Wellington Rainbow Alliance Challenges WIPP to Consult Community

Wellington Rainbow Alliance Challenges WIPP to Consult Community

Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Towards Hope (WRATH, “the affiliation”) is an alliance of LGBTQI+ organisations, groups, and small business owners in Wellington. It has this week penned a letter calling rainbow people in Wellington to stand together to ensure Wellington International PRIDE Parade (WIPP) engages in meaningful community consultation.

Though not leading this affiliation, GMA has agreed to host the letter here, so that a diverse range of individuals and groups can add their support or provide feedback to the affiliation. Its letter is posted below.

Letter to WIPP from WRATH (the affiliation)

You may have noticed the absence of various Rainbow Community groups from last year’s Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP), as did the organisers. The reason for that absence was a growing feeling from many rainbow people that WIPP does not represent us, and is not about us, nor for us.

There are three core issues, as identified by rainbow organisations which have heard feedback from many sectors of the rainbow population in Wellington

  1. WIPP is not connected with rainbow people broadly, nor with the community organisations who engage with rainbow people on a daily basis.
  2. WIPP organisers are not representative of rainbow populations, nor are they elected by a demographically representative diverse group.
  3. WIPP refuses to engage meaningfully with community feedback, including requests by  rainbow community support organisations to meet for discussion.

WIPP states in its 2019 annual report that among its values is a need for them to be “Supportive of and by LGBTQI-Plus communities”. It goes on to promise that WIPP “will always work, collectively, to bring LGBTQI-Plus communities together with each other and with the communities within which we live”. 

WIPP’s Board Charter says – ‘’All board members will actively consult with members of the community’’. However, in practice, WIPP refuses to consult with the community broadly despite repeated requests, and thus has no right to claim to represent us and our interests.

  • 2018: The rainbow youth organisations InsideOUT and OuterSpaces tried extensively to engage WIPP and were met with silence. After the 2018 parade, an open letter from dozens of rainbow individuals in Wellington was published, calling for a community consultation.

  • 2019: Tīwhanawhana Trust held a community hui on what is important to our communities with regard to Pride events and the Pride Parade. Only one WIPP organiser attended, and did not engage at all.

  • 2020: Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT, Naming New Zealand, UniQ Victoria, and Ivy Bar and Cabaret collectively wrote to WIPP’s board asking them to hold consultations and start a process of engagement with Wellington’s rainbow communities. This request was flatly refused in writing.

In WIPP’s 2019 annual report it is evident that WIPP is about celebrating Wellington as a whole, and is aimed toward international tourism, and corporate sponsors, rather than rainbow people. If WIPP wants to hold a parade to celebrate Wellington, primarily funded by WCC tourism funding, they need to call it a Wellington Parade, not a Pride Parade. WIPP is NOT a Pride parade; WIPP is NOT about supporting rainbow people nor building rainbow communities. 

Participants in WIPP’s 2019 feedback survey reflect this sentiment – 

 “Too much corporate / state representation which overshadowed the few community groups.” 

We note that almost 20% of WIPPs membership work for Wellington City Council, including Councillor Nicola Young. WIPP membership is made up of people representing Orchestra Wellington, Armstrong Prestige, PrimeProperty, Air New Zealand, Countdown, and Westpac. 

Based on the 2019 WIPP annual report, of the 37 listed participants, only 10 were rainbow community entries, including state and political parties.

WIPP uses the word “Inclusivity” to justify the inclusion of, for example, an armored vehicle in the 2019 parade, even though doing so was traumatic for, and in fact excluded, migrant and refugee rainbow people- at least two families who had fled war in their home countries. An inclusive event is one which uses a Human Rights approach to take into account the needs of minority groups within the rainbow – such as disabled rainbow people and rainbow refugees. “Inclusivity” needs to mean the inclusion of rainbow people and rainbow community groups is the priority.

In contrast, Wellington Pride Festival Inc. (Out Wellington) has historically organised the Pride Hikoi, and are representative of, elected by, and accountable to the rainbow people of Wellington. They coordinate and oversee the entire two-week long Pride Festival including a full-day fair – Out in the Park, a community hīkoi, a youth ball, and facilitate over 100 events run by members of our rainbow communities. Out Wellington in the past has run a large scale Pride Parade that was as visible as any of WIPP’s. They managed to run this, promote our community, and include all areas of Wellington, with a fraction of the funding WIPP receives for a single 30 minute parade.

We believe that the problems with WIPP could be resolved by:

  1. Having a diverse ‘rainbow community’ elected board, with requirements for representation of different populations of rainbow people (eg lesbian, gay, transgender, etc).
  2. Having more community floats than corporate floats – eg, every corporate entry to sponsor two community entries.
  3. Asking the community what we want – open and meaningful community consultation. 

