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.


Free online course: Supporting Transgender People

Gender Minorities Aotearoa is offering a free online course called Supporting Transgender People. This course is designed to increase your knowledge of issues affecting transgender people in Aotearoa, and to build your confidence in speaking about these issues and supporting transgender people. It is an introductory course and is suitable for people with any level of knowledge on transgender issues.

The course takes 2 to 3 hours to complete, and is broken into three sessions. You can stop at any time and continue later by logging in again. There are links to further reading at the end of some sections – these are optional and are not included in the time allocation.

Content warning: This course discusses stigma, discrimination, and violence experienced by transgender and intersex people. Some content may be distressing.

Simple self-identification one step closer

Beehive media release: 11th August 2021

A self-identification process that supports the needs of transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders is one step closer, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti said today.

“I’m inviting the Governance and Administration select committee to consider improvements to the self-identification process in the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill”, Jan Tinetti said.

“There has been strong, ongoing public interest in this Bill and I am excited to see it moving towards becoming law. I look forward to hearing from everyone interested in the proposals.”

The Bill had its second reading in Parliament today.

­Self-identification was introduced to the Bill by the select committee in 2018 in response to a petition it received. Minister Tinetti has proposed improvements to the self-identification process  in the Supplementary Order Paper.

“This Government is committed to making sure we have the best process for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders to formally acknowledge their gender.

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

Page last updated: 15/10/2021

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