We provided 1:1 peer support over 2,000 times, and there were over 600 visits to our Wellington drop in centre. Our website was visited over 101,000 times with 209,000 page views.
Our healthcare referral system was used over 6,000 times, and we received over 1,100 referrals from healthcare providers across the country. Our HRT guide was read over 5,000 times. We also trained over 500 healthcare workers, particularly in mental health and addictions.
Our Rainbow Housing NZ group grew by 500 members to 3,100+, Housing was an area which suffered greatly due to covid 19, so this year much of our work in this area was in supporting individuals to find housing.
We held a successful campaign to pass the BDMRR Bill for self determination/self ID on birth certificates. Our resources were read 15,600+ times, we distributed 100’s of pamphlets and posters, the community turned out amazing submissions, and the law was passed. Our guide to updating your birth certificate sex marker updates was also read 2,000+ times, and a member of our staff became a Justice of the Peace to witness birth certificate documents.
We facilitated connectedness for 2,100+ trans people, whānau, and supporters in our online Transgender and Intersex NZ group, our “trans 101” resource was read more than 42,000 times (15,000 more times than in 2020), and our main parents resource was read more than 1,000 times (double 2020).
We released 6 new healthy relationships and sexual violence prevention resources in 2021. We also began work with Intersex Aotearoa on a joint project – ARC (Anti-violence Resource Centre) which will launch in 2022. We worked on the government’s National strategy to eliminate family violence and sexual violence, together with other members of the Rainbow Violence Prevention Network (RVPN).
We run the national transgender housing support service. This includes support with accessing emergency housing, transitional housing, and council housing. It also includes the national LGBTQI+ Rainbow Housing NZ group online. Our rainbow housing network was established in 2017, and has over 2,800 members in 2021.
If you need support with emergency housing, contact us to discuss your situation and the options available to you in your area.
If you’re looking for a room in an established transgender-friendly home, or if you have a room to offer in yours, visit Rainbow Housing NZ by clicking the image below.
Help transgender people find housing
If you would like to help us support transgender people to find safe housing, you can set up an easy monthly donation using the buttons below, or visit our donations page for more options.
Despite the global pandemic, we had a very successful year across all five of these areas.
We provided 1:1 peer support over 1,300 times, and there were over 500 visits to our Wellington drop in centre. Our website was visited over 61,000 times with 118,000 views.
We made over 4,100 health referrals, and received over 500 referrals from healthcare providers across 9 DHBs. We held a 3DHB community update, and produced 2 health resources.
Our Rainbow Housing NZ group grew to 2,600+ members, we met with the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing, and we published a housing report from our research into homelessness and housing instability in Wellington. We sent Counting Ourselves to key figures at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development – which then named trans people as a priority group.
Our guide to birth certificate sex marker updates was read over 1,400 times, and we assisted a number of people in making applications. We were also on the BDMRR working group for the Minister of Internal Affairs.
We facilitated connectedness for 1,700 trans people, whānau, and supporters in our online Transgender and Intersex NZ group, we held or significantly participated in 15 community events, our “trans 101” resource was read more than 27,000 times, and our parents resource was read more than 300 times.
Respect your partners gender and sex characteristics
Always use the name and pronouns they choose, and never say they’re not a ”real” woman, man, or trans person for any reason – including the way they dress, the name they use, their hobbies, their attractions or sexual orientation, the ways that they like to have sex or not have sex, or what you imagine life was like for them growing up. Even if you’re really angry at them; criticise the behavior you’re upset about, never invalidate their gender.
Respect your partners body
Respect their body, including the words they use to talk about it, and their choice to take or not take hormones and have surgeries or other medical treatments. Respect their right to make contraceptive and reproductive choices, and to use protection against STIs and HIV. Respect their ‘no’ if they don’t want to use alcohol and other drugs, or be around drug use if they struggle with it. Respect their mobility, hearing, seeing, and sensory or other accessibility needs.
Respect your partners sexual boundaries
Respect their boundaries, including the ways they are comfortable with being touched or not being touched, and sexual activities they don’t want to do or times they don’t want to do them. Sometimes you might feel rejected if they say no to cuddles, sharing a bed, or hooking up, but pressuring them will only make them feel that you don’t care what they want. Show them how much you love them by never manipulating them into sex or other kinds of affection.
