Search and Surveillance Act review

Search and Surveillance Act review

Today the Rainbow Support Collective – of which we are a member – made the following submission on the Search and Surveillance Act review. This current consultation is for organisations, but there will be opportunities to make individual submissions later in the year.

Rainbow Support Collective submission

The Rainbow Support Collective is an alliance of organisations which primarily work to support the human rights, health, and well being of rainbow populations in Aotearoa. The collective comprises both national and regional organisations. All together, this collaboration represents 11 organisations with over 450 rainbow community workers and regular volunteers. These organisations include InsideOUT Kōaro, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, RainbowYOUTH, Rainbow Hub Waikato, Intersex Aotearoa, OutLine Aotearoa, Te Ngākau Kahukura, Burnett Foundation Aotearoa, Q-Youth, Dunedin Pride and Qtopia.

We would like to open our submission with the recognition that all surveillance and security systems are primarily about recognising difference, and that this fundamentally places a higher burden of risk on transgender and other LGBTQI+ populations. 

In particular, transgender people are seen as different both visually and on paper when their documents are mismatched. The current systems are not developed in ways that can manage this effectively, and therefore security efforts disproportionately infringe on the right to privacy and freedom from discrimination for transgender people.

The following are our recommendations.

1. Human rights legislation 

It critical that search and surveillance laws and enforcements uphold human rights to privacy, freedom from discrimination, and freedom from unfair detainment. As part of upholding these and other human rights, it is crucial that any use of search and surveillance law enforcement takes active steps to avoid breaches of human rights arising from targeting difference. 

We believe it is necessary to target high risk groups rather than groups with a high degree of difference, and that the failure to take this approach in the past has contributed to not only harassment of LGBTQI+ people, but the enabling of white supremacist and anti-trans extremists, as we saw in the terror attacks in Christchurch.

2. Accountability

To uphold human rights, it is imperative that search and surveillance enforcement foreground accountability and transparency. 

During the 2007 Operation 8 incident we saw a distinct lack of process followed, lack of transparency, blatant human rights abuses, and extreme examples of anti-terrorism efforts dishonoring Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

There must be systems put in place to ensure that this is not possible going forward.

Reporting, auditing and accountability processes must be central to operations, and not contingent on cost.

The reporting itself should track demographic information to enable ongoing monitoring of the extent to which different demographic groups are being surveilled, to maintain accountability of how these powers are used to monitor different populations. 

All non-warranted covert operations should be subject to external audit, to ensure that this greater power with less initial oversight is not being abused.

There should be independent (non-state) mechanisms in place for monitoring the use of search and surveillance warrants and orders, monitoring the role bias may be playing in the application of these powers, and for making complaints about search and surveillance activities. This is important to ensure restitution for unjustified search and surveillance is available, particularly for marginalised communities. This external monitoring body should have Rainbow competence (as well as competence in other areas) as central to its functioning.

3. Prejudice

Upholding human rights during search and surveillance activities requires recognition of prejudice, how it manifests in practice, and its impacts at every level.

Active work must be done systems-wide to address prejudices against all minority groups. 

Transgender and LGBTQI+ competence training and systems review for Police and associated state actors must be required. Competence training should address issues specifically relevant to search and surveillance, and should be carried out by the organisations which provide direct support to transgender and LGBTQI+ community members 365 days a year, not by any organisation which has limited direct contact with these communities. It cannot be internal.

See the “Police and Detention” section of the Counting Ourselves Report (2019) for further information on current prejudice. 

4. Dignity and privacy

The right to dignity and the right to privacy – are routinely not upheld during search and surveillance of transgender people in Aotearoa.

The right to dignity applies to basic dignity such as the use of correct names and pronouns, to dignity while being searched, detained, or incarcerated.

Section 126 of the Act references strip searches being carried out only by someone of the “same sex”. This may limit autonomy of, and facilitate discrimination against, trans or intersex individuals.

Under the Privacy Act, unnecessary disclosure of information related to sexuality, gender, or variations of sex characteristics must be prevented. In cases where this information is relevant to a case or investigation, it should not be shared any more broadly than is required.  

5. Surveillance without a warrant

It must be made clear exactly what constitutes/necessitates search and surveillance without a warrant. The guidelines should contain far more stringent recommendations than “it is preferential to get a warrant”. This should be a criteria rather than a guideline.

