Supporting the health and wellbeing of the local rainbow community

Rainbow heart.Our sexual and gender identity goes to the heart of who we are as people. Some of us – especially younger people – can at times find it hard figuring out how we identify.

No one really knows yet what determines a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Some people find it easy to accept, and be accepted for, who they are. Others can find it more of a struggle, especially if our whānau and friends don’t support us.

Feeling comfortable and confident about our sexual and gender identity is crucial to good health and wellbeing. Identifying as LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexed and Asexual) may make you more prone to being labelled, made fun of or abused. It’s a sad fact that people who seem to be different to the ‘norm’ often face discrimination and bullying.

Some resources are available to explore issues around gender and sexual identity as well as support services.

Community and Public Health assists the LGBTQIA+ community by:

  • being part of the Pink Health Ōtautahi project; and
  • supporting the Pride Committee.


Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates

Beehive media release: 13th June 2021

The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, announced Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti.

“This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and is committed to making it easier for people to formally acknowledge their identified gender,” Jan Tinetti said.

“This Government supports the select committee’s recommendation to include self-identification provisions in the Bill, but we want further improvements. It’s important that we get this right.

“Gender terminology evolves rapidly – what was appropriate five years ago may not be what is used today. So I am proposing a range of sex markers to be set in regulations rather than in legislation.”

Setting the sex markers in regulations will mean they can be more easily reviewed and updated to ensure they meet the needs of transgender, non-binary and intersex people.

“Gender can be fluid, and how a person identifies may change over time. I propose allowing a person to change their registered sex multiple times – however, those wanting to amend their registered sex multiple times will have to meet requirements to ensure their application is genuine. These requirements will be established in regulations.

“The Bill will have its second reading in August, after which I will invite a select committee to consider public submissions on the self-identification provisions in the Bill so that everyone can have their say. I would like to hear more, for example, from our diverse communities, including Māori, Pacific peoples and ethnic communities, as well as young people.”

All Right?: Taking pride in who we are

However you identify: More than All Right?

Research from the All Right? campaign in early 2020 found that the Christchurch rainbow community is optimistic overall and many things are getting better. However many LGBTQIA+ people still face significant obstacles to their wellbeing.

The rainbow community contributes so much to our city – injecting vibrancy, excitement and compassion. Unfortunately, discrimination, bullying, privacy violations and things as simple as incorrect assumptions are holding us back, and our city is poorer for it.

“The LGBTQIA+ communities contribute so much to our community, and needs to be celebrated, not just tolerated” says All Right? manager Sue Turner.

The More than All Right? campaign is designed to celebrate and give greater visibility to our local rainbow community. It shines the light on local members of our rainbow community from all walks of life.


Research reports on human rights, wellbeing and health

Support materials for parents and schools


Order resources from the Community Health Information Centre.


For more information, contact:

Diane Shannon
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Support services for LGBTQIA+ community

OUTline NZ
0800 OUTLINE (0800 688 463)

The LowDown
Text 5626

Depression Helpline
0800 111 757

Support organisations for Canterbury, South Canterbury and West Coast LGBTQIA youth [135KB PDF].

Qtopia (Facebook).

LGBT Community Timaru (Facebook).

Support networks for transgender people (HealthInfo).

Information on Canterbury DHB gender affirming health services (HealthInfo).

Page last updated: 23/07/2021

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