Respect your partners autonomy
Respect their ability to make decisions for themself about the daily things they need in their life. This includes decisions about when and where they sleep, what and how much they eat, needing time to be alone, and not always being the person to take care of your emotional or other needs. Respect them as a whole person; accept responsibility for your share of the child care or house work and do not treat them as an extension of yourself. Don’t expect them to fulfill your ideals or fantasies of what someone of their gender, or someone with their sex characteristics, should do.
Respect your partners other relationships
Respect their other relationships, including with whānau, friends, kids, other partners, and ex-partners who they are friends or family with. It’s healthy for your partner to spend time with other people they care about, and sometimes they need to spend time alone too. It can be scary learning to trust, but controlling them just means pushing them to make a choice between you, and everyone else they care about. Even if they choose you in the moment, no one can can choose that in the long run. Don’t push them away by isolating them from others.
Respect your partners safety
Don’t put them in dangerous situations such as drinking and driving, or going places they will be exposed to transphobia or other harm.
Respect your partners emotions, mental health, neurodiversity, and wairua or life force
Be honest with them, make time to talk with them about things that are important to them, have patience to work through difficult emotions without blaming them, putting them down, or becoming abusive, accept responsibility for your own emotions and actions, and only expect them to take responsibility for theirs.
Respect your partners economic situation
Respect their economic situation, including their choice to do sex work or to not do sex work, do not prevent them from working or take their money or expect them to pay for your expenses. If they have work or study the next day they can’t stay up all night, so letting them sleep is part of supporting their economic situation.
Respect their privacy
Don’t tell other people personal information about their sex characteristics and/or gender, their body, their HIV status, or the ways they have sex or don’t have sex. Don’t share their private photos, videos, or messages. Do not insist that they share with you the intimate details of their past sexual experiences. Don’t insist on knowing their passwords, reading their email, or having access to their social media.
Respect their culture
Respect their whakapapa, their people, their language, their values, their spiritual or religious practice, and the land they’re from. Respect the histories of their people, and the ways in which gender and sex characteristics might be thought about differently than in your own culture. A healthy relationship has room for difference and can celebrate each others diversity.
Kia ora e te whānau, we hope you are all safe and sound during lockdown (level 4 alert for Covid-19). We have compiled some information to help you get through this difficult time.
Though all our upcoming events, monthly socials, drop in days, and office hours are currently on hold, we are still available by email (cleared daily) and by mobile phone (10am – 6pm weekdays), and you are welcome to join our peer to peer infoshare group on social media Transgender and Intersex NZ – it’s the largest trans forum in Aotearoa with over 1,400 members. Your partner, parents, whanau, and supporters are welcome to join it as well. Please remember to answer all three of the joining questions and read through the kaupapa.
Services are operating slightly differently in different regions, but you can access your medical records, manage clinical appointments, get support, and more by registering for Manage My Health, here.
The Ministry of Health has a website here, with info about the total number of confirmed cases, recovered cases, and more. There is also information and advice specifically for elderly people, disabled people, caregivers, and other specific populations available here.
You can apply for a wage subsidy if you are a contractor (including a sex worker), a sole trader, self employed, and under a number of other circumstances. This is a one page form, and asks for contact details, your IRD number, and very little else. You do not have to repay this as long as you meet the requirements. More information about this can be found here.
WINZ payments will not be stopped during lockdown, regardless of whether you miss an appointment, your medical certificate expires, or any other circumstance.
There is usually a 2 week stand down period for all benefit applications.
Additionally, if you stop working in a job you could technically have kept doing, and apply for a job seekers benefit (rather than a wage subsidy), there is an additional stand down of 12 weeks, unless the job you are stopping is sex work. For sex workers, there is no additional stand down.
Many sex workers do pay tax and keep records, in which case applying for a job seekers benefit is simple. If you haven’t been paying tax, this guide will provide simple information.
The end of the tax year is March 31st, so the tax you owe for the financial year is due then. However, IRD is very flexible with repayments and is happy to work with you so your repayments are affordable and not stressful.
How it works: If you declare your sex work as, for example, 5 jobs per week at $150 ($750 for the week) for 10 months of the year, that’s $30,000 in a year. But if you spent $250 a week on a work room or hotel, then you minus that expense ($10,000) from your taxable income, and if you also brought sheets, towels, massage oil, lingerie, a heater, a fan, advertising, and travel costs (ideally you should have receipts), you should also minus those costs – let’s say another $5,000. That means you only made $15,000 taxable income. So if the tax and ACC levies you owe come to 20%, that’s $3,000 you would owe.