Historically, many state powers to be used in “emergencies” and “when it is necessary” have allowed greater room for discretion, and therefore prejudicial treatment of vulnerable minority communities (see Oranga Tamariki for examples). 

This creates a significant risk to those communities if warrantless search and surveillance is made easier to carry out with less evidence of necessity. 

We are concerned with the high degree of discretion available to officers when carrying out Search and Surveillance activities. 

 6. Technology

Social media surveillance, including use of algorithmic searches, and the purpose of this surveillance, must be made transparent to the public (i.e. through policy statements).

New technologies allow for greater surveillance in ways that do not always match the privacy expectations of people using these technologies, and the ability to use technologies to carry out greater surveillance shouldn’t take place without consultation and consideration to ensure that privacy and other human rights are upheld. 

There should be extra care taken around warrantless searches in this area, where the ease of virtual surveillance may increase the risk of expanded use of warrantless searches.

Transgender and LGBTQI+ people are significantly more likely to use pseudonymous, have different/changing names, or verify accounts with mismatched documents because they do not have matching documents, or to protect their safety from the significant anti-trans  harassment, and other safety risks they encounter online*. Applying security systems to this population therefore shows “difference” and makes them a disproportionate target for surveillance.

*It is also common for anti-trans and other anti-LGBTQI+ harassment online to be a precursor to offline harm.

7. Policy Statements

With reference to recommendation 37 and 38 of the Law Commission Report; in drafting and finalising Policy Statements, there must be consultation with transgender and LGBTQI+ organisations to acertain relevant considerations for these disproportionately affected populations. 

Policy statements should be made publicly accessible. 

8. Relevant data 

From Counting Ourselves (2019), the first national survey of the health and wellbeing of trans and non-binary people living in Aotearoa:

  • 7% of the survey’s trans and non-binary participants had been detained, held in custody, arrested or charged by the police.
  • Almost two-thirds of these participants reported that police did not ask their correct name, pronoun or gender, and almost half had been misgendered when police knew their correct name, pronoun or gender but would not use it. 
  • More than half of these participants were not given any choice by Police about whether a male or female officer searched them, and less than one in ten were given the choice of whether they were put in a police cell with women or men or on their own.
  • Almost one-third were put in a cell with other people where they did not feel safe as a trans or non-binary person. 
  • Most participants who required a shower did not have access to a shower that they felt safe to use.
  • Almost one in ten of these participants had been harassed or assaulted by police for being trans or non-binary

Counting Ourselves, Chapter 12 

9. Community engagement 

Transgender and LGBTQI+ communities, and their representative organisations, often report that their experience of engaging consultative processes on security is one of being told that our community members pose a risk, and that we should be suspicious of difference and report this to Police.

This is the opposite of what we are interested in. The threat to our communities comes not from within, but commonly from white supremacist and anti-trans campaigners and their organised groups.

Because these groups are typically comprised of clean-cut white people, presenting no “difference” markers, they are not recognised as the threat.

If you want to meaningfully engage our communities, you need to begin to recognise the power dynamics and prejudices that contribute to the disproportionate harms we are experiencing.

Once this foundational understanding has been achieved:  

Prioritise creating spaces which are respectful, dignity-promoting and non-judgemental when asking people to share their own experiences as part of any consultation. Discussing surveillance can mean discussing traumatising personal experiences which might be connected to intimate parts of identity. 

Especially consider how this affects rainbow people who are more marginalised e.g. Takatāpui, rainbow asylum seekers, transgender people, rainbow migrants, rainbow disabled people.

It is critical to both engage with Rainbow communities, and to understand why it is important to be doing this, so that those doing this consultation are able to learn and action what they learn, so that this is not a tick-box activity or a waste of time for those being consulted. 

Ensure any online consultation is moderated and supported to ensure it’s not overtaken by hostile perspectives (e.g. anti-trans hate groups). It is often necessary to hold separate consultations with specific populations with rainbow communities – for example cisgender white gay men who own businesses may have different security interests from transgender Māori women who are homeless.

