Ngā pitopito korero

ILGA Oceania Conference
Women’s Studies Conference in Wellington
Auckland Pride 2018 feedback hui
Hamilton Pride hits 10
ILGA World Wellington 2019
Queenstown’s Pride in the Park

ILGA Oceania Conference

ILGA OceaniaThe ILGA Oceania conference in Samoa from August 29-31 will be opened with a talk by Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa and the patron of the Samoa Fa’afafine Association. The conference will be held at the Taumeasina Island Resort on an island off Apia.

Sessions include country reports from ILGA Oceania Scholars; about lesbians and queer women in the Pacific; funding Pacific LGBTI groups; UN systems and treaties; indigenous identities and voices; Pacific intersex people; Gay dads and Rainbow families; and Intersectionality across movements, among others.

During Thursday 30, delegates will visit the Mapuifagalele Home of the Elderly, where the Samoa Fa’afafine Association works, and the rural Aleipata Fa’afafine Association, enabling a swim at the famous Lalomanu Beach.

leitis-is-waiting.jpgOn the evening of Thursday 30 fa’afafine artist Yuki Kihara will screen her 2018 episode First impressions, from a five-episode series on French artist Paul Gauguin, followed by the Samoan premiere of the award-winning 2017 documentary Leitis in waiting. The conference ends on Friday 31 with the Miss Samoa Fa’afafine Pageant.

ILGA Oceania’s AGM will be held on September 1 and a new board will be elected. Takatāpui wahine Elizabeth Kerekere, below, will be standing. ILGA members are Rainbow organisations rather than individuals, including between up to 15 New Zealand groups.

AntiViolenceElizabethKerekere3Current board members from Aotearoa/New Zealand are Mani Mitchell of the Intersex Trust and Rāwā Karetai. Rāwā and his co-convenor Ymania Brown-Gabriel (Samoa) represent the region at international ILGA meetings.

Elizabeth encourages LGBT groups to join ILGA and attend the conference, which costs $A120. New Zealand is a high income country so ILGA membership is €150 or ~$NZ253, or $NZ507 (€300) for organisations with a budget of more than $NZ337,000.

See the programme on the Oceania conference website. JR

Feminist Engagements in Aotearoa: 125 Years of Suffrage and Beyond

2018WSAConfThe Women’s Studies Conference on September 21-23 will be full of lesbian, queer female and feminist presenters discussing a wide range of topics.

The conference begins with a tour of the National Library’s He Tohu exhibition, the opening lecture by historian Barbara Brookes and social drinks.

Session topics include plurisexual-identified women, the Canterbury quakes, abortion, aging, health, pay equity, porn, memes, online abuse, flourishing after violence, self-defence, Asian women, young Māori mothers, highschool feminism, sex work, film and history.

Workshops include a Charlotte Museum pop-up, and memes against misogyny, and panels will discuss Asian women since poll tax, and women artists, among other topics.

Suffrage125The other keynote speaker is Professor of Indigenous Studies Linda Nikora. There’ll also be feminist songs, and a visit to an exhibition by four Māori women artists.

Early bird registrations are $200 for members, $235 for non-members and $125 for students or unwaged people. One-day fees range from $70 to $145. After August 31, fees are $220 for members, $255 for non-members and $145 for students. One-day fees range from $90 to $165. Registrations close on September 14. See the website and register here. JR

Have your say on Auckland Pride 2018

Auckland Pride LogoFour community hui in August will enable Rainbow people and communities to have their say about how to improve Auckland Pride for next year.

The Auckland Pride Board says that feedback from these meetings “directly influences” its work as well as the festival and parade directors; board members and staff will be at each hui.

All hui are open to all, with some having a special focus. The first hui is on Saturday 18 from 2-4pm at Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. Takatāpui Māori kōrero and kaupapa will be the focus on Tuesday 21 from 7pm at Te Unga Waka Marae, 1 Clyde St, Epsom.

Youth are the focus on the online hui, live-streamed on Auckland Pride’s Facebook page on Wednesday 22 from 7-9pm and hosted by Zakk D’Larté.

The Talanoa on Saturday 25 from midday at the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, 2/22 Amersham Way, Manukau, will focus on engagement with Pacific communities. It is co-hosted with the NZAF Love Life Fono.

Everyone who attends a hui, in person or online, goes in the draw to win two tickets to the Rainbow NZ Charitable Trust fundraising dinner and auction with Helen Clark at Cordis Auckland on Sunday September 9.

