Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Sexuality

Support Group for Women to Talk about Same Sex Attraction; Auckland


Would you like a supportive women’s space to talk about same sex attraction?

This group is participant directed, a space to explore topics like:

  • What does same sex attraction mean to you?
  • Identity labels…e.g.  Bi, Queer, Lesbian, Dyke
  • Stereotypes and gender stereotypes
  • Being in an opposite sex relationship and having same sex attraction
  • Finding community and dating
  • Being out in society
  • If you want to come out, how to tell family, friends, work colleagues
  • Relationships with women
  • You, your children and a new relationship

This six-week group is facilitated by Cissy Rock and Ellie Lim.  Cissy is a prominent contributor to the Auckland Lesbian scene creating events and support groups.  She enjoys getting alongside people and sharing her experience as a mother, feminist, lesbian, friend and partner.  Ellie works for the Auckland Women’s Centre and has had extensive involvement with rainbow organisations.  She is passionate about enabling women to live the lives they dream of living.

Comments from previous participants:  (I enjoyed) “Being able to connect with people and talk to people who were experiencing similar things to me.  Having experienced people to help us and cheer us on.”  “Really enjoyed (it) and appreciated the professional delivery. Thanks! :-)”

Date: Tuesdays 7 July – 11 August, 2015
Time: 7.00pm-9.00pm
Venue: Auckland Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock Street, Grey Lynn
Cost: FREE
Contact: Ellie on 376 3227 ext 1 or email her on womensservices@womenz.org.nz
Come along, ask questions, share, this is a safe, non-judgemental environment. (6 weeks)

Engage Facebook Highlights

Here are a half a dozen recent highlights from our Facebook page. Please LIKE US!

Kiwi tastes a golden nugget. It’s delicious. Superb animated film about addiction.

Writing from the Toi Ora Creative Writers in the ArtWeek zine
Toi Ora writers make a splash: writing from Matthew Savage, Liz Higgins, Andrew Holdaway and more.

Nine Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try
Your child turns to you and says, “I don’t want to take the bus. My stomach hurts. Please don’t make me go.” A discussion

Public lecture by Professor Rosalind Gill: Sexting, sexualisation and sexism
Modern youth sexuality, sexting and the sexy selfie. 27 November 2014, 6pm.

Finding the Treatment Options that Suck Less
The Crazymeds Manifesto: to help you find treatment options that suck less.

Worst Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder
When your friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, here are the worst things you can tell them.

New Pathway for ACC Sensitive Claims

ACC are the government organisation that can help people with a physical and/or mental injury suffered as a result of sexual abuse or sexual assault.

A new pathway for ACC Sensitive Claims was released in March this year. 

This page provides an overview of the new ACC sensitive claims service, including its key features.

You’ll need to talk to a GP or a counselor to lodge a sensitive claim with ACC.

For more information about how to lodge a sensitive claim, click here.

Receiving Love Course, Auckland, Starts 3 June 2014

  • Every Second Tuesday, 7-10 pm
  • From 3 June 2014 – 4 November 2014
  • At Rest Counselling, 18 Franklin Rd, Ponsonby

REST Counselling are running a Receiving Love course. Designed for couples and individuals, this course will help you learn to become more open in your relationships and increase your capacity to give and receive love.  Based on the work of Harville Hendrix, author of the top selling relationship book of all time, this book looks specifically at issues that block us from receiving love and connection in our relationships.

Suitable for couples and individuals – receiving love is a journey focused on how you connect. The course involves a balanced mix of theory and practical exercise both in the group and in the fortnight between sessions.  The course runs fortnightly for 12 sessions over 24 weeks, starting on the 3rd June.  The cost is $80 per session or $60 for students or CSC holders.  Couples are $120 or $100 for CSC holders.

Receiving Love is an invitation into the journey of conscious relationship expect support, connection and change.  Run by Steven Dromgool an Advanced Imago Relationship Therapist with 15 years experience working with couples and individuals and running both couples and individuals groups.  Steven is passionate and positive about creating conscious connections.  Please feel free tocontact him if you have more questions.

Click here for tickets.


Child Matters 2014 training calendar

Child Matters is a registered charitable trust dedicated to preventing harm to children in New Zealand.

Child Matters provides guidance, advice, education and support to those in a position to act to protect children. Their training and education programmes provide adults with essential skills, and just as importantly the confidence, to intervene when a child needs help.