Ensure engagement with key organisations – the invitation to engage in this feedback process did not come to many relevant organisations and it was only by sharing within our own cross-organisational networks that others heard about this (despite being involved in prior relevant conversations about the Royal Commission into the Mosque Attacks with DPMC). 

A wide range of topics are relevant for Rainbow communities. The best approach is early consultation with appropriate networks and organisations, to seek our expertise on the most appropriate ways forward. 

Make a submission

Find out more here.

Conversion Practices Submission

Conversion Practices Submission

Submission on the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill

We support the intent of this Bill, however as it stands we believe it does not fulfill it’s intent to protect transgender populations from conversion practices. The following are our main (though not only) concerns.

Every year we hear the personal stories of a great number of transgender people who have experienced conversion practices in healthcare settings.

They are offered anti-depressants as an alternative to being trans, or told that are simply confused and need counseling, while being referred to a counselor who doesn’t “believe in” being transgender.

Conversion Practices Carried Out in a Healthcare Setting

The Bill states that:

The purpose of this Act is to—

1. prevent harm caused by conversion practices; and
2. promote respectful and open discussions regarding sexuality and gender.

However, in its current state it defines conversion practices as not including conversion practices which are carried out in a healthcare setting. This allows healthcare providers to continue to engage in conversion practices with vulnerable patients, and effectively excludes transgender and intersex people from protection in the setting where they are most likely to experience conversion practices.

In clause 5, the Bill states:

Meaning of conversion practice

(1) In this Act, conversion practice means any practice that—

a) is directed towards an individual because of the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression; and
b) is performed with the intention of changing or suppressing the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

(2) However, conversion practice does not include—

a) a health service provided by a health practitioner in accordance with the practitioner’s scope of practice; or
b) assisting an individual who is undergoing, or considering undergoing, a gender transition; or
c) assisting an individual to express their gender identity; or
d) providing acceptance, support, or understanding of an individual; or
e) facilitating an individual’s coping skills, development, or identity exploration, or facilitating social support for the individual; or
f) the expression only of a religious principle or belief made to an individual that is not intended to change or suppress the individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

The Bill compares this to similar legislation in Australia, however, all the similar exemptions in the Victoria Act are prefaced by the requirement that the practice “is supportive of or affirms a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation”.

This exemption for conversion practices in healthcare settings is not something that was suggested in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA). The RIA only suggested that conversion practices are not common in healthcare settings. While this may be true for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and other sexuality minorities, it is complely contradictory to the available evidence on transgender and intersex populations, including the evidence cited by the RIA.

We need to ensure that this error is not carried through into the legislation and compounded.

Conversion Practices in Healthcare Settings Target Transgender People

The Counting Ourselves (2019) transgender research report found that more than one in six of all participants (17%) reported that a professional, “such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor”, had tried to stop them being trans or non-binary. A further 12% were not sure if this had happened to them. (p.38).

Researchers asked (p.37) “Have you had any of these things ever happen to you, as a trans or non-binary person, when you were trying to access healthcare? You were discouraged from exploring your gender…” This means that while trying to access healthcare, these transgender people were told that they should stop being transgender. This is conversion therapy, in a healthcare setting.

16% of trans people said yes, they had experienced this. 4% said they had experienced this in the last year. This means 16 out of every 100 transgender people face routine conversion therapy from doctors, therapists, and other professionals in a healthcare setting.

While healthcare practitioners must be able to make medical decisions in the best interest of their patients, that is not what conversion practices are. This Bill should not include exceptions for carrying out conversion practices in healthcare settings. 

If we acknowledge that conversion practices are harmful and we want to protect rainbow people from them, we should not exclude transgender people from these protections by allowing their abuse in healthcare settings.

Nothing raised in the Regulatory Impact Assessment suggests that including conversion practices done by healthcare practitioners in the definition of conversion practices would create any issues or further risks.

Conversion Practices in Healthcare Settings Target Diverse Sex Characteristics

The exclusion from the legislation of conversion practices that are directed/performed on the basis of sex characteristics is also unacceptable. While sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are currently protected in the wording of the Bill, the Bill as it stands would allow conversion practices that target people on the basis of their variations of sex characteristics, or that aim to change their sex characteristics. This affects almost all  transgender people – whose sex characteristics are not typically associated with people of their gender.

