A Labour Party bill seeks to put an end to so-called conversion therapy – a controversial practice which uses psychotherapy to reduce or stop same-sex attraction.

Labour List MP Marja Lubeck submitted the bill to the members' ballot, meaning it has a one in 66 chance of being drawn and debated in the House.

Lubeck said conversion therapy is a harmful practice and has no place in New Zealand.

An investigation by TVNZ's Sunday in June this year revealed it was "surprisingly easy" to find people or organisations offering conversion therapy for sexual orientation in New Zealand.


Lubeck's bill, the Prohibition of Conversion Therapy Bill, prohibits any person from advertising, offering, or performing a treatment that seeks to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity in New Zealand.

"Conversion therapy is unproven, widely condemned and does not reflect the values of a modern and compassionate New Zealand."

She said the bill is about supporting young people to be proud of who they are.

"This is about doing what's right. I hope all politicians approach this Bill with an open mind and support the rights of young people to be who they are and live open positive lives."

She said it is a "straightforward legislative fix" to prevent further physical and emotional suffering as a result of conversion therapy.

Asked about banning conversion therapy, National Leader Simon Bridges said he would need to see a case laid out before making a decision.

Conversion therapy is defined by UK-based LGBT charity Stonewall as "any form of treatment or psychotherapy which aims to reduce or stop same-sex attraction or to suppress a person's gender identity."

NZ Association of Psychotherapists and the NZ Association of Counsellors believe conversion therapy is in breach of every ethical requirement for practitioners.