The Gender Centre is Moving!

The Gender Centre is Moving!

This week The Gender Centre, our Wellington transgender community drop in, is moving out of 128 Abel Smith street, and in to 130 Riddiford street in Newtown.

Our new venue will be up and running this week for our regular drop in Wednesday and Thursday, 10am till 5pm.

Sea and Stone IPL clinic will still be on Wednesdays as usual, and Wellington Transgender Legal Clinic will still be on every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, and Raw Sugar will still be on the first Saturday each month from 4pm – 8pm, though our first Raw Sugar (July) might be a bit random as we get set up.

How to get there

To enter the new gender centre, go inside Aunty Dana’s Op Shop (up 2 steps with a hand rail), then through the store to the back door. Follow the signs up the internal staircase (about 20 steps with a hand rail). At the top of the stairs, The Gender Centre is on the left.

We have prioritised building a mobility ramp for the front door, which is currently being designed by builders, and purchased a second-hand Stannah Stairlift for the interior staircase, so while it’s NOT currently mobility accessible, it will be ASAP.

There is an all-genders bathroom with mobility support rail at the bottom of the stairs, and there is tube lighting throughout which we suspect is fluorescent,  but this can be turned off as there’s plenty of natural light and a lamp if needed.

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Permanent Facial Hair Removal Funding

Permanent Facial Hair Removal Funding


Any trans woman, transfeminine or intersex person can get funding for facial hair removal through WINZ  if they meet these requirements – they don’t have to be on welfare to get the disability allowance or child disability allowance.

Medical Certificates

A medical certificate from a doctor or specialist is required. This must state that permanent facial hair removal is an ”essential medical treatment” for a medical condition they are diagnosed with. Examples of medical conditions include “hirsutism“, or “Gender Dysphoria”. As gender dysphoria is often triggered or aggravated by the act of shaving, it can help if the doctor states this on the medical certificate – showing that shaving is not an alternative treatment to permanent facial hair removal.


Quotes for treatment are available from IPL, Laser, or electrolysis hair removal clinics. These do not need to be “WINZ quotes” and some clinics do not provide WINZ quotes; regular quotes are fine. It will help if the quote states the cost of sessions, the number of sessions needed, and a reassessment date. For example, laser treatment might be [x dollars per session], and require one session per month for 10 months, or electrolysis may be [x dollars per session] at one session per fortnight for 2 years. Treatment will depend on the individual’s hair colour, skin tone, and other factors. It may be necessary to obtain quotes from multiple different clinics to show the cost comparison.

WINZ appointments

At a WINZ appointment, a person needs to be ready to patiently argue that they are in fact entitled to funding, as most WINZ staff don’t know this and will often repeatedly ask for unnecessary proof or deny entitlements. People diagnosed with “gender dysphoria” are entitled to disability allowance funding toward facial hair removal, and their gender is not up for discussion. It is not the place of WINZ staff to second-guess a specialist’s diagnosis or prescribed treatment.

“I’m sorry, are you second guessing my medical specialist?” and “can I see your policy which requires more evidence than a medical certificate?” are some responses to invasive requests. We recommend taking a support person to WINZ appointments, as these appointments are often reported to be distressing. Discuss beforehand how you will handle invasive questioning, to avoid becoming upset or giving more information than you are required to give or feel comfortable giving.


If you would like support with transition issues, information on accessing funding through WINZ, etc, you’re welcome to contact us. We have peer support workers who can discuss these kinds of issues with you. You can also download a letter of support from GMA here.

Facial hair removal is essential medical treatment.
Transgender Day of Visibility 2019

Transgender Day of Visibility 2019

We are planning to hold monthly workshops or skillshares centered around effective advocacy, activism, and community work.

Topics will include things like:

  • Media
  • Public speaking
  • Giving presentations
  • Developing a ‘programme logic’
  • Raising funds
  • Movement building

Our TDoV event will be a discussion about what folks would be interested in learning or sharing, so we can plan the events collaboratively together.

Date and Time: Sunday March 31st, 3pm – 5.30pm
Place: The Gender Centre, 128 Abel Smith street, Wellington
Cost: Free
Bring: Potluck snacks if you want to, ideas

Facebook event here.

Save the date

We will hold a national gender minorities activist camp on Labour Weekend October 25th, 26th, 27th, so save the date, and stay tuned for more info.

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