would be better addressed by a dedicated Ministry for Men.”

You had previously made the following point in your undated letter:

“The Ministry for Women exists because there are still inequalities for women in many areas, which, as a nation, we need to address.” You then went on to mention the four issues of the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence.

“This Matter”

The first problem I have is with your phrase “this matter”. The matter which I wrote to you about was the need for a Ministry for Men, but I have seldom engaged with the Government about the need for a Ministry for Men – and certainly not “regularly with a number of government agencies”. Therefore, you must be using the phrase “this matter” to mean something like “aspects of men’s enslavement by the New Zealand Matriarchy”, which is certainly something that I have engaged regularly with a number of government agencies about.

Therefore, if you have received no advice from any of those agencies that there are issues for men that would be better addressed by a dedicated Ministry for Men, that could be partly because I have seldom raised this matter with them. When engaging with these government agencies about aspects of men’s enslavement by the New Zealand Matriarchy, I have been engaging with the very people who enslave men and love doing it – therefore it is hopelessly unrealistic for you write as if there is any expectation that they will ever recommend to you the formation of a Ministry for Men, which might make their job of enslaving men a bit more difficult!

Therefore, I urge you actively to seek out information on Men’s Issues which might collectively persuade you of the need for a Ministry for Men. There is a huge amount of information available on that topic, including my book, Sex, Lies & Feminism (free at http://blackribboncampaign.altervista.org/contents.html and in hard copy in a few New Zealand libraries) and the Men’s Rights Manifesto at http://blackribboncampaign.altervista.org/manifest.html .

“Because,” “Still” and “Need”

Your statement that “The Ministry for Women exists because there are still inequalities for women in many areas, which, as a nation, we need to address” contains the problematic words “because,” “still” and “need.”

1. Because. The Ministry for Women exists because of a political decision by a government to create it and the lack of any decision by a subsequent government to abolish it. You have stated (above) your reason for not abolishing it. Logically, you would be bound to create a Ministry for Men if you felt that there are (still) inequalities for men in many areas, which, as a nation, we need to address. That is why you need actively to seek out information on Men’s Issues

2. Still. This word implies that you are a believer in the Feminist religion, according to which men have ruled over women and discriminated against them. Read my book! I also point out that Feminism is not part of the New Zealand Constitution, which outlaws discrimination based on sex – including Feminist sexism.

3. Need. This word implies that there might exist inequalities which we do not need to address. It is certainly obvious that our Feminazi rulers are totally unimpressed by evidence of inequalities for men and are not in the slightest interested in addressing them.

Falsehoods

Your statement alleging inequalities for women as regards the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are false and prove that a Ministry for Men is needed to provide people like you with facts, in order to counteract women’s lies. There is plenty of information on these issues on my website: http://blackribboncampaign.altervista.org/index.html and I do not propose to turn this letter into a book in order to refute your false statements.

Official Information Request

Under the Official Information Act, could you please tell me what evidence you have that the issues (even if they were true) of alleged inequalities for women as regards the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are “better addressed by a dedicated Ministry” (to use your words)? Then we will know that you have objective criteria for your anti-male behaviour and are not just motivated by misandry (hatred of men).

Thank you in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

 

I eventually received the following reply:

 

 

I then (on 24th February 2019) wrote to the Ombudsmen as follows (slightly edited):

 

Dear sir/Madam,

 

Could you please investigate and review this reply from the Minister of State Services, because it does not answer my question.

The correspondence which I have been having with the Minister (see min4men.html) has centred on the issue of whether there is a need for a Ministry for Men. He has said that no official has advised him of any such need and he has also said that some specific issues constituted a need for a Ministry for Women.

So I asked him the following question:

"Under the Official Information Act, could you please tell me what evidence you have that the issues (even if they were true) of alleged inequalities for women as regards the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are “better addressed by a dedicated Ministry” (to use your words)?"

The point is to discover whether he has a real set of criteria for deciding whether a Ministry for Women or a Ministry for Men is needed and what that set of criteria is.

His answer contained a lot of irrelevant material and even the Ministry for Women's history page, which appears to be the most relevant, does not answer my question to the Minister as to why those specific issues require a dedicated Ministry, rather than being addressed by some other mechanisms.

If he has a real set of criteria, then I can submit to him a list of Men's Issues for him to apply those criteria to.

However, if he has no specific set of criteria for deciding whether a Ministry for Women or a Ministry for Men is needed, he should admit that fact.

