Hereturikōkā / August 2017

What was happening in August? Here’s our Hereturikōkā update – all items collected in one handy page!

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, news

National/multiple centres
National Day of Silence against bullying
Election coverageLabour candidate Kiritapu Allan and Greens candidate Elizabeth Kerekere
Mana Wāhine union conference
Dancing for equal pay
Auckland Council Rainbow consultation
Auckland Pride dates and feedback
Dunedin Q2 and university events

Day of Silence and video project

DoS Unlearn homophobiaThe annual Day of Silence on Friday August 18 aims to raise the visibility of “homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in New Zealand schools”, according to one of its explanatory videos. Day of Silence exists “to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression”.

This year it is organised for Wellington-based youth group InsideOUT by queer woman Laura Duffy, and includes new resources and ways to get involved.

As well as signs people can print and photograph in selfies, supporters can download lockscreens for their iPhones, frames for their Facebook page, the FAQ video, and a range of graphics about bullying. New graphics about unlearning homo-, bi- and transphobia are also available.

“We’ve made it more digital so that people can get the resources on their phones really quickly,” says Laura. She hopes that schools, classes and groups use the videos to promote discussion of bullying.
2017 Day-Of-Silence logoThe Unlearn graphics have alrady been pasted for a week on walls in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and a new set of graphics will be pasted in those cities on the week of the 18th.

The site also includes fundraising ideas for workplaces, and encourages students and schools to sponsor the silence of volunteers on the day. “We hope this will help the day become self-funding,” says Laura.

Students from 85 schools have taken part in the DoS since 2014. See the website, the Facebook event page, InsideOUT’s Instagram page, InsideOUT’s YouTube channel, and watch for DoS tweets.

Video and poster project

Laura is also co-ordinating a project that aims to represent positively those Rainbow populations who are rarely noticed by mass media, including takatāpui, and Rainbow people of colour, those with disabilities and others.

With a working title of Rainbow Minorities, the poster and video series will be a resource for Rainbow and wider communities. An online survey asking for ideas about various options and for volunteers has been distributed widely, and Laura expects the resources to be available by the end of the year.

Laura is a visual artist who finished her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2015, and has volunteered for InsideOUT for 18 months. She was also responsible for the 2016 Day of Silence videos. Jenny R

Election coverage

We begin our election coverage with the East Coast of the North Island, where voters can choose a female takatāpui candidate in both the general East Coast and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorates. In our September update we’ll interview sitting MPs Louisa Wall (Labour) and Jan Logie (Green) and other candidates, and in October we’ll report on their results. However they fare, these two takatāpui wāhine are ones to watch.

Labour candidate Kiritapu Allan

It was a combination of what was happening for her community and timing that led Kiritapu Allan (Ngati Ranginui, Ngai Te Rangi, Tuwharetoa) to stand for parliament – “I only wanted to run in the East Coast, and the Labour candidate was retiring”. She spoke to LNA from Ruatoria, where she was about to talk on iwi radio, and was leading a 7 Sharp camera team investigating poverty in the region.

Kiri was “number nine out of ten kids, raised in Paengaroa” by her aunt and uncle, who were Labour supporters. Her wife Natalie, who is expecting their first baby this month, was raised 40 minutes away in Te Teko.

ElTwoFacesOfKiriIt was their move back to Whakatane over three years ago, after working as lawyers in the rarefied atmosphere of Wellington, which opened Kiri’s eyes to the difficulties in the region.

“It’s been a culture shock being back home, you feel the inequalities between our communities that I was sheltered from in Wellington. There are no jobs here, Gisborne has 10 percent unemployment, twice the national average, and is top in youth suicide, mental health problems and other negative statistics.” The East Coast electorate stretches from Whakatane around the East Cape and is 49 percent Māori.

“Most of my sisters are solo parents. I see people run out of money at the end of every week, with all the hurt and humiliation that brings. I thought that stuff wasn’t affecting our family but it is. Our people are really struggling, but the rich live in a rock star economy, with two percent earning much higher incomes than before, and more new entrants on the rich list than ever before.”

She’s impassioned and committed but she faces a big hurdle; National Party heavyweight Anne Tolley won the electorate in 2014 with 50 percent of the votes to Labour’s 30 percent. Tolley is 63 to Kiri’s 33; Kiri’s social media hash tag is #tolleygetonyourtrolley. (Kiri is pictured below on her last day at work before campaigning; her workmates gave her the outfit.)

ElKiriLastDayAtWorkKiri is also number 20 on the Labour list; “with current polling I should get in. I’m trying very hard to win the electorate, but I know there’s a deficit of 8,000 votes. Whether I win or not, I’ll be an advocate for the issues here; my job is to fight for our communities. I’ll bust my ass for three years building trust and relationships, supporting the community people who do the work.”

“I come from a commercial background, so I’m thinking how to get our rural economy ticking. There’s nowhere for the kids to go, we need to create decent jobs at a living wage, with training and trades. There’s an enormous housing crisis, an extreme shortage.”

She brought the 7 Sharp team because “there’s a blanket silence on the depth of poverty in the region; I’m putting a spotlight on it. It doesn’t get talked about and we get ignored.”

“My focus is economic development, housing and jobs, but you can’t do much unless you’re in government; Labour has been nine years in opposition and I think there’ll be a pendulum shift.”

“Neoliberalism is a failed project”, and Kiri says “a socialist agenda drives our caucus and membership” which she stresses is very different to the ones who passed the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004, and ushered in neoliberalism.

“We have to confront the fourth Labour government’s mark on our history. There are a lot of Labour people who want us to go back to the policies of Michael Joseph Savage. Labour’s membership is increasing, there’s a younger wave coming through. We’re not where we were 20 years ago; judge us by what we do.” She’s pictured below with Ed Takako and the coastie campaign caravan.

ElKiri, Ed Takako & Coastie Campaign CaravanKiri studied law in Wellington, interning with then Prime Minister Helen Clark in her second year of university. She worked in the USA and at the United Nations, and in commercial law, first with Chen Palmer in Wellington, then with Kahui Law in the Bay of Plenty.

