Support the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill Through Parliament

Due to criticism from a small number of lobbyists, the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has stalled in parliament and not progressed to its second reading.

This bill aims to reduce the re-traumatisation to survivors in court by:

  • restricting the use of the complainant’s sexual history as evidence;
  • allowing complainants to give their evidence in alternative ways, such as through pre-recording;
  • requiring judges to intervene and stop unreasonable or inappropriate questioning, and address the harmful myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual violence when relevant to the case; and
  • extending the availability of communication assistance to witnesses.

These proposed changes have already been adopted in countries like the UK, Australia, and Canada with no negative impact to fair trials, but a profound impact for those who have experienced sexual violence.

Aviva supports this bill. Members of our Sexual Assault Support Service Canterbury team have made individual submissions regarding the impact of this bill and Aviva has formally contacted local Canterbury MPs regarding our professional view on the positive impact of the bill.

To help support this legislation bill through parliament, we urge you to contact your local MP and let them know the positive impact this bill would have. We have included our recommended wording that you may copy-paste into a letter or email.



By Phone: +64 4 817 9999

By Post:

[insert MP name]
Freepost Parliament
Private Bag 18 888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

By Email:

Christchurch Central Duncan Webb [email protected]
Christchurch East Poto Williams [email protected]
Ilam Gerry Brownlee [email protected]
Wigram Dr Megan Woods [email protected]
Banks Peninsula / Port Hills Ruth Dyson [email protected]
Kaikoura Stuart Smith [email protected]
Selwyn Amy Adams [email protected]
Rangitata (currently unoccupied) Andrew Falloon (resigned) [email protected]
Waimakariri Matt Doocey [email protected]
Waitaki Jacqui Dean [email protected]
West Coast - Tasman Damien O’Connor Damien.O'[email protected]

For a full list of MPs, click here



Hon [insert your local MP] MP

I was informed that due to criticism by a few lobbyists, the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill, which aims to reduce the re-traumatisation to survivors of sexual assault in court, has not progressed to its second reading in parliament. [Optional: As a survivor/ friend of family member of a survivor/insert alternative here,] I believe this bill to be of high importance and that the positive impact it would have for those who have experienced of sexual violence must not be ignored. I urge you as my local MP to support this bill on to its second reading and through parliament.

As it currently stands, the justice system’s handling of sexual assault cases serves to re-traumatise complainants and act as a deterrent to report, while providing little to no recourse for the harm they have endured. This bill offers the opportunity for those who have experienced sexual violence [Optional: like myself/my friend/my family member] to have confidence in New Zealand’s justice system to support them through allegations of sexual assault, by allowing them to feel safe in the court system.

[Optional: personal impact of bill]

Other countries including the UK, Australia, and Canada have already adopted these proposed changes, which have shown no negative impact to fair trials, but have shown a profound impact for survivors.

If we do not address the existing problems within the court system and how it causes further re-traumatisation, we cannot expect to address the issue of sexual violence in this country. Without a change such as the one this bill proposes, complainants will continue to feel unsafe testifying and our low reporting rates will remain unchanged, those committing sexual violence will continue to evade justice and be able to continue causing sexual harm. 

Please support the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill through parliament, so no one else needs to suffer under the existing system.





  • Aviva letter, click here.
  • Videos from the first reading, submissions, and more, click here
  • Interview with Jan Logie, Parliamentary Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice for Domestic and Sexual Violence, click here.
  • TOAH-NNEST submission, click here.