 

Yours sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

I later received the following reply by email from the Ombudsman's office on 26 March 2019:

 

Dear Mr Zohrab

I am writing concerning your complaint about the Minister of State Services decision on your request for:

“…could you please tell me what evidence you have that the issues (even if they were true) of alleged inequalities for women as regards the so-called ‘gender pay gap’, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are ‘better addressed by a dedicated Ministry’…”

The Minister’s response directed you to a number of sources to find information around this issue, including details about the history of the Ministry for Women and the Ministry’s Statement of Intent. You have complained about this decision as you consider that the response does not answer your question as to why a Ministry is required.

At this stage I was hoping to clarify what your concerns are about the Minister’s response. As you may know, the OIA enables people to make requests for information which is held by those subject to the Act. The OIA is not, however, a mechanism to require agencies to enter into debates about the justification for decisions. You have asked the Minister for ‘evidence’ about whether these issues are better addressed by a dedicated Ministry. The Minister appears to have directed you to information which he holds that he considers is evidence of the need for a dedicated Ministry. While you may disagree that this is evidence, this does not necessarily mean that the Minister has not responded to your request in terms of the OIA.

Are your concerns that the Minister’s response is incomplete, in that other information is held by but was not considered for the request?

I understand that you may be looking for ‘criteria’ for why a Ministry is required to address these issues. If this is what you are seeking, then you may want to specifically ask for that from the Minister. The Minister is only required to provide information he holds, and he has directed to what you consider is information held within the scope of your request. Generally you can assume that if information is not provided in response to a request, then that information is not held (unless a response is incomplete, as mentioned above). If you are seeking confirmation that such a set of criteria is not held, you are able to ask for this.

I would be grateful for your comments on the above. I would appreciate these by 2 April.

Kind regards

Nick Kennedy

Senior Investigator

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata

Phone 04 462 7858; 04 473 9533 | Fax 04 471 2254

Email Nick.Kennedy@ombudsman.parliament.nz | www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

PO Box 10152, Level 7, SolNet House, 70 The Terrace, Wellington

 

I then replied by email on the 28th of March 2019 as follows:

 

Dear Mr.Kennedy,

 

Thank you for your email.

My question to the Minister contained the key phrase (which he had used in a letter to me): "better addressed by a dedicated Ministry". None of the documents he referred me to contained this vital phrase. I did not ask him to refer me to a compendium of complaints and concerns about so-called "Women's Issues".

The alleged issues might be dealt with separately in separate, relevant ministries. Having one dedicated Ministry might be regarded as a bit of flag-waving, indicating to women that they indeed deserved to have their cherished "oppressed" self-image and that the Government was doing something about their "oppression".

Indeed, the most relevant of the documents that the Minister refers me to (https://women.govt.nz/about/new-zealand-women/history/ministry) starts off by saying, "The decision to set up a Ministry of Women’s Affairs (now called Ministry for Women) arose from developments in the women’s liberation movement in New Zealand and the related increasing political power of women." This indicates that women became powerful and demanded a Ministry and therefore the Government gave them one.

That is incompatible with what the Minister had previously told me. He had told me that his criterion for deciding to establish a Ministry for Men would be "evidence of existing or imminent issues or needs which require dedicated resources to address them" (undated letter).

He is the one who first used the word "evidence", so I used it in my question to him. I could have used the word "information" instead of the word "evidence" but the meaning of my question would have been unchanged.

My question asks why an apparently haphazardly collected group of Women's Issues require a dedicated Ministry to deal with them, so that I can then apply the same standard, or criterion (to use your term) to Men's Issues which I could later enumerate and describe to him.

If the truth is that the Minister has information that the power of women is much greater than the power of men and if he has information that that is the reason why there is a Ministry for Women but no Ministry for Men, then he should have said so.

If women are much more powerful than men, then it is arguably men who need a dedicated Ministry, rather than women.

I am not debating anything with the Minister, although I might do so at some point in the future. I am merely asking him what the information is which he uses for his decisions. The information which he has provided has not answered my question and actually contradicts what he had told me earlier.

If necessary, I am prepared to ask the Minister further questions along the lines which you have indicated, but I do not think that that ought to be necessary. I have shown how he has not answered my question, which was quite specific, and I have shown that the information which he has supplied contradicts what he had said earlier. In my view, the Minister should admit that he has no relevant information with which to answer my question, if that is the truth of the matter.