She identifies as takatāpui. “I came out at school at 16. I was raised in a fundamentalist Pentecostal Christian family. I was dating my boss at work, an older woman of 19 (she laughs), and she said it was time I told my family. I rang my sister, she rang around and by the time I got home all my stuff had been piled outside the house. I was chucked out of the family for a few years, while my sisters worked on my mum.”

“She is a very compassionate, very strong woman and when I brought the next girlfriend home, mum embraced her wholeheartedly. It’s cool with Mum and Dad now, they’re happy to chat to the families of a lot of my Christian mates who’ve come out over the years.”

Kiri met her partner line dancing at an RSA in Taranaki, while both were studying. They were best mates who happened to be single at the same time. They’ve been together for four years and married for 18 months.

“She wanted to carry a baby, I never did. We’d like three but we’ll see how it goes. The donor is in a couple and we’re all looking forward to the baby.”

Kiri’s former partner was an MP so she knows what a toll the job takes on relationships and children. She says her sexuality has had no influence on her campaign. She’s in a conservative electorate, but “it’s not an issue. People are pretty stoked when they find out about the baby. That’s all the nannies want to know – as long as I’m contributing to the whānau they’re happy.” JR

Greens candidate Elizabeth Kerekere

ElElizWtnPrideParadeTakatāpui activist Elizabeth Kerekere (Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki and Te Whānau a Kai) has led many projects covered in LNA and its print predecessor. She co-founded long-time Wellington takatāpui group Tiwhanawhana, has been driving a national Rainbow political strategy, wrote valuable booklets about takatāpui based on her PhD thesis on takatāpui identities, has worked against violence and on many other issues.

When asked why she stood for parliament, she said: “I’ve been an activist since I was 15 and I’ve seen over 35 years that change happens on many levels. As my skill improved and other young Rainbow activists came through, it felt like time to increase the numbers of us working on Rainbow issues at a legislative level”.

“I’ve always voted Green, even though I haven’t worked specifically on environmental issues. Our land is everything for Māori and our primary role is to look after it.”

“It is one of the core Green philosophies and they are the main party that tries to give effect to the Treaty, and ensure that iwi and Māori have a say about land issues. There have been many instances of environmentalists at odds with how local iwi use and view the land, so I see Greens as a really good platform to move that forward.”

Elizabeth wanted to stand for her Māori electorate, because she wanted to focus on Māori. “I was brought up to get a good education, bring it home and use it.” She moved back to Gisborne, her tribal area, in 2009. “It’s time for me now to give back to all the people down the coast that I’m connected with through whakapapa.”

“In all the work I’ve done I’ve sought a specific Māori position, to give voice to those who don’t normally get heard. Gisborne has the highest rates of family violence and convictions in the country, but it’s also the heart of Māori art, of a renaissance in ta moko and kapa haka.”

The challenges in the electorate are complex and interwoven, and Elizabeth wants to campaign about them “in a way that honours our creativity and strength”. She gives a few examples.

ElElizabethNotOK“For example, Statoil has the largest seismic testing ship in the world destroying life on the seabed off our coast with a view to drilling, and National Government is encouraging that. We also need housing and education; some of the poorest areas in the country are in this electorate in Gisborne, Hastings and the Hutt.”

She’s concerned about the erosion of infrastructure across the region, in transport, health care and disappearing government services. “My entire electorate is along the coast, so there’s the impact of crazy weather from climate change. Ratepayers can’t cover the huge work that is needed, and councils aren’t resourced enough by central government to cope with it.”

The environment in much of her largely rural electorate is very different for takatāpui than it is in cities. “There isn’t a lesbian, gay or trans community as such, people organise more in networks. Whānau acceptance is important and visibility, which is why I wrote my resources.”

Takatāpui also need ways to have a say on what impacts them, Elizabeth says. “I really support the I’m Local project by Rainbow Youth, where they send resources and support to rural areas.” She says breast cancer is a major issue for takatāpui wāhine, and “suicide is huge for Māori and Rainbow communities.”

“A lot of my work is creating systems, networks and resources so they don’t feel so alone, and they live to grow old. And when we get old, if whānau don’t support our gender or sexual identity, that’s a pretty horrible tangi to be part of. It’s not acceptable for a lesbian not having their partner acknowledged at their tangi.”

ElElizTiwhanwhanaWtnPrideElizabeth has little chance of winning the electorate – “it’s been a safe Labour seat for many years”.  The Green strategy is to aim for the party vote; she’s 22 on the final list which makes a list seat unlikely.

If Elizabeth doesn’t get into parliament this election, “there are some things I want to get done. The biggest project is the National Rainbow Strategy; hopefully we’ll have a new government, but if we don’t we want to tell them what we want them to focus on, and we will continue to lobby about that.”

“The other big project is the ILGA World Conference in March 2019″. Elizabeth also wants to “evaluate the takatāpui resources I’ve produced, help prevent takatāpui suicide, work with iwi providers of anti-violence services about serving Rainbow communities, and produce another resource about healthy Rainbow relationships.”

“I finished the PhD in May, and I haven’t had the time to get known. I’m relatively well-known in Gisborne, but I haven’t done much work in the rest of the electorate. Over the next three years I will work across the region and they’ll get to know me and I will be in next election.”

When asked if she had anything else to say to lesbians, takatāpui and queer women, she encouraged us to go to campaign debates, vote and continue to raise issues with our MPs. “If we want to advance our issues we must change the government. Things have got worse for young Rainbow people over the nine years of the National Government.” JR

Mana Wāhine

Eileen Brown reports from the successful NZ Council of Trade Unions (CTU) Te Kauae Kaimahi Conference for union women in July.
Mana Wahine dancingA keenly felt absence was our beloved union sister, Helen Kelly, who died in 2016 and to whom we paid tribute at the beginning.  A panel of Māori union women – Kerri Nuku, NZ Nurses Organisation Kaiwhakahaere; Muriel Tunoho, Maori President of E Tū; and Laures Parkes of NZ Educational Institute (primary teacher union)/ Matua Takawaenga – spoke powerfully and profoundly about what inspired them.

Two other themes were election 2017 and union organising. The panel of MPs – Jan Logie, Denise Roche, Sue Moroney and lesbian candidate Kiri Allan, generated enthusiasm, excitement and campaign fervour.