Historically, conversion practices have almost always been targeted at people based on perceived mismatches between their sex characteristics and other aspects of their sexuality and gender. Sex characteristics have often been a specific target of coercive control. It is important that the definition of conversion practices in this Bill encompasses all types of conversion therapy.

It is not necessary to use a narrow framework here: most strong definitions of conversion practices, and indeed most human rights frameworks that intend to protect rainbow communities, such as the Yogyarkata Principles plus 10, and the PRISM report by the Human Rights Commission, do not exclude sex characteristics. This is especially relevant because the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill includes an amendment to the Human Rights Act, and therefore the definition of conversion practices in that Act will be based on the language in this Bill, should it become an Act.

If conversion practices on the basis of sex characteristics are not prohibited by this Bill, these harmful practices will continue in Aotearoa.

Nothing raised in the Regulatory Impact Assessment suggests that it would create any risks or issues to include conversion practices on the basis of sex characteristics, or aimed at changing sex characteristics, in the definition of conversion practices.

What Needs to Change

The RIA identified a risk that conversion practitioners may adapt their practice to get around the legislation, while still performing conversion practices. In our professional opinion, this risk applies in healthcare settings. Therefore, it is imperative that the definition of “conversion practices” is robust.

Conversion practices in healthcare settings must be included in this definition, along with the explicit addition of conversion practices on the basis of “sex characteristics” alongside “sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

Incitement of Hatred and Discrimination

Incitement of Hatred and Discrimination

The government has proposed changes to the Human Rights Act, aiming to protect groups from speech that incites hatred, and improve protections against discrimination.

They have invited submissions on this, which close August 6th 2021.

Unfortunately, as they chose to put these changes forward at the same time as the BDMRR Bill, and the Conversion Therapy Bill, we have had limited time on work on this. However, we’re publishing our submission here, and encourage you to submit on this if you haven’t already done so.

Click the “Proposed Changes” button to read the 6 changes they have proposed, and find out how to make a submission.

GMA Submission

Gender Minorities Aotearoa is a nationwide transgender organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. It is run by and for transgender people; including binary and non-binary, intersex, and irawhiti takatāpui. We operate within a kaupapa Māori public health framework and The Ottawa Charter (1986), with the aim to facilitate health and well-being for transgender populations, as defined by The World Health Organisation – complete physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.

We support the intent of the proposed changes.

We wish to comment on proposals 2, 5, and 6.

Proposal 2:  Many who incite hatred do so behind a mask of respectability. We are concerned that the wording in proposal two, which replaces the current standard in the existing sections on racial disharmony, incitement, and racial harassment, of ‘hostility’, ‘ill-will’, ‘contempt’, and ‘ridicule,’ may significantly weaken the bill. We are worried that the replacement of these specific terms with a general standard of ‘hatred’ will place more of the burden of proof on the victims of incitement, hatred and harassment. We recommend maintaining prohibitions against inciting hostility, ill-will, contempt and ridicule, to ensure that groups who intend to incite these against protected groups would be accountable under this legal change.

Proposal 5: We strongly support making “incitement to discriminate” against the law.
When wording this legislation, it must be considered that there is a great difference between – for example – encouraging a service discriminate against transgender people, and in contrast encouraging a venue not to host an anti-trans group which calls itself a womens group. It is important that transgender youth in particular are not criminalised for defending themselves against transphobic campaigns in this way. We want to make sure that the legislation cannot be misapplied in this way.

Proposal 6: We agree that the law should be more clear that the protected aspects of sex include gender identity, gender expression, sex characteristics, and intersex status.

In natural language, sex and gender are often understood interchangably, and we believe it is important that any law change reflects the intent to protect all of these aspects of sex equally.

Currently there are legal exceptions to provisions against sex based discrimination, where discrimination is legal under certain circumstances. We are concerned that trans people and intersex people will be included in these exceptions by default, and don’t want to see anti-transgender and anti-intersex discrimination enshrined in law.

