Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Youth Sector Rainbow Collective Question Government’s ‘Rebuilding Together’ Budget

Several of Aotearoa’s rainbow organisations have spoken out about the lack of specific funding allocated to rainbow communities in the 2020 Rebuilding Together Budget.

Representing a large body of advocates for the queer, gender diverse, takatāpui & (VSC)/intersex communities*, the Youth Sector Rainbow Collective comprises several organisations including RainbowYOUTH, InsideOUT Kōaro, Waikato Queer Youth, OUTLine, New Zealand Aids Foundation, Dunedin Pride, Intersex Youth Aotearoa (ITANZ), Q Youth & Qtopia.

The 2020 Rebuilding Together Budget includes an $183m increase in funding for family violence services and a further $115m for social services and community groups, which we were thrilled to see. We’d like to see rainbow communities specifically named in this section as a priority group, as there is no assurance that the needs of rainbow young people will be specifically considered without this. Our organisations consistently work with young people who experience family & intimate partner violence; an issue that affects rainbow communities at a disproportionate rate. Recent research shows us that rainbow communities - particularly transgender & non binary people - are more likely to face family violence and rejection, which we have seen increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

District Health Boards were allocated a $3.9b funding boost along with $282.5m to catch up on delayed care such as specialist appointments and surgeries. We’d like to see a targeted approach towards prioritising gender affirming healthcare for transgender & non binary people in need of gender affirming surgeries, as the access to these procedures is already limited or uncertain, and is likely to worsen as resources are reprioritised to the COVID-19 response. It is crucial to ensure ongoing service delivery that meets the needs of VSC/intersex young people and improves access to affirming and aware specialist health care. VSC/intersex people are underrepresented in all national data collection; research shows us that 3% of the participants in the Counting Ourselvse Study identified as VSC/intersex, with 21% questioning if they may have a VSC intersex condition. For a lot of the communities that our organisations support, people live in fear that their access to medical care will become more limited due to the pandemic. Our communities are afraid that they won’t be able to continue their hormone treatment either due to a lack of supply, or not being able to access their GP. As organisations who work on the ground to support young people access gender affirming healthcare, we know that there is an unmet need for people who want gender affirming surgery but are not able to access this. Research shows us that 67% of transgender men and 49% of transgender women have an umet need for gender affirming surgeries, with affordability being the most common barrier to accessing this.

$20 billion - almost 80% of the Rebuilding Together Budget, has been set aside for the ongoing response to COVID-19. There are many ways that rainbow young people are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting restrictions - particularly in regards to mental health & wellbeing. We would like to see a portion of this funding allocated towards national initiatives that enable mental health & addiction support services to be accessible and appropriate for rainbow young people. Even at the best of times, rainbow young people face higher rates of mental distress than their peers. We know that 71% of transgender & non binary people experience high or very high psychological distress; compared with only 8% of the general population. This is more prevalent for people with intersecting identities - for example; takatāpui might experience distress related to being Māori and the discrimination that brings, alongside their sexuality, variation of sex characterisitics or gender. In order to combat this, we need to work towards creating a more sustainable & supportive mental health system.

Lastly, we would like to see a strong commitment from our government towards reducing rates of homelessness - particularly for queer, takatāpui, VSC/intersex & gender diverse people. Although the proposed 8,000 new public & transitional homes will provide solace for a lot of vulnerable people, currently there are 16,309 people on the waitlist for social housing. Recent research shows us that almost one in five trangender & non binary people in New Zealand have experienced homelessness in their lifetime. People who are kicked out of their family home due to their gender often struggle to find housing options that are safe and welcoming. Moreover, discrimination from employers, housing providers, and the wider public contributes to a cycle of homelessness for transgender & non binary people. We would like to see stronger initiatives to ensure that queer, takatāpui, VSC/intersex & gender diverse people have access to housing that is safe and accessible.

Now more than ever, rainbow communities are facing significant challenges relating to employment, housing, family violence, and mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting restrictions are changing the way that we live and work, and we suspect that this will get increasingly challenging over the next few months. We are calling on the government to name rainbow communities in the Rebuilding Together Budget.


Waikato Queer Youth

InsideOUT Kōaro
Dunedin Pride

Intersex Youth Aotearoa (ITANZ)

New Zealand Aids Foundation


Q Youth


*VSC: variation of sex characteristics.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Welfare Reform Has No Champions In Parliament

Ever since Victorian times, the unemployed have been a problem for those more fortunate, wealthy and powerful. Down the ages, society has been torn between providing for them as victims of misfortune, or dealing to them as the shiftless agents of their own condition. Either way, the poor are commonly regarded as The Other – as a group of outsiders gathered pitifully, reproachfully, or (depending on your POV) threateningly at the gates of polite society.... More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes

The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>


ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>


Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>






InfoPages News Channels