It was a real pleasure having Kiri Allan present for most of the event and delegates loved her straight talking, humour and story-telling about the challenges of asking people in her predominantly poor East Coast electorate to connect with a political system from which they feel deeply disengaged. Her identification as a young Māori lesbian activist was compelling for delegates, who all wanted to see her elected to parliament and spontaneously donated into a collection envelope that circulated after she spoke.

Jane McAlevey, a US union organiser and activist, spoke via Zoom about some of the US campaigns that unions are winning through deep organising methods, and Cybèle Locke shared the history of the Service Workers Union (predecessor of E Tū) in the 1980s-90s. Hospital kitchen, cleaning and laundry workers held union meetings on marae, built relationships between unions and tribal elders, and published union policies in Pacific languages.

Popular skill-building workshops included lobbying, submission writing, social media, craft-making as a political and activist tool and eliminating racism. Practices for equal pay activities planned for August 12-19 had 170 delegates dancing en masse (above) to Donna Summer’s She works hard for the money.

Outstanding service to unionism awards went to Maxine Gay, Sharn Riggs and Bertie Ratu, and Dilani Pereira, Jan Lowe and Nancy McShane received awards for equal pay campaign leadership.

For 170 women, this event built our strength and our commitment, harnessed our power and makes the hard work of organising worthwhile and rewarding.

Equal Pay Week

Equal Pay Wgtn posterThe Equal Pay Week of action from August 12 to 20 will be an opportunity to communicate what good equal pay law looks like, to condemn the government’s new Bill, and to make pay equity for women an election issue. It will also be a great opportunity to dance for a cause, as some of the rallies include dance flash mobs to Donna Summer’s song She works hard for the money, as Australian sisters do here.

The first reading of the Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill will be held in the first week of August. The Bill will make it much more difficult for women to take pay equity claims. Council of Trade Unions Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said that “the Bill adds additional barriers for women taking pay equity claims by putting significant restrictions on the male-dominated jobs which can be used as a comparator to help determine whether a job has been undervalued because it is female dominated.”

If this Bill had been law, “it would have been much more difficult for Kristine Bartlett and the 55,000 other care workers to have achieved their recently won equal pay settlement”, says Rachel.

Equal Pay week events will be held in Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin; see them in Dyke Diary by location. Some unions are also planning their own equal pay events at worksites during the week; see the CTU website for updates.  JR

Auckland Council Rainbow consultation

Auckland Rainbow people are invited to contribute their priorities to the three-year plan of the Auckland Council’s Rainbow Advisory Panel in meetings and an online survey from Sunday August 13 at

RainbowCommunitiesHuiRainbow community groups and informal networks in the region will be invited to discuss the three most important issues for their members at their own gatherings, and can apply for money to host a meeting. The idea is ‘self-organised’ consultation. Members of the panel will be available at an evening consultation hui on Monday 11 from 6.30-8.30pm at Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd. Visit the Facebook event page for details.

“We’re trying different ways to engage Rainbow people to develop our work plan,” says panel co-chair Jules Radford-Poupard. “Some community priorities may not fit with Auckland Council,” she says, but those priorities will still be reported to councillors.

The consultation will finish by the end of September so that the outcomes can be discussed at the panel’s next meeting on Monday October 2, which is open to the public. “The work plan will be a living document that will continue to be informed by community input,” she says.

Safety and council engagement with Rainbow communities were the two main concerns from the last such survey at the 2016 Big Gay Out, she says, and she expects the panel’s concern about the lack of data and research about our communities will also be raised.

New council report on Rainbow communities

ACC reportThe panel will discuss a new council report reviewing research about Rainbow communities at its meeting on August 7. The report, Auckland’s rainbow communities: challenges and opportunities, was a response to the panel’s call in 2016 for better data and research about Rainbow populations. It concluded that the main research challenges were visibility, discrimination, and health and wellbeing.

As well as the panel, the council provides funding for support groups such as Rainbow Youth, OutlineNZ, the Trans Support Group, and the Silver Rainbow education project for aged care facilities. Council libraries also provide rainbow information and resources, and the council is working on getting Rainbow Tick accreditation.

The report suggested that “opportunities” for the council include:

  • Increasing the visibility of rainbow communities in council policies and strategies, as well as in seminars and other communications;
  • Assessing the needs of particular groups;
  • Researching the experience of parts of the city’s rainbow communities about which little is known, including refugees, the homeless, new migrants, those who are disabled, and transgender people. JR

Auckland Pride membership, dates and feedback

The Auckland Pride Festival Inc is becoming a membership organisation and asking for nominations for two new board members.

Auckland-Pride logoThe change in the organisation’s structure is a response to suggestions from community hui in 2016. Membership will enable people to vote for new board members, and the board says will also enable members to have more input into the planning and organisation of the Pride festival and parade. The board will announce how that will happen, and other membership benefits, when registrations open for the 2018 festival and parade.

Interested people have until Thursday 24 to sign up and pay the $15/$30 fee to vote at the AGM on Thursday August 31, at 6pm at Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd. Membership forms are available by emailing

The meeting will elect two new board members, bringing the number from seven to nine. Current members are chair Lexie Matheson, Sonya Apa Temata, treasurer Richard James, Jaycee Tanuvasa and Zakk D’Larté. The board will appoint two new members before the AGM. Membership forms will also be available at the AGM.

Email Auckland Lexie Matheson,, to nominate members for the board or other queries.

2018 dates

The 2018 Auckland Pride Festival will run for two weeks from February 2 to 18, 2018, with the Pride Parade and Proud Party on Saturday 17.


The Pride board received a range of suggestions for events and feedback at four community feedback hui around the city in July, with meetings specifically aimed at youth, women, and Māori and Pasifika people.

Participants at the women’s hui suggested a women’s festival; more protest floats in the parade, preferably witty and satirical; and discussion events about issues that divide us across Rainbow communities, among other suggestions.

Parade produce Shaughan Woodcock (email offered to pair small community groups with businesses who may be able to contribute funding or equipment for Parade floats, and he also urges those applying for float permits and insurance to contact him for help.

AkPride posterHui participants heard that the 2017 festival and parade had been the biggest so far, with more than 85 festival events, 32 of which were free, and more than 60 parade floats.