Find the 2014 programme here:


New Rainbow Community Human Rights Resource: Born Free and Equal

If you haven’t yet seen it, the Human Rights Commission recently released a new human rights, sexual orientation, sex and gender identity resource –  Born Free and Equal.

Copies can be ordered from the Commission by emailing resources@hrc.co.nz or can be downloaded from the HRC website here: www.hrc.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BornFreeEqual_for_Web.pdf

Auckland Pride Festival 8-24 Feb 2013

The 2013 Auckland Pride Festival programme is set to light up the camp with over 50 fabulous events, both international and local. The colourful celebration of Rainbow Community arts, culture and identity spans two weeks and three weekends next February 8-24.

Painting the super city all colours of the prism, the 2013 festival programme features signature events including the Auckland Pride Parade on Ponsonby Road, Get it On! Big Gay Out in Coyle Park, Bear New Zealand WeekHeroic Gardens Festival and The Auckland Pride Gala at Q Theatre – as well as local and international cabaret, comedy, theatre, visual arts, concerts, record releases, book launches, debates, discussions, historical walks, charity events, sporting events, lifestyle events – and not to mention all the fantastic parties!

Set to be the major highlight of the Festival with over 40 float entries so far is The Auckland Pride Parade 2013 which takes place on Saturday 16 February on Ponsonby Road. Expect explosions of colour, flashing sequins, outrageously over the top drag queens, hot toned bodies, wild dancing, and fantastic music – all performed on a stage over 1.5kms long!

Other Auckland Pride Festival 2013 highlights include:

The Auckland Pride Gala will officially open the festival on Friday 8 February at Queen Street’s fabulous Q Theatre. Let your taste-buds be tickled by performances from festival events at this best-of-the-fest black tie occasion, showcasing many of the festival’s most talented entertainers, musicians and artists.

Gobsmacked: Showbiz & Dating from Melbourne, Australia at the Musgrove Theatre. Joined by her BGBF (best_gay_boyfriend), Jamie Burgess, Nikki Aitken bares her single girl’s soul in a musical-theatre-meets-cabaret showcase of spilt chocolate, spirit-fingers and spoilt divas. Featuring all-original music, Nikki and Jamie together commiserate and celebrate the fabulous-darling single life!

The original Māori cross-cultural gender-bender is back on the K’ Road strip with Salon Mika,a sexy cabaret showcase that embraces everything from haka to vogue, burlesque to drag, soul to punk. Be sure to see Auckland’s most beautiful boys, girls and in-betweens in the wild and free performance mélange that could only be Salon Mika.

Hailing all the way from the Mother Land, celebrated British biographer and performer Rose Collis unbuttons her critically-acclaimed Trouser-Wearing Characters show (Brighton Fringe Festival 2012) at TAPAC for a limited season. This unique show mixes music, history and performance engaging us with Rose’s favourite cross-dressing, bygone characters from 50’s media star Nancy Spain to a masquerader ‘Colonel’ Victor Barker, cabaret legend Douglas Byng, to the ‘F***ing Lady’ herself, actress Coral Browne.

In the style of Toa Fraser’s ‘Bare’, Victor Rodger (My Name is Gary Cooper) brings us Black Faggot;a series of humorous monologues exploring the gay Samoan male experience, from a camp closeted member of Destiny Church to a butch Hamo homo with plenty of swag and everything in between.

The last weekend of the festival is must-see event on many gardeners’ calendars, the Heroic Gardens tour which gives attendees exclusive access to some of Auckland City’s most prestigious private gardens. Showcasing gay and lesbian-owned gardens, the festival has grown to include the gardens of many other supporters of Hospice as well.

Check out the full Pride programme online!

Curious.org.nz Website Relaunched by Rainbow Youth

PRESS RELEASE: 15 December 2012

Have you been wondering what happened to the website curious.org.nz? Well ponder no more as the cat’s out of the bag: Aotearoa New Zealand’s premier hub of information, resources and cool stories for queer and trans* youth, curious.org.nz, is completely revamped and back online.

Rainbow Youth website committee and staff have spend the past six months restructuring the website – which was taken down due to technical issues – into a forward thinking site which is accessible to young people across the country.

Rainbow Youth Board Chair Duncan Matthews says over the last few years curious.org.nz has established itself as an important resource for queer and trans* youth. “The relaunched hub retains this original purpose but is now completely designed around regional management by youth for youth. I hope everyone enjoys using curious.org.nz as much as I’ve enjoyed being part of its creation.”