We invite all of Wellington’s rainbow community organisations, rainbow owned and rainbow staffed businesses, and rainbow individuals to join us as we work to hold WIPP accountable to being representative of and responsive to our community.

We call on you to boycott the WIPP events, and to instead support Wellington Pride Festival Inc.’s activities. 

We invite you to participate in the PRIDE Hīkoi, which is a Pride March along a mobility accessible route starting at 9am on Feb 22nd in Civic Square, ending at Waitangi Park for the Out in the Park fair – an annual event in it’s 32nd year that sees thousands of people visit every year.

The Pride Hīkoi and Out in the Park are a genuine and authentic opportunity to come together to celebrate pride and our rainbow communities. 

Signed, Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Towards Hope.


Te Aito Rangatira, Auckland Pride Festival Incorporated, Aunty Dana’s Op Shop, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT, Ivy Bar and Cabaret, Naming New Zealand, Opportunity for Animals Opshop, Promised Land Tales, QUILTED BANANAS Radio Collective, Stillwaters Community, The Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary Otaki, The Gender Centre Wellington, Tranzform, UniQ Victoria, Wellington Timebank.

Individual Signatories:

Charlotte Algie, Lucia Amatiello, Amy, Alex Araya, Arthel Banog, Emma Barnes, Molly Black, Emily Blincoe, Georgina Bloomfield, Suzanne Blumsky, Morgana Brewer, Benoite Broche, Kerry Brown, Rosina Buchanan, Mary Buford, Libby Caligari, Riley Campbell, Autumn Candle, Tāwhana Chadwick, Lou Clifton, Kate Collyns, Olivia Cowley, Jess D, Eliana Darroch, Rosie Dent, Katherine Dewar, Zakk d’Larté, Kelly Donaldson, Luna Doole, Alick Draper, Erin Draper, Megan Duncan, Sol Marco Duncan, Ella Edwards, Kim Eland, Miah Elmes, Brodie Fraser, Chase Fox, Ally Gibson, Tomoyo Gibson, Clare Gillard, Neihana Gordon-Stables, Ada Greig, Leo Goldie-Anderson, Kyle Habershon, Will Hansen, Chaz Harris, Beth Hartigan, Gates Henderson, Emilie Hope, Jove Horton, Helen Howell, Simon Hubbard, James Hunt, Craig Hutson, Ciaran Hyslop, Jade, Jojo, Eli Joseph, K, Alana Kane, Brie Keatley, Neo Kenny, Bronwyn Kerr, Elle Kingsbury, Kowhai, Rebecca L, Danny Lam, Tori Levy, Frank Lewis, Izzy Lewis, Eva Liardet, Josh Lowe, Vivian Lyngdoh, Helen Lyttelton, Codee MacDonald, Alex Macale, Piripi Mackie, Braydon Mahoney, Hayden Malan, Nathaniel Manning, Christoph Martens, Jaimee Matthews, Kate McIntyre, Conan McKegg, C Meyer, Toby Morahan, Kiran Morar, Madeleine Moss, Asher Norris, Roisin O’Donovan, Jelly O’Shea, Han Ostini, Andrew Pang, Iscah Pascal, Indy Pendant, Sam Phillips, Phoebe, Dani Pickering, Sammy Pitt, Tasmin Prichard, Hannah Pym, Jorge Quirarte, Ayler Raven-Pearce, Rupert Pirie-Hunter, Sasha Posadas, Hauauru Rae, Aiden Reason, Adam Reynolds, J D Roberts, Geo Robrigado, Hayley Rosvall, Jay Rudolph, Mere-Pounamu Brown-Wi Rutene, Stephanie Sabine, Llaren Sagan, Anisha Sankar, Lucy Schrader, Rebecca Scott, Sassafras Shepheard, Bella Simpson, Simie Simpson, Caitlin Sinclair, Connor Smith, Kristin Smith, Vivian Smith, Faelan Sorenson, Urs Stafford, Annalucia Stasis, Malia Stewart, Kelsi Stroud, Scott Summerfield, Sam Sutherland, Twoflower Tourist, Matt Tuker, Max Tweedie, Mirkyton Ummashtarte, Benjamin van den Eykel, Peter W, Kate Waghorn, Catherine Ward, Natalie Watkin Ward, Chris Weeks, Ahi Wi-Hongi, Aliyah Winter, Kathleen Winter, Hiromi Yagishita, Christian Young, Aatir Zaidi, Zoey.