A large majority (85%) of Rainbow people were satisfied with the parade and festival, in surveys by the board and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which was also an increase on 2016. Those surveyed also liked the diversity of Rainbow people featured in the event’s marketing (above).

Most people who engaged with Pride online used the Facebook page, and 60 percent of Pride’s Facebook followers identified as women. There was less engagement on Instagram but it grew “exponentially”, said Festival Director Julian Cook.

The Pride board is in the process of applying for charitable status. See the website for updates.  JR

Dunedin Q2 and university events

Q2 trust dun.pngThe next Dunedin Pride festival is planned for April and a new board has been elected to the Q2 charitable trust, following the AGM in July.

Q2 will run two levels – a decision-making board that meets monthly, and three-monthly committee meetings open to the community, for feedback and to liaise with committee members organising events.

The Pride sub-committee is applying for funding and hopes to announce festival dates in November.

Board members range in age from 19 to 75, and include chair Payal Ramritu, an Indo-Fijian, woman; secretary Gavin Ashworth; treasurer Hahna Briggs, a bisexual/queer Pākehā who is Queer Support Co-ordinator for Otago University Students’ Association; Louise Pearman-Beres; Rachel Shaw; Tanya Findlater, a Thai/Pakeha queer woman; Pākehā lesbian Ann Charlotte, co-ordinator of Wild Women Walks; Charlotte Goodyear; and Dan Knowles.Dun Quiz 2

Pictured above are some of the 10 teams competing in Q2’s Queer Quiz night held the night before the AGM. “All categories bar one were queer-related,” says Hahna. “In first place was the Quizzard Wizards, second were the Pickled Possums and third were the Quizzly Queers.” Money raised will help Q2 organise more events.

Events on campus

Two queer women will speak at Space Seminars in August and September, which are open to the public. Bisexual student, writer and activist Brighid Morgan will talk about her video interview series on August 22 and media lecturer and researcher Rosemary Overell will discuss media representations of non-heterosexual people on September 11. See Dyke Diary for details.

Monthly Space Seminars bring guests from the queer community to speak on campus; see the Space website for details.

Lesbians and other queer people from outside the university are also welcome to enjoy free cakes, slices and hot drinks, and a free cup cake decorating competition at the Queerest Tea Party on August 23. The Tea Party is held twice yearly from 12-2pm in the Student Union Common Room, a central spot on campus.

Email Hahna Briggs about campus events on, phone 479-5445 or 027 447 1426, or see the OUSA Queer Support website. JR

Nga wāhine, people

From Mitimiti to Waipareira
Scanning sheep around the country

From Mitimiti to Waipareira

Waiora whanauWaiora Pene Hare has whakapapa through her dad to Te Rarawa from the Hokianga, and through her mum to Ngāti Whatua and Ngai Wai, around the area of Marsden Point.

Her parents met in Auckland. “Dad did a boilermakers apprenticeship; he and mum moved to Whangarei in their early married life. I grew with five brothers; mum and dad’s first child died at five weeks old so I’m number three. There’s one older than me and four brothers behind me.” She is pictured front left with her mum Jane, and from back left, Will, Kelly, Spence, Carlton, Rodney and dad Bert.

Although Waiora grew up in a no-exit country road on the southern edge of Whangarei, she has a strong connection to her father’s turangawaewae at Mitimiti. “We’d go there every year; mum was very frugal so we could go on holiday as a family for three weeks over Christmas.”

Waiora Mitimiti“We’d drive past the end of West Coast Road, the council’s gravel road on the north shore of the Hokianga. Then it’s 2km off road up the beach (above) – there are three creek beds to cross, one of which is quite hazardous in the wet on an incoming tide.”

“Mitimiti was about relaxing, drinking water from a special puna (spring), food from the whenua, fish from the river and the ocean.” Waiora developed a fondness for smoked tuna (eel) which the family caught from Ngapuna creek (below) on their land.

Waiora Ngatuna“On the last day of the holiday, Dad would throw everything into the fry pan for the last breakfast, because there was no electricity and no way of preserving anything. That was the only cooking I saw him do.” Waiora still goes back to Mitimiti in the end of year holidays.

Gender roles

It wasn’t until Waiora was a teenager that she had to do particular things because she was a girl. “My dad was the provider, he worked five days as a boilermaker, and on the veggie garden in the weekend. Mum was always there when we got home from school and work. They had definite gender roles – dad never cooked anything” and her mum did the flowers in the garden.

“In my teenage years, we did chores for my father’s aunty, picking up her bread and groceries. As the boys got older they mowed her lawns, but when I put my hand up to do that, it was ‘No, boys do that, you do the dishes, help her with the housework and ironing’. It was my first inkling that there was something different about boys’ and girls’ roles.”

Waiora’s mother died in 2001, and her dad started watching cooking programmes on TV and “made the most amazing meals”.

First relationship

Waiora at homeIn Waiora’s childhood, “Mum and Dad had Readers Digest condensed books and magazines, atlases, and fairy stories – lots of reading material.” She thought her future “would be like my mum and dad – I’d grow up and have kids. The influence of fairy tales and books was that there’d be a handsome prince on a white horse, and you’d live in a castle or a cute cottage with a picket fence. There were no non-heterosexual relationship models.”

In her early 20s, Waiora’s nursing diploma included a placement in the Whangarei Women’s Refuge. “I’d never heard of it before and didn’t know what it was. When I heard why women were there, I just couldn’t believe it – I couldn’t understand that men could do that.”

“It wasn’t my experience with my mum and dad or my brothers; I hadn’t seen it my whānau or neighbourhood. I feel very fortunate to be brought up in the whānau I was, nurturing, very routine, very good for kids.”

“Then I met my daughter’s father – he hit me for the first time after 18 months, when I was breastfeeding her. She fell from my arms onto the wooden floor and I got a hell of a shock. She was crying but okay. I left the house with her, went to the police station, he was arrested and I picked up my belongings and went home to Whangarei and never looked back.”

“I now know how unusual that was, to leave at the first hit. One thing I had going for me was a family background where our parents never assaulted each other or us. I also had somewhere to go, where they would want me when I told them what had happened. I also had money and a credit card. I hired a rental van to get the baby and the furniture home to Whangarei from Rotorua, and put it on the card.”