Curious.org.nz has a new visual layout and is fully integrated with social media for better engagement. Features include a search bar and a map of Aotearoa New Zealand which clicks through to blog rolls in each region of the country. These are to be facilitated by groups in each area and will include info on local meet ups, resources, events and news.

Rainbow Youth Executive Director Thomas Hamilton says it’s exciting to see curious.org.nz running again. “It’s important that the website is sustainable and manageable for our small organisation, and that the information, resource and content comes from a youth perspective.

“We fully intend to incorporate the health and well being promotion that was included in the previous version of curious.org.nz, but this platform will grant more national collaboration from youth organisations and be more sustainable economically.”

And the best part? Keeping with Rainbow Youth’s youth run, youth led model, curious.org.nz will continued to be developed and shaped by the people who use and engage with it. “Our volunteers have started the project,” says Hamilton, “And more work will be needed to successfully integrate the regions nationally. This will be fun!”

So what are you curious about? Rainbow Youth urges you to check out the site, share the information with friends and family, and if you’ve got a suggestion or would like to add information to a region, then email info@curious.org.nz to put your request forward.

Rainbow Youth thanks @clintyminty for his effort and experience designing the website, Webwise for turning the design into a website, and 247hosting.co.nz for hosting the website free of charge. Curious is funded thanks to the generous donations received through wtf.org.nz.


For interviews or more information, contact:
Thomas Hamilton – thomas.hamilton@rainbowyouth.org.nz – 021529778
Duncan Matthews – duncan@rainbowyouth.org.nz

Intersex Awareness Workshop and Documentary Screening: 18 August 2012

Transgender Passport Inquiry Meetings Wellington 27 June, Auckland July


The Human Rights Commission continues to work alongside government agencies and community groups around implementing the Transgender Inquiry’s recommendations (http://www.hrc.co.nz/human-rights-environment/action-on-the-transgender-inquiry) . Recently the Department of Internal Affairs approached the Commission about possible ways to simplify the process for trans people who want to change sex details on their passport.

The department attended the recent Agender national conference in Christchurch, to talk with trans people there. The Human Rights Commission has also invited them to speak at community meetings in Wellington and Auckland, as part of a general discussion about progress on the Transgender Inquiry recommendations. Come along to ask questions and have your say.


The Department of Internal Affairs is currently reviewing its operational policies regarding the issuance of passports for transgender applicants, where they wish to record a change in gender identity.  The expectation of the review is to implement a more flexible policy.

The Department’s current thoughts are that applicants would need to provide a witnessed Statutory Declaration with their passport application, outlining their circumstances, and advising the gender identity they wish to be displayed in their passport.

It is intended that the new gender identity would be displayed in the passport only and will not alter a person’s birth or citizenship record.

This change will have no effect on the Births. Deaths and Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995 which allows for an adult or guardian of an eligible child to apply to the New Zealand Family Court for a declaration to have their birth record reflect their nominated gender.

The Department has been consulting with communities across New Zealand with an expectation of being able to implement a new flexible policy in September 2012.

The Department invites any feedback regarding this issue to be forwarded by email to: ispassportsbusinesssupport@dia.govt.nz


Commissioner Richard Tankersley invites you to a community discussion about progress implementing the Transgender Inquiry recommendations. It is a chance to reflect on work that has been done by the Human Rights Commission, government agencies and community groups and our respective roles in progressing outstanding recommendations. The Department of Internal Affairs is coming to ask trans people for their views about proposed changes to the steps needed to change sex details on a passport.

  • Date: Thursday 28 June
  • Time: 5.30 – 7.15pm
  • Venue: Human Rights Commission, Level 1, Vector House, 44 the Terrace, Wellington

RSVP:    to jackb@hrc.co.nz by Tuesday 26 June (as some nibbles will be provided)

Proposed agenda

  • 5.30 Welcome (Commissioner Richard Tankersley)
  • 5.35 Introductions
  • 5.45 Transgender Inquiry – summary of progress on the recommendations (Jack Byrne)
  • 6.05 General questions and discussions about the Transgender Inquiry recommendations including the roles of the Commission, government agencies and community groups
  • 6.45 Department of Internal Affairs’ proposed change to its passports policy for trans people (Helen Jamison)
  • 7.00 Discussion about the proposed passports policy
  • 7.10 Closing comments so we finish by 7.15 –  though people are welcome to stay to talk informally


An Auckland meeting will be held in late July. The date is still to be confirmed. If you would like to be sent an invitation please email Jack on jackb@hrc.co.nz.