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Love Conqueers All Craft Market 2020 Wellington

Love Conqueers All Craft Market 2020 Wellington

Please join us for Love Conqueers All craft market on Sunday 23rd Feb 2020 at Thistle Hall on Cuba street in Wellington (fully mobility accessible).

We will be holding a stall selling hand made crafts such as jewellery and embroidery (proceeds to our wonderful volunteer), and a selection of our original design transgender diversity mugs and trans flag bunting (proceeds to Gender Minorities Aotearoa).

Love Conqueers All is a fundraiser by OuterSpaces, with all stall fees going towards their kaupapa. To register for a stall, fill in this form, or give them an email (details on the form).

Hikoi and Out in the Park Wellington 2020

Hikoi and Out in the Park Wellington 2020

Please join us for the Pride Hikoi (Pride March), followed by Out in the Park rainbow community festival, Saturday 22 Feb 2020.

The Hikoi kicks off at 9am from Civic Square in the Wellington CBD.
We will be there with a banner and trans flag placards, please come grab a placard or bring your own, and walk together with us! The Pride Hikoi follows an accessible route along the waterfront to Waitangi Park (just past Te Papa). It is a 10min walk at regular pace, but the hikoi will move slowly and leave no one behind, so 30 mins has been allocated.

Out in the Park starts at 9.30/10am with the arrival of the Pride Hikoi.
We will have an Aunty Dana’s Op Shop stall with all kinds of fabulous donated pre-loved clothing and other bits and pieces – nothing over $5!!!

We will also have a Gender Minorities Aotearoa stall with info pamphlets and our trans flag bunting, as well as our gorgeous transgender diversity mugs for sale.

Pro-Choice Abortion Law Reform Rally

Pro-Choice Abortion Law Reform Rally

Join us for the abortion law reform rally and march for reproductive rights and the right to bodily autonomy for people of all genders!

March begins at Midland Park on Lambton Quay, 12.30pm on Tuesday 18th Feb 2020, and ends at Parliament.

Molly Black, of Gender Minorities Aotearoa, will be speaking at the rally outside Parliament.

Reproductive rights and bodily autonomy affects us all, so please come along and show your support.

UN Special Rapporteur on Housing

UN Special Rapporteur on Housing

This week, Gender Minorities Aotearoa met with the UN Spacial Rapporteur who is currently conducting an independent report on Housing in New Zealand.

Our key points included that one in five trans people experiences homelessness at some point during their lifetime, 19% overall, or 25% of non-European trans people. Of course the rates are higher for Maori trans people, disabled trans people, etc.

Primarily this looks like attempting to rent through private landlords or property managers and being declined (though it is not usually stated that being trans is the reason for this, the statistics speak for themselves).

Part of the issue is that the housing market is unregulated – meaning that property investors can own as many properties as they like and charge as much as they like in rent fees. This creates undue competition for low income housing, as there are very few decent houses which are rented at affordable rates for those with low income.

As trans people experience high rates of discrimination across all areas of life, including education and employment, the median income of trans people is half the median income of the general population., so a lack of low income housing affects trans people disproportionately, even before we factor in housing discrimination toward trans people.



Trans people simply don’t have a chance.

– Ahi Wi-Hongi, National Coordinator

The other key issue we raised was that temporary emergency accommodation is severely lacking, and for trans people it is almost non-existent. Most emergency housing services are either for women or for men, and often this means that trans people are either unsafe and uncomfortable, or are simply not allowed.

One of the possible solutions we raised is to ensure that the government legislates a requirement that property investors who own more than a few properties are required to rent the remaining properties out as low income housing. This would still allow home ownership, batches, and a handful of high income rentals, but investors would need to rent out all other properties as affordable housing, thus bringing rents down and ensuring that housing takes a step toward being seen as infrastructure rather than a commercial commodity.

The take home message overall was that it is a Human Right to have decent housing, and that the government needs to take responsibility for ensuring that everyone has a decent home to live in.

Please contact your local MP and tell them what you think and why, write a letter to a newspaper, an article online, and talk with your friends and whanau. Change can only come if we push for it.



Ms Leilani Farha is the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination in this context. She took up her mandate in June 2014. Farha is the Executive Director of the NGO Canada without Poverty, based in Ottawa. A lawyer by training, for the past 20 years Ms. Farha has worked both internationally and domestically on the implementation of the right to adequate housing for the most marginalized groups, and on the situation of people living in poverty. Her most recent report to the Human Rights Council focusses on access to justice for the right to housing.

– New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Transgender housing data from Counting Ourselves (2019) national transgender health report

Database Upgrade

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