Working in Women’s Refuge #1

womens refuge logo“After a few months of living with mum and dad, I saw an ad in the paper saying Women’s Refuge wanted volunteers. I did their course, then worked in the playroom with the children and cleaning the residential home. You’d be paid for 40 hours but there was a lot of after-hours and weekend work.”

“Refuge had a parallel development policy where Māori women worked with Māori, and Pākehā with non-Māori; Māori women started their own whare in Whangarei around that time. After a few years I became the regional representative for Tai Tokerau, about 14 refuges.”

Coming out

Waiora first heard the word ‘lesbian’ when she was 11. One year at Mitimiti, she made friends with a girl the same age from a visiting family, who stayed with them in Whangarei for a week. “We were playing with the neighbourhood kids, and one of the older boys said ‘You two are lesbians’. I thought nothing of it – just another word for friend, so I told dad that ‘Me and Teresa are lesbians’. There was this silence.”

“Dad never smacked me, but it was that silence I recognised when I’d done something wrong. He asked where I’d heard that and neither he nor mum said anything more about it. I had a sick feeling in my stomach that it wasn’t a good thing to be.”

“I didn’t know of any takatāpui in our whānau, although I’m sure there must have been. In hindsight, on the road we grew up on there were a brother and sister who were gay and lesbian, and another gay boy. At primary school an effeminate gay boy got called a sissy. We knew there was something different going on.”

When she started working at the refuge, “there were lesbians everywhere and I met one of my whanaunga who was a gay woman.”

“She was younger, with a sharp mind, gorgeous looking, strong and assertive. I was very attracted to that and admired her. We began a relationship as wāhine takatāpui. Once my parents knew I had chosen to live with and love a woman, and supported my choice, I was invincible!”

“We parted after four years – it was very painful but I went on to have relationships with other women. The feel of women, the understanding, the smell of women – what I like are wāhine. I admire many men, but the heart-to-heart relationships I want to have are with women.”

When asked what label she prefers, Waiora says: “Even now lesbian is not a word I’m comfortable with – I say takatāpui. When I sing in GALS (the Auckland Gay and Lesbian Singers) and wear the GALS t-shirt, I’m gay or lesbian.”

Name changing

Waiora didn’t like the name she’d been given by her parents – “it didn’t feel like me”. A few years after coming out, she took a Te Pumaomao decolonisation workshop with Takawai Murphy and his Pākehā wife Chris. “He invites people of all ethnicities to take on a Māori name for the duration of the workshop.” Two years later when she did a second workshop, “I decided to keep that name and to change my name by deed poll.”

She chose wai ora “because it connected me with the spring at Mitimiti, and for all its Catholic associations”. She also chose a new surname, after her father’s great-grandfather, “a luminary ancestor for my father”, and also because of the politics of communication in her work. “The person receiving my letter or email couldn’t see that I was a wahine Māori. With that name I was claiming a Māori identity.”

Whānau wanted to know why she changed her name and accepted it, although Waiora imagines her mother “would have liked me to keep what they decided on”.

Working in Women’s Refuge #2

Waiora leafletWaiora began counselling training in Auckland, and because she was travelling there so often, she decided to stay until the course ended.

“I took a break from refuge when I moved to Auckland, and decided to do something really easy. I worked in the deli at Nosh for nine months. It was hard physical work and I’m not very good at numbers. I had to learn about salamis, cheeses, and what wine goes with what.”

Waiora returned to refuge work and six years ago was offered a job at Te Whānau o Waipareira (TWoW); she’s now Family Violence Intervention Co-ordinator, on a contract with the Waitemata DHB.

TWoW doesn’t run a refuge or have a team of anti-violence workers; Waiora’s job is to co-ordinate training for TWoW social and community workers and health staff about family violence, screening women for partner violence, and what services to refer them to.

She ensures that violence is discussed when TWoW has stalls at health expos and community events such as Waitangi Day at Hoani Waititi Marae in West Auckland. She’s part of Waitakere Essential Violence Services, helps organise White Ribbon events, and keeps up with refuges, anti-violence services, women’s groups, Age Concern and marae in West and wider Auckland. “I always have a family violence and feminist hat on”.

Waiora at workShe’s pictured with workmates Jana, left, Billie-jean, Audrey and Kata.

Waiora is out at work, and “wāhine takatāpui use our service. I find violence between takatāpui very painful, quite difficult to work with. My joy over the last six months has been in the work of Elizabeth Kerekere, two powerful booklets for whānau about takatāpui, destigmatising and providing solutions. I love what they say, the visibility they give for takatāpui coming into TWoW.”

“Te Whānau o Waipareira uses a whānau ora model – we’re not working with individuals, we’re working with the whānau. In Women’s Refuge we worked with the women and sometimes the kids; they go back into the relationship and the men hadn’t changed.”

“Part of the colonisation of our men is they’re copying the behaviour they’ve been brought up in. Those women and children still love them, and we have to work with them. If you’re in a position to provide a wero to them, you get them to consider the woman’s point of view.”

Waiora also does violence risk assessments with women. “I listen to them and ask them about their name, who gave it to them and ask them about intergenerational experiences. I use a genogram, a therapeutic tool about a family tree, working out where their experience of family violence came from, how many generations does it go back.”

“Their mum may not have named their dad or they may be whangai (fostered) out of the whānau – you can see the breaks in kaupapa Māori in their genogram and link that to legislative violations of the Treaty. It’s a beginning point for them to hook their reality into. Many women haven’t had those discussions before.”

“The one time I do use statistics is when people say men are abused too and women are equally violent. I acknowledge that men will be victims as well, but the number of women being killed, hospitalised and disabled by male partners and family members far outweighs the number of men.”

After 28 years of working in the field, she believes “there is more of a willingness to deal with family violence; people I meet for the first time are more positive about what I do. There’s still a lot of blaming of women who stay with violent men.”

She also believes there is little support for women who have alcohol, other drug or mental health issues and violent partners. “I’d certainly take mind-altering substance to cope in a situation of abuse. Where’s the political will to support those women? There’s a lot of talk on the surface but there’s a lack of money for services that are needed.”

Working in the area, “you can’t just start at eight and finish at five – the job takes over. I’m very passionate about it – it starts in our own backyard. I can challenge communities and not be silenced; I’m becoming more fearless as I get older.”

