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First meeting of the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel

Media release
21 September 2015

Historic first meeting of the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel

The Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel held its first administrative meeting today, setting the stage for how Auckland’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (GLBTI) and Takatāpui communities, or Rainbow communities, will provide strategic advice to council on issues of importance to them.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown first proposed the establishment of a Rainbow panel at the 2014 Big Gay Out and attended the induction meeting today.

“This is an historic and very significant moment for our rainbow communities and Auckland as a whole. Over the course of your term you will experience a diverse range of views from all sides. Your challenge is to lead well and to lead with pace. You have our very best wishes,” Mr Brown told the panel.

Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse was also in attendance and noted the important role the panel will play in the council’s commitment to diversity.

“The Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel is all about this council walking the talk around inclusivity. This is about taking your issues considerately and respectfully through the council process. We cannot do these things without acknowledging the full diversity of our communities, so I am thrilled our rainbow communities are sitting around the table adding their voice,” she said.

Jordan Harris, interim co-chair for the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel noted the aroha and passion among members and the sense that there was much the panel could achieve to address the interests and needs of the GLBTI and Takatāpui communities.

“Today we gathered for the first time as a united group and welcomed the leadership that our members bring to enhance the wellbeing of our communities,” he said.

“The overwhelming sentiment shared by all members today was the need to give our communities a voice. Our task now is to take what we know about our unique communities, their needs and wishes, and create an achievable work plan that will elicit results.”

The inaugural members of the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel are:

Jordon Harris (Interim Co-Chair)
Julie Radford-Poupard (Interim Co-Chair)
Aram Wu
Audrey Hutcheson
Bruce Kilmister
Diana Rands
Duncan Matthews
Julie Watson
Lexie Matheson
Mark Fisher
Merv Taueki-Ransom
Moira Clunie

The next meeting of the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel in October will also be a closed administrative meeting to focus on draft work planning.

The third meeting in November, of which a date is yet to be announced, will be open to the public. Thereafter, the panel will hold open meetings every six weeks.

The Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel’s annual work plan will be presented to the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 4 December 2015.

© Scoop Media

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