This is especially important given that transgender people twice as likely to be forced to have sex against their will, (32% of trans people vs. 11% of women in the general population) and currently face discrimination in access to “counselling services around sexual matters or the prevention of violence,” with only 2% of these trans people being able to access a “rape or sexual abuse service” at the time of their abuse. Access to “counselling services around sexual matters or the prevention of violence” is currently one of the exceptions to the HRA’s application where discrimination on the basis of sex is currently allowed. (Counting Ourselves, p. 78,

While we do not have similar statistics for the intersex population in this country, due to a lack of appropriate research, we know that there are similar issues to access to these kinds of services for intersex people, if not worse.

It is also important to note that currently under the HRA, discrimination on the basis of sex is currently allowed across a very wide range of areas, including examples such as “the provision of separate facilities for each sex on the ground of public decency,” where the old-fashioned language “each sex” de facto precludes the consideration of gender identities outside of the binary, and the consideration of bodies with diverse sex characteristics, including intersex people.

One option to avoid this is to take sex out of the many exceptions it is currently included in, another is to specify in the general qualification on exceptions that exceptions on the basis of sex do not allow for exclusion based on transgender or intersex status, and a third is to enshrine transgender and intersex non-discrimination in a separate category other than sex; so that it would not be included by default in the exceptions to legal protection.

We believe that there is some urgency in updating the law to protect vulnerable populations.

Human Rights Commission Releases PRISM Report

Human Rights Commission Releases PRISM Report

Huge thanks to the NZ Human Rights Commission for their newly released report PRISM.

”Prism explores six human rights issues relating to people with a diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

It highlights that ”The human rights principle of self-declaration for identity documents is not yet fully implemented; it applies for passport and drivers’ licence records but not for birth certificates.”

The report makes 31 recommendations for resolving the six disparities in human rights for people with diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or sex characteristics.

SOGIESC stands for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics.

Summary of Findings:


• The Human Rights Act 1993 does not provide explicit legal protection from discrimination with regards to gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
• Overt and subtle forms of discrimination are widespread against people with an actual or perceived diverse SOGIESC, and they are more likely to become victims of crime.


• Unmet information needs are a considerable obstacle for the identification and resolution of issues concerning people with a diverse SOGIESC.
• Data collection does not currently reflect a human rights-based approach. This is particularly clear in response options that limit diverse answers and the ability of SOGIESC-diverse people to be counted.


• New Zealand’s official identity documents contain sex/gender information which can be difficult to correct for transgender, non-binary, and intersex people.
• The human rights principle of self-declaration for identity documents is not yet fully implemented; it applies for passport and drivers’ licence records but not for birth certificates.
• The current process to amend sex on a birth certificate requires meeting a medical threshold and the involvement of the Family Court, presenting barriers to having a child, enrolling in school, getting married, and other areas of life.


• Surgical interventions not required for the preservation of life continue to be performed on people with diverse sex characteristics before an age at which they can consent to these procedures.
• People with a diverse SOGIESC have poorer physical and mental health outcomes than the general population.
• Healthcare practitioners and providers often lack the training to meet the needs of SOGIESC-diverse service users.
• Gender affirming healthcare is difficult to access and highly dependent on geographical residence.


• Young people have a right to learn about diversity in SOGIESC. The New Zealand Curriculum allows for such learning within health education, but this is not adequately integrated into practice in schools.
• For youth with a diverse SOGIESC, school is often not a safe environment in which they can thrive and learn.
• Youth with a diverse sexual orientation or gender identity are, respectively, three and four-and-a-half times as likely as other students to be bullied.


• People with a diverse SOGIESC experience discrimination and bullying in the workplace.
• The most common complaint received by the Human Rights Commission on the ground of sexual orientation is related to discrimination in employment.
• A significant percentage of people with a diverse SOGIESC do not feel safe enough or fear discrimination at work or when applying for jobs. They often conceal their identities or partners for fear of discrimination if these details are disclosed to others in their work environments.

Read the full report here.

Trans and intersex communities call for law change and release of Working Group’s Report

Trans and intersex communities call for law change and release of Working Group’s Report

Trans, intersex and rainbow community organisations are very disappointed to hear there will be no progress before the election on a Bill that would make it easier for trans and intersex people to amend sex details listed on their birth certificates.

On Tuesday 23 June, the Minister of Internal Affairs confirmed in a media report that there would be no law change this Parliamentary term. Community members are also concerned that a report delivered to the Minister in February 2020 on reducing barriers under the current law is yet to be released. 