If you’re applying for a benefit of, for example, $300 a week, it would take you 10 weeks to recover the cost of declaring your income and paying your tax and ACC (bearing in mind that you can pay off tax debts at just a few dollars a week). If you’re likely to need the benefit for longer than 10 weeks, it makes financial sense to pay your taxes. Of course it’s also legally what you’re supposed to do, which can take the stress off as well.
We recommend that everyone stays home and no one continues to do in-person work of any kind, but if you do plan to continue to do sex work at all, you can declare a job per week at $150 with minimal impact on your benefit, as around $80 of additional income doesn’t affect your benefit, and the other $70 only reduces your benefit by about 20 cents per dollar (about $14 in our example). The more you earn the higher the number of cents per dollar your benefit is reduced by.
Decent housing is a human right, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Housing recently said that as such, NZ has not just a housing crisis but a human rights crisis.
The Minister of Finance announced on 23 March 2020 a freeze of rent increases and protections against tenancy terminations. This means that property investors (such as landlords) cannot raise the price of rent during level 4 alert. It also means that you cannot be evicted ‘without cause’, including being up to 59 days in rent arrears. It does not mean that you can stop paying rent – any rent you can’t pay now will likely have to be repaid at a later time. Advice to landlords is to work with tenants so they can be secure during lockdown and into the future. You can find out more information for tenants and landlords on the tenancy services website here.
If you need to relocate to another house because of danger, you cannot be arrested. If this is your situation it may be possible to join an existing bubble.
Leaving the house
During level 4 alert (lockdown) you are required to stay at home with the people you live with and not leave the property except for essential services, or to deliver essential goods to someone who can’t get these for themself, or to go to work if you are an essential service worker. Essential services include supermarkets, doctors, dairies, vets, pet stores, emergency services and Police, rubbish collection, petrol stations, internet services, and pharmacies. You are allowed to go out for a walk in your local area, as long as you keep a 2 meter distance from anyone who is not in your household, and do not visit playgrounds. You are also allowed to leave if you are in danger, including danger of sexual or family violence. You can find more information here.
Every time someone leaves your property, or ‘quarantine bubble’, there is a risk that if they have Covid-19, they will transmit it to others, or that Covid-19 will be transmitted to them. Even if they maintain a 2 meter distance from others, and everyone wears a face mask and gloves, they might still touch a surface which is contaminated or come into contact with airborne droplets of Corvid-19 and bring that contamination back to their quarantine bubble.
The virus is live for up to 24 hours on paper, cardboard, and soft furnishings, and up to 72 hours on hard surfaces like plastic and metal.
Hand washing: Scrub , rinse, and dry your hands well and often, especially after touching anything outside our quarantine bubble – including your mailbox! Use hot water and soap, wash for 20 seconds, then rinse and dry.
Sanitizing your hands: when you are away from hand washing facilities, use a sanitizer with 70% or higher level of alcohol. You can also carry wet wipes if sanitiser is not available.
Touching your face: do not touch surfaces and then touch your face. Tie long hair back to minimise the risk of touching your face while outside your quarantine bubble. Mucous membranes such as eyes, nose, and mouth are particularly susceptible sites of transmission. Masks: a home made cloth mask should be 2 or 3 layers thick, and can be over 50% as effective as a good commercial mask.
Touching surfaces: what surfaces are you touching? Mailbox, car keys, steering wheel, door handles, ATM, products in the grocery store, shopping trolley, etc. Clean or sanitize your hands frequently.
Decontaminating your clothing and body: Decontaminating when you arrive back to your home or quarantine bubble is important. This includes leaving your shoes outside, changing your clothes, and showering, before touching people or surfaces in your household, to remove any droplets of Covid-19 which you may have come into contact with.
Bringing in items from outside your bubble: If you are bringing home bags or boxes of groceries, either put these in a quarantine area (eg in your laundry) to decontaminate for 72 hours, or alternatively unpack these and wash any washable items – including hard fruit and peelable fruit – in soapy water for 20 seconds. Bags should be put in the trash or paper bags and boxes burned. Frozen items should be washed if possible, or removed from packaging and the packaging discarded, as the virus can survive a much longer time in the freezer.