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An Example Of The Policy Cycle In New Zealand Using Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 As A Case Study

2653 words - 11 pages

This essay will explore the Homosexual Law Reform Act as a case study of the "policy cycle". Through out this essay I will investigate the interactions which took place between actors such as politicians, interest groups, individuals which led to the emergence, formation and the implementation of the Homosexual Law Reform Act. This paper discusses the background and the leading events which set the agenda. This essay also will go on to critically assess key theories of the policy cycle. This policy case study supports the notion of pluralism whereby citizens can and are able to exert effective influence over government.AGENDA SETTINGThis essay will predominantly concentrate on the policy processes that happened in order to pass this Bill during the eighties, it is important to appreciate that the concept of the homosexual rights was not new or unique to New Zealand. The concept behind the Homosexual Law Reform Bill had been around for quite some time. There had been in the past unsuccessful attempts to decriminalise homosexual activities between consenting males.'Various individuals and groups have a stake in the shape and management of (the agenda setting) process.' In this policy case study there were numerous individuals and groups which exerted an influence on the formation of the Bill.The first attempts to reform were introduced by the General of the Labour Dept. in 1959. These reforms sought to reduce criminal sanctions on some homosexual activity. These attempts were abandoned by the incoming National Government. The Dorian Society was established as a social club in 1961 but later took the first steps towards legal reform by establishing a Legal Subcommittee. A homosexual reform bill in England seeking change called the Arran Bill was passed in July 1967. The Dorian Society sought advice from the English Homosexual Law Reform Society. This led to the establishment of the first New Zealand Society dedicated to law reform.New Zealand was increasingly being exposed to wider influence which was also demanding change. Changes in society led to the emergence of a new society with a new outlook and new values. Decriminalising homosexuality was brought back into the spotlight by examples of reform in England and the United States of America around the same time. There were some key events which led to a shift in thinking within New Zealand. About 150 people attended a public meeting in Wellington 1967 to form a society to work for homosexual law reform. It soon took the name NZ Homosexual law Society rather than the previous name Wolfenden Association. In 1969 gay patrons of the Stonewall Inn (a gay bar) in New York resisted police raid. This led to the emergence of the Gay Liberation Front who demanded their rights in society. The birth of the movement was provoked by the refusal of the United States Government to allow Ngahuia Te Awekotuku to travel to the USA because she was a lesbian.In mid 1974 Venn Young attracted considerable controversy...

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