In February 2019, the Minister of Internal Affairs announced that the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill was deferred.  Almost six months later, on 1 August 2019, the Minister announced the appointment of a Working Group to provide her with advice on practical improvements to the current Family Court process.

The Working Group’s role included commissioning the Department of Internal Affairs to conduct interviews with trans and intersex people to hear how to improve people’s interactions with government services involved in the process for amending sex details recorded on birth certificates. Gender Minorities Aotearoa, F’INE, RainbowYOUTH, the Intersex Trust Aotearoa NZ (ITANZ) and other community organisations helped promote these confidential interviews and hosted some in community venues. 

“People told us they gave up their time to be interviewed because they wanted to share the barriers they had faced so that the process would improve for other Pasifika people in the future”, said F’INE Director, Phylesha Brown-Acton. 

In her media release announcing the Working Group, the Minister identified the financial, time, and dignity barriers trans and intersex people faced under the existing law. 

“It is hugely concerning if the Minister has been reported accurately on Tuesday as saying “we don’t need to remove any barriers” and if the only solutions being considered are about providing education within the courts and to trans and intersex communities” said Frances Arns, Executive Director of RainbowYOUTH.

“Trans organisations and community groups have been creating and sharing information about the current Family Court process, both face to face and online, for a long time. And holding community legal clinics”, said Ahi Wi-Hongi, National Coordinator, Gender Minorites Aotearoa. “Education is important but, on its own, is not going to enable more than a small fraction of our community to be able to amend their birth certificates”.

The Aotearoa New Zealand Trans and Non-Binary Health Survey, Counting Ourselves, published in September 2019, found that 83% of participants had the incorrect gender listed on their birth certificate. The most common reason why trans people did not have identification documents with the correct gender marker was because they only had the option of choosing male or female. 

“The lack of a non-binary option on birth certificates is an insurmountable barrier for many trans people and requires a law change”, said Counting Ourselves’ principal investigator and University of Waikato Senior Lecturer, Dr Jaimie Veale. 

“The Working Group was asked to look at the specific experiences of trans children and their families and of intersex people who want to correct their birth certificate details, ”, said Tabby Besley, Managing Director, InsideOUT. “We need the Working Group’s findings and progress on the Bill to make schools safer for trans and intersex children and youth”.  

“The current law requires evidence from medical experts and a court process. This creates a barrier to access for trans people who may not be able to afford a lawyer, especially trans young people”, said Qtopia 2IC, Jennifer Shields. 

“Everyone wants trans and intersex young people to grow up among whānau and community who love them and recognise that they are who they say they are,” said Joey Macdonald, Training Lead for Te Ngākau Kahukura. “Young people’s right to an identity is described in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Our current law presents unacceptable barriers to trans and intersex young people amending their official documents to match their identity.”

On 19 June 2020, the Human Rights Commission released Prism, a report and recommendations on human rights issues faced by trans, intersex, and other Rainbow communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

“The Commission’s report concludes that the current law does not meet New Zealand’s international human rights obligations, because it does not protect trans and intersex people’s rights to self-determination, bodily integrity and non-discrimination”, said OUTLine’s co-chair Moira Clunie. “The passage of the Bill, with improvements recommended by the Commission, will better protect these rights and reflect concerns raised by trans and intersex communities”, said OUTLine co-chair Aych McArdle.

“Intersex people require the freedom of self-determination, bodily autonomy and recognition of their diversity, and this is an inherent right under international law”, said ITANZ Co-President, Dr Rogena Sterling. “Any legal and policy changes regarding official identity documentation must consider the diverse needs of the intersex community in Aotearoa.”

“Aotearoa should be a place where inclusive laws and practices uphold the mana and dignity of takatāpui and LGBTIQ / rainbow people and address the systemic issues that result in discrimination and violence against us,” says Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Chair of Tīwhanawhana Trust. “We call on the Government to make good on previous assurances of support to our whānau and communities including by supporting the human right of trans, non-binary and intersex people to self-define their identity.”

The human rights issues faced by trans and intersex communities are often invisible.  Trans, intersex and rainbow community organisations strongly encourage all political parties to take these issues seriously this election and demonstrate how their policies and actions will meet the human rights obligations set out in the Human Rights Commission’s Prism report.