 

Regards,

 

Peter Zohrab

 

I received the following reply from the Ombudsmen's Office.

 

Letter from Ombudsmen 29 March 2019, page 1
Letter from Ombudsmen 29 March 2019, page 2

 

I later replied by email on the 9th of April 2019 as follows:

 

Dear Mr. Kennedy,

 

Thank you for your letter.

I have complied with your suggestion and asked the Minister more specifically about the particular points at issue. Nevertheless I would like to take you up on some points which you make in your Analysis.

Please note that what I am doing here is debating with you. However, if you look up the word "debate" in the dictionary, you will see that I was not debating with the Minister. I have been accused before occasionally by your office of "debating" with Ministers, when I was doing nothing of the sort and I regard the accusation of "debating" to be an indication of bias by the relevant members of your Office. I have done some actual debating in the past, and I am quite clear that asking genuine questions which require genuine answers is not a form of debating.

At least, in a previous letter, you were kind enough to specify the evidence which you felt indicated that I was "debating", which consisted of my use of the word "evidence". I was therefore able to show that it was the Minister who first used the word "evidence" and that I could have used the word "information" instead of "evidence", without changing the meaning of what I was saying. It has been very frustrating, in the past, when the occasional member of your Office has accused me of "debating", without stating what their evidence was that I was debating.

Are you stating that the Office of the Ombudsmen has no jurisdiction or interest in the matter of whether the information which a Minister provides relates to the request that was made?

What is the relevant section of the Official Information Act, please? Could I ask for information about pigfood and be given information about horse-tails and you would consider that that was an appropriate response by the relevant Minister?

In the present case, none of the information supplied by the Minister contained the phrase "better addressed by a dedicated ministry" and the Minister is perfectly intelligent enough to understand that any answer by him would have to contain that phrase in order to be relevant to my request.

I have had plenty of OIA requests if the past where the Minister has replied that no relevant information was held. It is quite clear to me that you can see that it would be embarassing to the Minister to admit that he had no relevant information in this case and so you accused me of "debating" with the Minister in order to protect him from embarassment.

I hereby accuse you of bias. This has nothing to do with my views on the relative disadvantages of men and women. This has to do with your letting the Minister off the hook.

 

Yours sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

I then received the following reply from the Ombudsmen's Office:

 

Letter from Ombudsmen's Office 12 April 2019, page 1
Letter from Ombudsmen's Office 12 April 2019, page 2

 

I had meanwhile written again to the Minister of State Services on the 8th of April 2019as follows:

 

Dear Mr. Hipkins,

 

In a letter dated 4 January 2019, I made the following Official Information Request:

"Under the Official Information Act, could you please tell me what evidence you have that the issues (even if they were true) of alleged inequalities for women as regards the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are “better addressed by a dedicated Ministry” (to use your words)? Then we will know that you have objective criteria for your anti-male behavior and are not just motivated by misandry (hatred of men)."

In your reply, dated 21 Feb 2019, you made no reference to the crucial phrase in my question, which was “better addressed by a dedicated Ministry”. Instead, you referred me to some vaguely relevant "information publicly available."

First, therefore, under the Official Information Act, could you please clearly state whether you do or do not have information which specifically deals with the issue of whether (to use your words) the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are better addressed by a dedicated Ministry (for women)?

You stated in your letter dated 21 Feb 2019 that:

"the Ministry for Women's history page (https://women.govt.nz/about/new-zealand-women/history/ministry) outlines the reasons for their (sic) being a dedicated Ministry for Women (previously the Ministry for Women's Affairs)."

However, what that page gives as the main reason for there being such a Ministry is:

"developments in the women’s liberation movement in New Zealand and the related increasing political power of women."

Secondly, therefore, under the Official Information Act, could you please state what information you have that a Ministry for Men would only be established if there were significant developments in the men’s and fathers' movement in New Zealand and a related increasing political power of men (e.g. in the media and education system)?

 

Thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

 

Peter Zohrab

-- Hamill, Jasper (2019):
Men are more disadvantaged than women in the UK, US and most of Europe, scientists claim
Metro, 4 Jan 2019
https://metro.co.uk/2019/01/04/men-disadvantaged-women-uk-us-europe-scientists-claim-8309361/?fbclid=IwAR25tEoGQzI_J3LQpqsTqRGVcko0HI6SGXXhs3lQevs7DZQgI7EKXw09R6o

 

I then received the following reply from Mr. Hipkins' office on 8th April 2019:

 

Dear Mr Zohrab,

Thank you for your Official Information Act request to Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of State Services, requesting 'the evidence you have that the issues (even if they were true) of alleged inequalities for women as regards the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are “better addressed by a dedicated Ministry” (to use your words)? Then we will know that you have objective criteria for your anti-male behavior and are not just motivated by misandry (hatred of men).'