Waiora made t-shirts to sell in 2016 at the Takatāpui Hui, organised by the NZ AIDS Foundation; they said CAMP WHAEA (mother or aunty, pronounced like fire), in large print and underneath in smaller print – Bush whaea, Wild whaea and Hell whaea; “words that describe me and us”.

Four years ago she split up with a partner she was with for 14 years. “We’ve since become good friends and travelled together. It’s been good retrieving a friendship from a long relationship.”

Jenny Rankine

Scanning sheep around the country

Sophie (back) & MegThis month, Sophie Wilkinson (on the left with partner Mel) will be found sitting on different farms in Southland and Otago, scanning pregnant ewes.

“I use little handheld ultrasound probe which fits in the palm of my hand, with a small monitor in front of me,” she says. “I sit down low in a cut-off car seat next to the crate that holds the sheep, and rub the probe under their belly.”

Imagine the same grey fuzzy screen you see on ultrasounds of human foetuses, but much smaller. Pregnant sheep can only be scanned when the lamb is between 30 and 90 days old, Sophie says.

“I bring the scanning crate, my seat and a three-way drafting system in the back of my ute. We set that up in the yard at the end of the raceway and farmers feed the sheep through.”

“I put a different colour on the sheep depending on how many lambs they’re carrying, how old the fetus is, whether any are already dead, whether any have tumours, infections in the uterus or any abnormality.”  Usually about “two in 100 ewes would be carrying a dead lamb,” says Sophie. “Quite often one twin can die; they’re in a separate sac and they mummify.”

Sophie scans “three to four thousand sheep a day; some big clients have 30,000 sheep so I stay for a week. Each farm uses different colours; some farmers don’t like certain colours on the wool, or use a certain colour for sheep going to the works.”

Sophie W2It’s an important service, says South Otago sheep farmer Megan Barclay (see story below); the four percent of ewes that usually aren’t pregnant can be sold, the food reduced for ones carrying singles so they don’t have problems birthing a lamb that’s too big, and “we can get more food to the ones carrying two or three.” Triplets need to be monitored intensely.

Sophie lives and trains horses near Taupo over the summer, but travels almost the length of the country scanning pregnant sheep. “At the beginning of the season, in mid-April, I go from Auckland to Cape Reinga, then from the end of June to mid-August, I’m in Otago and Southland. I go to an area, stay there and go to each farm. Up north I have three different bases – I live with them, scan their sheep for nothing and go to different jobs. I charge 60 cents per sheep. Farmers always tell me the following year that they couldn’t find a mistake or very, very few.

“There’s no qualification for pregnancy testing, just experience,” she says, “but if you’re not very accurate, the farmer won’t get you back. I scan about 300,000 sheep in the season.”

Sophie grew up in Bedford in the UK and moved to New Zealand at 21. “I’ve been scanning since I was 16 – 25 years. My father was one of the first four selected by BCS, who make the machines in the UK. He taught the three of us girls who wanted to learn how to scan. It’s pretty much the same technology – the machines have become smaller but the picture is identical.”

When Sophie arrived, she was contracted as a scanner by a bigger company. “Once I got residency I made my own company and it’s grown and grown.” About 90 percent of her scanning is with sheep, eight percent is cows and two percent dogs. In the UK scanning is much more common with dog breeders.

Working with horses

Sophie W1

Her income from scanning enables her to work at her other love, breeding and training three-day eventing horses. “When people have horse training as their only business, they rely on selling good horses every year. For me, there’s no pressure to sell good horses and I can run a large string of horses here – it’s too expensive in the UK.”

“All us girls had ponies growing up; I liked the challenge of training the horses for the three different eventing phases – dressage, show jumping and cross country. When we were young our parents gave us £1,000 pounds to buy a horse. I bought two ponies, trained one and sold it to my sister for £1,000 pounds and it accumulated from there. I had about 15 when I left the UK and have about 18 now.” Sophie has lost count of the number of horses she has trained.

Sophie W4She describes herself as a very competitive rider. “This year I’ve lost a few of my top horses, but I’ve started a partnership with a well-established breeder. She breeds them, I train and compete with them, and we sell them.”

“I get more upset if my training is at fault than my riding. I get more out of knowing that the horse has tried 100 percent for me and done what I asked, than if I won but they didn’t.” Sophie has won and competes in two-star events; the top level in New Zealand is three star. Each level up has higher jumps and is more technically difficult.

“I get people to video me competing so I can go back and watch what I’ve done; you can’t have a trainer there all the time. New Zealand is very high in the world rankings; we always have someone in the top placings. For such a small country we do extremely well; New Zealanders seem to be more gutsy.”

Sophie thinks the temperate climate makes a difference – in the UK people learn to ride at indoor schools, whereas pony clubs are common in rural areas here.

But eventing is very tough on horses, she says. “They get joint or tendon problems. The cross country is a lot of galloping; they don’t last very long.”

“You break horses in between age three and four, and never stop training them. It takes a couple of years to train a horse to do competent dressage from scratch. Each horse would train for six days a week, anything from 20 to 90 minutes riding a day. I’m riding all day long. Even at the highest level you’re always trying for a better trot or canter or half pass (above, where the horse moves sideways and forwards).” Sophie sells trained horses for $20,000 to $100,000.

Sophie married her male best friend at 24; they split amicably four years later. “I didn’t realise I was gay until after we split up. I met and was attracted to a gay woman at the local pony club where I was teaching.”

“It was a massive difference – I felt all the things my friends had said about their partners that I’d never felt before.” She describes herself as gay; “lesbian seems quite harsh to me”.

Sophie W3That relationship ended after three years and Sophie was single until 2013 when she met her partner Mel. She’s never been interested in having children.

Sophie is out to all the farmers she works with who are “my age or younger – they’re very accepting. I’m a little cautious with older farmers, especially religious ones.”

Mel, who Sophie describes as “not horsey”, looks after the horses when Sophie is away scanning. “Other trainers give them a holiday but not as long as I do.”

The eventing competition season starts in October, “and it takes six weeks to get a horse fit,” says Sophie. “There are a huge number of lesbians and gay men in eventing. I don’t know why that is for women, but gay men get on well with the horses. Horses don’t accept toughness very well; there are lots of women trainers.”

