Include rainbow communities in all disability resources, projects, strategies and policy.

  • Ensure that all disability support services include rainbow communities in any disability resources, projects or national strategies and policy.
  • Include rainbow people with disabilities in all government consultation with rainbow communities, and with disability communities. 

Why the contribution is important

Rainbow (sex characteristic, sexuality and gender diverse) communities and people in New Zealand currently experience higher rates of psychosocial disability (indicated by higher rates of suicidal behaviour, depression and anxiety, eating disorders, substance misuse and isolation) due to experiences of social exclusion and discrimination (Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, 2018). They often face significant barriers to accessing mental health support, including discrimination and misunderstanding related to their identities (RainbowYOUTH & We Are Beneficiaries, 2018).

There is little published material on experiences of rainbow people in Aotearoa who have lived experience of other types of disability, their health and wellbeing or the levels of violence and harm they endure. The All of Us project (Robertson, 2017) was the first of its kind in New Zealand that explores the intersections between living with a disability and having diverse sexuality, gender or sex characteristics. The report confirms the extensive impact on health and wellbeing, both through harm from others and through lack of access to services or information.

Rainbow communities and issues are not currently acknowledged in disability strategies and policy, and disabled rainbow people are not often specifically included in consultation and planning processes for disability initiatives. Including rainbow disabled people as a specific priority would help to make services and supports more accessible, and address specific issues of discrimination and invisibility that rainbow people may face in disability settings.

This idea has been recommended by the Aotearoa New Zealand IDAHOBIT Day Coalition (including InsideOUT, Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ), Tīwhanawhana Trust, Adolescent Health Research Group, University of Auckland, Ara Taiohi, Counting Ourselves Research Team, University of Waikato, F’INE, Love Life Fono, Matariki Services Ltd, Mental Health Foundation, New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF), Ngā Whiitiki Whānau Āhuru Mōwai o Aotearoa, Outerspaces, OUTLine, Qtopia, Q Youth, RainbowYOUTH, Rape Crisis Dunedin, re.frame, Silver Rainbow, Skylight Trust, The UpRising Charitable Trust, WaQuY (Waikato Queer Youth)) to the third Universal Periodic Review of New Zealand's human rights record.


Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. (2018). Rainbow communities, mental health and addictions: a submission to the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction – Oranga Tāngata, Oranga Whānau. Retrieved from: https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/assets/Our-Work/policy-advocacy/Rainbow-communities-and-mental-health-submission-to-the-Inquiry-into-Mental-Health-and-Addiction-08062018.pdf

RainbowYOUTH & We Are Beneficiaries. (2018). Out Loud Aotearoa. Retrieved from: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ry.storage/OutLoud_Report_Web_Final.pdf

Robertson, S. (2017) All of Us: Minority Identities and Inclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand. Retrieved from: https://theallofusproject.net/resource/

by moiraclunie on January 08, 2019 at 02:25PM

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