The Minister is considering your request and you can expect a response by Thursday 9 May 2019.

Kind regards,

Christina

Christina Connolly | Private Secretary| Office of the Minister of State Services, Hon Chris Hipkins
6.3 Executive Wing, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

 

Mr. Hipkins' office seems determined to prove to me that Mr. Hipkins is maximally hypocritical. She quoted back to me a question which the Minister had already replied to -- presumably so that the Minister could reply that he had already replied to it, instead of replying to the questions which I had actually asked him.

I replied as follows on 9th April 2019:

 

Dear Christina Connolly,

 

I am afraid you have misstated the nature of my Official Information request.

It had two parts and read as follows:

"First, therefore, under the Official Information Act, could you please clearly state whether you do or do not have information which specifically deals with the issue of whether (to use your words) the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are better addressed by a dedicated Ministry (for women)?"

and

"Secondly, therefore, under the Official Information Act, could you please state what information you have that a Ministry for Men would only be established if there were significant developments in the men’s and fathers' movement in New Zealand and a related increasing political power of men (e.g. in the media and education system)?"

 

Could you please make sure that the Minister is considering those two issues and not anything else?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Regards,

Peter Zohrab

 

I received the following reply:

 

From: Christina Connolly

Sent: Tuesday, 9 April 2019 7:38 AM

To: peter@zohrab.name

Subject: RE: OIA request re ministries for women and men

 

Dear Mr Zohrab,

 

My apologies - the response will include both parts of your OIA request, as outlined in your email below.

 

Best Wishes,

Christina

 

 

In due course, I received the following reply:

 

 

My first recourse was to the Ombudsman's office, but I later wrote to the Minister as follows:

 

17 August 2019

Hon. Chris Hipkins
Minister of State Services
Parliament House
Wellington

 

Dear Mr. Hipkins,

I refer to your letter dated 7 May 2019, which failed to answer the first of my two requests for Official Information. The paragraph of your letter which purports to answer that question, but in fact does not, states as follows:

In my response to you dated 21 February 2019 I provided you with the links to the website that contains information, that I am aware of, that specifically deals with the issue of whether the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence. The information captured in these links are (sic) about the subject topics, and do not outline the machinery of government requirements for these matters to be addressed.

Under the Official Information Act, therefore, could you please:-

  1. complete the first sentence so that the conjunction “whether” is actually followed by a verb at/near the end of the sentence, so as to make that sentence meaningful. As it stands, it is incoherent and conveys no information;

  2. state whether the words in your first sentence “information, that I am aware of” is intended to mean “all the information that I am aware of”;

  3. state whether the second sentence implies that you have no information about the machinery of government requirements for these matters to be addressed.

 

Yours sincerely,

Peter Zohrab

 

Meanwhile, I had emailed the Ombudsmen on 12 May 2019 as follows:

 

Dear sir/Madam,

Could you please investigate and review the failure of the Minister of State Services to reply to one of my two questions in a coherent manner? Given the manner in which he and his office have previously carried out the correspondence between us, I am not convinced that this failure is necessarily accidental.

My question was:

"First, therefore, under the Official Information Act, could you please clearly state whether you do or do not have information which specifically deals with the issue of whether (to use your words) the so-called “gender pay gap”, the number of women in leadership positions, family violence and sexual violence are better addressed by a dedicated Ministry (for women)?"

His response does not address the question at all. Moreover, it contains an incomplete/incoherent sentence, which contains the words "specifically deals with the issue of whether", but does not contain any verb which could complete the clause starting with "whether". If he was intending to address my question, I would have expected the missing part of the sentence to consist of the words, "are better addressed by a dedicated Ministry (for women)". However, it is not for me to put words in his mouth.

I attach my letter of 8 April 2019 and his reply of 7 May 2019.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Peter Zohrab

 

In due course, I received the following reply from the Ombudsmen:

 

 

Next, I complained to the Speaker of Parliament about the Ombudsman's office.

 

 

See also:

 

 

 

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