To discuss a specific issue at one of the hui, email, but this is not essential as participants will have an opportunity to raise their topics. See the Pride website.

Pride gets new chairwoman

CissyNew Auckland Pride chairperson Cissy Rock, a long-term lesbian community worker, says the role was not one she ever intended. “I did some pro bono work with Pride a year ago. They asked me back and that work uncovered some gaps, so I did some paid contracting with them. They were good people on the board wanting to do right by the community, and I enjoyed working with them.”

“Then Cassie (Roma, former chair until the day after the recent AGM) resigned and the board asked whether I’d consider being chair.” Cissy initially said no, because of the size of the job and her role as a former contractor, then reconsidered. Her term will last until the next AGM in 2019.

Also new to the board is former Festival Director Ta’i Paitai, elected at the recent AGM, and returning is Zakk d’Larté re-elected at the AGM for a second term. They join Verity George, Adrian Noda, Matt Jackson, treasurer and Michael Lett, secretary.

The board is also calling for expressions of interest for two remaining appointed board positions; email

Openness and transparency

Cissy wants to see “a lot more community involvement in Pride, opening up part of board meetings to members, minutes available for members, and for our communities to have the difficult conversations we need to have.” However, she acknowledges that such changes may take some time.

“We need to discuss as a board how to do that; I want to be sure that we’re all behind what we do, that we’re doing things we agree with.”

“We’re on the road to fixing rifts and lack of transparency. Everyone on the board is committed to transparency and working with integrity,” she says.

“At the AGM people said they wanted the parade to be ours, for people of our communities, not just for anyone. So how do we do that and meet the needs of the sponsors? At the last board meeting we discussed how to get the parade to be more queer, more political and more risqué. The biggest challenge facing Pride is finding the appropriate balance between community needs, available resources and sponsors’ desires.”

Cissy sees the board “being pulled in lots of different directions – even among my friends everyone wants different things from Pride.”

A problem in the past has been lack of institutional memory, she says; “the board has had to reinvent the wheel over and over. What we need are board members able to do two or three years with other people behind them, so there’s a rhythm and memory.”

She wants “to be visible as a lesbian feminist, and see what that attracts.” Jenny R

Hamilton Pride hits 10

Hamilton Pride

Six events by women are among the 16 events of the 10th Hamilton Pride Festival from September 1–9.

They include a screening the Battle of the Sexes, between tennis players Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, on Sunday 2, organised by the Lesbian Social Group.

Queer Writers read things, a poetry and prose event open to all, is being organised by queer woman Shaynah Jackson on Thursday 6.

On Saturday 8, female lecturers from the University of Waikato will take part in a symposium on diverse genders and sexualities, with artists and community groups. That evening, lesbian softball team Rainbow Warriors runs a lip synch competition and dance party for women.

And on Sunday 9, lesbians can check out the ‘world’s first compostable vibrator’ at a Go eco make your own lube workshop with Jo Wrigley, an out lesbian candidate for the Green Party in 2017, as well as enjoy Pride in the Park with family and friends.

HP Queer KoreroOther events include the opening party, ‘10s, 10s, 10s across the board’ at the Meteor; the open-to-all-genders Fountain City pageant; and Queer Korero, a discussion about queer youth identities and issues.

Details of the four events organised by the festival committee will be released by Friday 10 and for those organised by community groups by Friday 17.

The festival’s committee chair, Rhiannon Bond, says the festival is “a lot bigger and more diverse now” than in its first years.

Your last chance to contribute to the festival is the final open Pride meeting before the festival on Friday August 31. Head to Link House, 2 Dawson St at 6pm. Pictured are some of those at July’s meeting.

See the festival Facebook page and the Hamilton Pride website.

Hamilton Pride meeting

ILGA World Wellington 2019

Deadlines have been released for scholarships to attend and proposals to present at the 40th International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) world conference in March 2019 in Wellington.

2019_ilga_world wtnHosted by ILGA member organisations Intersex Trust Aotearoa/NZ, Tīwhanawhana Trust and Rainbow Youth, the conference runs in the Michael Fowler Centre from March 18-22 with the theme Celebrating the past to liberate the future.

Tīwhanawhana leader Elizabeth Kerekere encourages indigenous peoples and other Rainbow groups to apply for scholarships and to present in creative ways. “We want to support ILGA World in getting scholarships for people from marginalised communities and oppressive societies.”

