9 Mar 2019

Govt team needed to improve equality for LGBTQI community - Greens

6:26 pm on 9 March 2019

Green MP Jan Logie says she wants a government team dedicated to improving equality for the Rainbow community.

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Photo: VNP / Phil Smith

The comments were made during the launch of the annual Wellington Pride Festival, which is running from 8 to 24 March.

Ms Logie said institutional discrimination and invisibility of the LGBTQI community needed to be removed at a government level.

"We've seen Statistics New Zealand starting to progress the inclusion of our communities with their data collection, we know there's a lot more that needs to be done to meet our health needs and ensuring a safe environment and community within our schools," she said.

Ms Logie said problems such as homelessness and poor mental health from discrimination were being left to groups who were largely run by volunteers.

"There is no resource for those communities to be doing that work, so there's a wide range of issues that come about as a result of being a small marginalised community with a history of discrimination," she said.

She said this really under-resourced community was expected to go agency to agency to have the discussions needed to make change.

"I think we would make much more progress as a country if there was some team within government who was able to help facilitate the work," she said.

However, she was unsure whether it would be best achieved by adding a unit to a pre-existing Ministry, or for the Rainbow Community to have its own.

"My primary focus is helping us make progress as a country around the inclusion and the wellbeing and the human rights of the Rainbow Community and it's clear to me we need more resourcing, advocacy and a place within government to help reinforce those voices," she said.