29 Sep 2021

Further $600k funding for rainbow youth in NZ

2:19 pm on 29 September 2021

A Pacific organisation for rainbow youth in New Zealand is among those who will benefit from a funding boost from the government.

The New Zealand government has announced a $600,000 top-up to a $4 million package announced earlier this year, targeted specifically for rainbow youth.

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Photo: Auckland Pride Festival / Twitter

It is the first ever nationwide fund for rainbow young people.

The now $4.6 million package consists of $3.2 million for primary mental health and addiction services - awarded to RainbowYOUTH and InsideOUT Kōaro.

The additional $600,000 will deliver rainbow competency training to mental health and addiction workforces.

Ngā Uri o Whiti Te Rā Mai Le Moana Trust is one of 12 organisations to secure funding through the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund - which was established for rainbow communities in commemoration of homosexual law reform.

The Wellington-based provider will receive funding for a wellness fono retreat for MVPFAFF+ (mahu, vakasalewa, palopa, fa'afafine, akava'ine, fakaleiti (leiti), fakafifine) people.

The Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund is operated by the Rule Foundation, and will administer funding to 11 other Māori, Pasifika and other ethnic communities.

"This funding is part of a legacy of positive outcomes being created by the 2019 Wellbeing Budget where we committed to improve access to and choice of mental wellbeing services for all New Zealanders," health minister Andrew Little said.

"We know the rainbow community is more at-risk and likely to experience poorer mental health and wellbeing, discrimination, harassment and bullying than the general population and this is unacceptable.

"This funding is to support projects, activities and Rainbow organisations to improve mental health outcomes for future generations of rainbow communities."

Youth mental health is part of the Cooperation Agreement between the Labour and Green parties.

"Back in 2019 the He Ara Oranga Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry made clear that a person's mental wellbeing relies on each of us having what we need to live our authentic, connected lives," Green Party mental health spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said.

"For our rainbow and takatāpui whānau, this means being supported to be who we are, no matter who we are or who we love.

"Today's funding boost for fit for purpose mental health and addiction supports will help ensure that our communities can access the services they, like all New Zealanders, deserve."