“People can propose panels, workshops, films, creative presentations, and eight-minute Rainbow talks. We encourage maximum creativity.” The deadline for scholarships and presentation proposals is Saturday August 18. Programming will be selected by the ILGA World office in Geneva.

ILGA Helen_ Kennedy.jpgHelen Kennedy of Canada, left, Co-Secretary General of ILGA World, and ILGA Executive Director André du Plessis will attend the launch of the conference on August 24 (see Dyke Diary), during a visit to organisers and Wellington venues from August 20. They will also meet Mayor Justin Lester, Rainbow MPs and other dignitaries “to get a taste of what it will be like,” says Elizabeth.

The six values that guide the hosts of the conference are Mana motuhake, the autonomy and equal voices of the organising groups; Te Tīriti o Waitangi, decolonising sex and gender; Whānau, an intergenerational perspective; Whanaungatanga, extended relationships between groups; Manāki manuhiri, honouring guests; and Pārekareka, having fun.

Elizabeth says that the organisers are keen to connect people from around the world with local communities, “which is why we moved the conference to coincide with Wellington Pride.” She hopes to include meeting spaces for youth, lesbians and indigenous peoples as part of manāki manuhiri.

The conference is open to member organisations, and registrations open on September 18. See the conference website, and scroll down check out LNA’s statement of support from 2017. JR

Queenstown’s Pride in the Park

Queenstown’s Winter Pride festival from September 1–9 has been granted $25,000 by the Queenstown Lakes District Council towards the first Pride in the Park on Friday 7.

Winter Pride boardThis is the first cash funding from the council towards the first major free public Pride event in Queenstown, says co-organiser Martin King. “It’s incredible funding for Winter Pride, the equivalent of $1 for every person in the region.”

The money will go towards traffic and other infrastructure costs for such a large public event, which the council would otherwise charge.

Pride in the Park runs from noon to 8pm in Earnslaw Park, and the stage will showcase more than 30 local, Auckland, Wellington and overseas performers.

DJ Harry K from Fluffy in Brisbane will be on the music, and drag performers from Rainbow venues in Auckland and Wellington, in town for Pride parties, will be onstage.

Winter pride pledgeMartin expects the doggie drag talent show, judged by MP Louisa Wall, to be popular. Louisa will also launch the Pride Pledge with patron, Mayoress Karen Boult (Ngai Tahu). The launch will unveil all the local business and community organisations who have vowed to use their voice and influence “to support visibility, safety, tolerance, love, diversity and inclusion of all LGBTTQ+ people”.

Also attending is MP Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Social Development and Disability Issues, and associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Pacific Peoples.

Winter Pride busMartin says students from the Queenstown Resort College’s event management course are co-ordinating performers and stage management.

Martin says the festival has strong female support, with women leading the core team of party organisers and making up half the festival’s 60 volunteers. Ticket sales to women have so far kept up with the one in four of the previous year’s event, run by former owners Sally and Mandy Whitewoods.

See the website, the Gay Ski Week Facebook Page, join the Women’s Pride Facebook group, or download the updated full schedule. JR

8 thoughts on “News”

  1. Lisa Melville’s PhD thesis is not the first study of Lesbian mothers in Aotearoa. My Masters thesis ‘Lesbian Mothers, Queer Families’ AUT 2004, followed a cohort of lesbian mothers through planning pregnancy, birth, experience of midwifery/obstetric care and the evolution of their relationship/family in the first two years of their child’s life. Caroline Bree


    1. Hi Caroline. Sorry this is months later – but yes you are correct mine is not the first study of lesbian mothers in Aotearoa. There has been a lot of work done by yourself and others to pave the way and support my research. So thanks!


  2. Anne Ruck Masters thesis, in Women’s Studies, VUW, is probably the first NZ thesis to address lesbian mothers. She interviewed lesbian mothers to find out if they were satisfied with the arrangements made with donors, and later connections to the children. I was her supervisor. I think the date was about 1992 – will check.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The first openly lesbian book in NZ was based on the interviews of 70 lesbian mothers in 1982. AmazonMothers 1984. Not an acedemic study but a support book for lesbian mothers. Miriam Saphira PhD.

        Liked by 1 person

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News, pix and profiles about lesbians and queer women in Aotearoa/New Zealand

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