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UnitedFuture unveils policy in recognition of diversity


8 August 2017
UnitedFuture unveils policy in recognition of diversity – Dunne/Light

UnitedFuture leader, Hon Peter Dunne alongside Party President and Botany candidate, Damian Light, have today announced the parties policies for New Zealand’s Rainbow Community.

“I am one of the few current Members of Parliament who proudly cast a vote in favour of the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 when it was presented to Parliament on this day thirty one years ago.

“I am similarly proud of the work undertaken by our Party President and Botany candidate, Damian Light, who has established our party’s forward-looking set of principles and policies to create a more tolerant and compassionate future for New Zealand,” said Mr Dunne.

The policy package seeks to make meaningful changes in four key areas:

Young people

• Ensure schools adapt better guidelines outlining how they will ensure safe and inclusive environments for all students with resourcing to help schools set up support groups and provide information to students.
• Ensure school and youth counsellors have training and information regarding LGBTQIA+ issues.
• Ensure support is available for community support groups for the voluntary and community based services they provide for young people including suicide support services and supervision.

“We know that it is most important for people who are young and growing up to be provided as much support as possible in a tolerant and understanding world, this policy seeks to move us towards that world,” said Mr Light.

Healthcare and wellness

• Ensure health providers have appropriate plans, practice standards and funding to responsiveness to the health needs of rainbow communities.
- Ensure trans and gender diverse people's access to gender affirming health services based on an informed consent model of healthcare. Where not available in New Zealand, provide sufficient funding to enable timely access.
• Review regulations surrounding blood donations to ensure that these are based on evidence.
• Support efforts to prevent spread of HIV through protection, testing and early treatment, while providing support for those living with HIV. Fund NZ Aids Foundation to lead efforts, including PreP where appropriate.

“In the twenty first century it is vital that our healthcare system is responsive to the needs of all New Zealanders, that is why be believe ensuring our healthcare system is built on sound evidence, has up-to-date procedures and policies and supports efforts aimed at reducing key health risks for the LGBT community is a paramount value,” Mr Light said.

Gender diversity

• Amend section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993 to explicitly include gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics as specific prohibited groups for grounds of discrimination and ensure that this is put into practice.
- Enable those with intersex conditions and trans and other gender diverse adults to change the sex details on any official documentation to male, female or X based solely on the individual self-identification (children and young people under the age of 18 require support of their legal guardian/parent, taking into account the evolving capacities and best interests of the child).

Justice and fairness

• Monitor, review and update the Department of Correction’s Transgender Prisoner policy to reflect international best practice about placement, care and management of trans prisoners to ensure their right to safety, and access to health services and rehabilitation on an equal basis as others.

“Most of these polices are just common sense, they seek to ensure that our laws and our Government reflects modern New Zealand and build on progress.

“But we must remain forward looking and continue to work for a better tomorrow for New Zealanders.

“We are proposing policies that seek to bring about a better tomorrow for New Zealand and secure a better deal for future generations of New Zealanders, whoever they are, whomever they love and however they identify,” Mr Light concluded.

Ends.

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