Salient. Victoria University Students Newspaper. Vol. 38, No. 2. March 11, 1975
Last July the Crimes Amendment Bill was introduced into Parliament. Its most important aim was to legalise homosexual acts commuted in private between consenting males of 21 years or over. Further, it extends provisions relating to heterosexual prostitution to cover homosexual prostitution.
Almost all Bills (especially controversial ones) that eventually become law are introduced by the government as government policy. However, in June last year the Labour Government revealed the tenuous nature of its claim to stand for social justice when, after 18 months of negotiations with people pressing for homosexual law reform, it refused to sponsor any measure to relieve the legal oppression of homosexuals, because of the damage it feared this would cause to party unity. Consequently, the Crimes Amendment Bill is a private member's bill sponsored by the National Party MP for Egmont, Venn Young.
The Bill was sent to a special select committee (chaired by Dr Michael Bassett) for study and submission were invited from the public. NZUSA and the VUW Law Faculty Club made a 32 page joint submission, prepared by NZUSA General Vice President John Blincoe and Law Faculty Club President Michael Okkerse. It was heard by the committee in late February.