Jenny R

Te ao pāpāho, media

k.d. lang – what a charmer!
A picture of you?
NZ Film Festival 2017

We appreciate the original cartoons provided by Helen Courtney. This one, Flight of fancy, seems to fit particularly well with Media.

k.d. lang – what a charmer!

Photo from k.d. lang’s Twitter

k.d. had five concerts in Australia in July, in the end – a second Sydney event was added to the original, along with one in Perth and two in Melbourne.

The impetus is the 25th anniversary of Ingenue, a 10-track album of ‘love and lust’, she said. The main part of the show comprised those tracks played in order, finishing with the fantastic ‘Constant Craving’.

The 26 July Sydney concert audience was probably typical: a possibly surprising number of men, but mostly Australian and Kiwi lesbians (easier to play ‘who isn’t a lesbian’, we heard) in couples and groups. The merchandise included a remastered Ingenue CD, and there were a lot of sales.

The performance was both mellow and electric. k.d. is in her mid-50s and you might expect some ageing effect. But the power, the range, the breath (holding looong notes), and the beauty of her voice is all as those of us who swooned over the original Ingenue and earlier albums remember.

She is a relaxed and comfortable performer on stage. A pretty formal and fancy black suit sets off bare feet. There were ‘clumsy ballerina’ dance moves, along with knowing and cheeky looks to the audience. (This is the perfomer who in her last concert in Auckland came back on stage in the second set with a banjo and dialogue, ‘I’ve taken up the banjo. [short pause] Thought it might be a chick magnet. [slightly longer pause] I was right.’)

A seven-member band performed with her, including two backing singers, one of whom is younger than Ingenue!

The only disappointment was for those who didn’t get there when they had thought about doing so. Sadly, there is still no word of another NZ tour/visit, and it may be some time before k.d. is back even in Australia.

In the meantime, keep up with k.d. online: her website, Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube (at time of writing, a search returned 350,000 hits), an Aus breakfast TV interview from July, a 30-minute conversation on the US public radio broadcaster NPR, reflecting on 25 years of ‘Ingénue’, Wikipedia. And keep playing her music! Alison

A picture of you?

Sian TorringtonWellington-based lesbian/queer artist Sian Torrington is offering commissioned expressive portraits negotiated with the sitter.

“I made a series of these during my recent project We don’t have to be the building; they are like a collage on one sheet of paper, with you choosing the poses and me capturing some of that individual energy on paper.”

People wanting a portrait go to Sian’s studio in central Wellington. Sitters can give feedback on what is missing and what could be added, and she can also draw from photographs.

Drawings can be charcoal, pencil, graphite and pastels, in black and white or with colour.

Price is negotiated at the beginning; a two-hour sitting will cost $450, and Sian is open to some forms of exchange. Email Sian on

NZ Film Festival 2017

At time of writing (in July), only the Auckland programme was fully available (tickets on sale)*, so that is where the links will go. This is generally the largest, so not all films noted here will necessarily be available in all regions. Check out your closest (of 13) locations, and don’t leave it too late to book.

*The Wellington programme is also launched, with print programmes in distribution and tickets on sale July 6.

On the other hand, don’t be too worried if you miss out here, many of the films premiere in the festival and return over the following months to more general screenings.

Go to first, then review the programme once you have chosen the region.

What might be of interest to lesbians in the 2017 programme? We are looking for films about, or by, lesbians; happy – or at least positive – endings are a bonus. Interesting films about women. Perhaps some about others in the rainbow community. Kudos for locally made films being identified as ‘Aotearoa’ this year.

There look to be lots of interesting films, but sadly, very little lesbian or rainbow features.

A Date for Mad Mary, Ireland, 2016, looks like it will have a story of ‘possibility’ – same-sex attraction develops in spite of heterosexual assumptions and behaviour. Reviews suggest it may be a bit clichéd, but that it does take coming out as straightforward, rather than an unusual storyline.

100 Men is an Aotearoa film which “reflects on 40 years of gay history via a countdown of Kiwi filmmaker Paul Oremland’s most memorable shags, featuring candid and moving interviews with past lovers”. While you might wonder how much this relates to women’s experiences over the last 40 years, there are certainly some comparisons to make: “in the days before gay marriage seemed even remotely possible, the rejection of monogamy was a defining feature of gay culture … he also shows that his encounters led to long-lasting friendships”.

Other positive women-focussed films, in alphabetical order, include

  • Ancien and the Magic Tablet, Japan, animated, “steampunk dreams intersect with corporate reality set just days before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics”.
  • I Am Not a Witch, Zambia, “Zambian-born writer and director Rungano Nyoni’s surreal tale, revolves around a nine-year-old village girl accused of witchcraft and hauled off to do witch’s work … though accusing someone of witchcraft is illegal in Zambia, Nyoni’s tale is based on continuing practices she observed herself, living for a month in a witch’s camp”.
  • It is the 1927 US film that ensured star Clara Bow would be called The ‘It’ Girl; it screens just once, with APO playing the original score live.
  • La Chana, Spain, gives us a flamenco dance legend, “an intimate portrait, a loving tribute to the legendary gypsy dancer, an admiring portrait of a strong-willed female performer rising above the restrictions of the patriarchal society into which she was born”.
  • Manifesto, Germany (in English), features Cate Blanchett as each of 13 characters giving voice to the published rallying calls of myriad artistic movements, “a dazzling feat of chameleon artistry”.
  • Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, Indonesia, is a “thoroughly enjoyable and delightfully deadpan adventure which delivers a wily feminist spin on a western tale of murder and revenge”.
  • Maudie, Canada, a biopic of Nova Scotian folk artist Maud Lewis, “irrepressible despite arthritis and a churlish husband”.
  • The Midwife, France, stars two distinguished stars of French cinema, Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot, in a “touching tale of the unlikely connection of opposites, a conscientious midwife reluctantly reconnecting with the flamboyant step-mother who absconded 30 years earlier”.
  • My Year with Helen, Aotearoa, will surely be widely screened following the festival: Director/producer Gaylene Preston provides a “fascinating portrait of Helen Clark on a mission, campaigning for the position of Secretary General of the United Nations”. Gaylene Preston will be in attendance for a Q+A following both Auckland screenings.
  • Sami Blood, Sweden, “In 1930s Sweden, 14-year-old Sami girl Elle Marja is forcibly removed from her family and sent to a state-run boarding school where she is expected to learn how to behave in ‘acceptable’ society; she becomes determined to find a new life for herself by abandoning her indigenous heritage and attempting to pass as Swedish ”.
  • Starless Dreams, Iran, is a documentary about young women who are “locked up in a Tehran detention facility for murder, theft or simply running away from home – and whose lives were often worse outside”.
  • Waru, Aotearoa, “Eight Māori female directors – Briar Grace-Smith, Casey Kaa, Ainsley Gardiner, Katie Wolfe, Chelsea Cohen, Renae Maihi, Paula Jones, Awanui Simich-Pene – have each contributed a sequence to this powerful and challenging feature which unfolds around the tangi of a small boy who died at the hands of his caregiver”. The directors will be at a Q+A following both Auckland screenings.


Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary

National/Rātaka ā-motu
Northland/Te Tai Tokerau
Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau
Waikato/Central North Island
Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Nelson area/Whakatū
Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka

National/Rātaka ā-motu

Saturday 12-Sunday 20 Equal pay week of action – the last week Parliament is sitting before rising for the September election. Nine Equal pay campaign hubs nationally will co-ordinate action; visit Women Voters Facebook page for details.

Friday 18 National Day of Silence: a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools; this year’s theme is “the question ‘What does it mean to unlearn something?’”. Visit for details, resources and to register.

Northland/Te Tai Tokerau

Saturday 5 Equal Pay flash mob dance practice 10am, Whangarei Academy of Dance and Performing Arts, 29 Commerce St. Email Odette Shaw on or Liz Boutet

Saturday 12 Equal Pay flash mob dance to She works hard for the money led by Liz Boutet PSA, Annie Tothill (E tu) and Odette Shaw (NZNO). Wear something red and gather from 10am at the old Toyota site in Carruth St, opposite Pak’n’Save. Rally starts at 10.30am in the Town Basin. Email Odette Shaw on or Liz Boutet

Saturday 12 Gay in the Bay Pink Drinks get-together in Kerikeri: everyone brings their own drinks; the hosts provide nibbles, glasses and ice, asking a donation to help cover the costs of catering. See the website for details and confirmation of date.

Auckland/Tamaki Makaurau

Thursdays The Muse duo of Francis Christoffel and Val Cole play at the Ponsonby Cruising Club, 6.30–8pm throughout winter. But this depends on the weather, so phone the club first to confirm, 376 0245.

Dont TellThursday 3 Don’t Tell fundraising screening  A film based on the true story of a young woman who changed Australian child protection laws when she took the church to court for the abuse she suffered under their care. Followed by Q&A with director Tori Garett and drinks. Fundraising for HELP sexual abuse support service. Tickets $25, email HELP.  6.15-9pm, ASB Waterfront Theatre.

dyke-hikes-mt-karioriSunday 6 Dyke Hike 11am. Te Atatu Loop. Over the years the network of tracks around the Te Atatu Peninsula have been developing. There are lovely views across the harbour all along this walk. 3 hours. Grade: Easy (okay in strong walking shoes, not many hills, good tracks). Email, visit or the Facebook page.

Ak election forumMonday 7 Women’s Choice Election Forum, with Jan Logie (Greens), Jacinda Adern (Labour), Erica Stanford (National), Tracey Martin (NZ First), Cinnamon Whitlock (Maori Party), Tracey-lee Repia (Mana); chaired by Judy McGregor with time for questions and discussion. 7-9pm, University of Auckland lecture theatre B28, underneath the main library on the corner of Alfred and Princes Sts. Organised by the National Council of Women Auckland branch, Auckland Women’s Centre, AUSA women’s rights officers, the Women’s Studies Association/Pae Akoranga Wāhine, and the Hand Mirror Blog.

Tuesday 8 Equal Pay placard-making and dance practice, 5-7pm, PSA, 155 New North Rd, Newton.

Wednesday 9 aLBa: Film maker Mandrika Rupa talks with Verity George 6-9pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. aLBa members free, non-members $10. Visit Facebook page for details.

Equal Pay March and RallySaturday 12 Vote Equal Pay March and Rally Gather 11am at Takutai Square, 44 Galway St, Britomart, march up Queen St to the rally at 12noon, Te Hā o te Hine (formerly Khartoum) Place between Lorne and Kitchener Sts, with MC Michelle A’Court. Includes a dance for equal pay – practice your moves with our Aussie sisters.  Plus Jan Logie, Green Party; Jacinda Ardern, Labour; Cinnamon Whitlock, Māori Party; Jo Goodhew, National; Tracey Martin, NZ First. Organised by the Equal Pay Coalition; see the Facebook event page.

Sunday 20 Coffee & Stroll 10am, meet for coffee, Mud Pie Deli, 1205 Great North Rd, Point Chevalier (beside library, corner with Pt Chev Rd); 10.30am, an easy 40-minute stroll in Western Springs.

Sunday 20 Fifth Season Auckland LGBT garden visiting group go to Oceanic Palms, commercial palm growers in Onehunga who are opening their operation to visitors for the first time. Meet at 2pm at 44A Alfred St, Onehunga; followed by afternoon tea at Onehunga Cafe, corner Arthur St and Onehunga Mall. All welcome; phone Wendy Wilson, 027 548 3510 or

Saturday 26 aLBa Annual Fundraiser Quiz, raising money for HELP Auckland, 7-10pm. This fun and hard-fought event is sold out every time, so get in early. Grey Lynn Community Centre, Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn. Earlybird tickets $200 for a table of 8, or $25 for members, $30 non-members; from Thursday August 10, $250 for a table of 8, $30 members, $35 non-members. Door sales (if available) $45. Email for tickets, visit Facebook event page, or phone Violet 021 440 788.

Sunday 27 POP UP Queer women’s coffee group 1-3pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. Visit Facebook event page for more information.

Sunday 27 Dykes on mics Open mic night for Lesbians – women only space. MC’d by Cissy Rock. 7pm start, cafe open earlier. Come along, have a go, be part of the magic. Koha at the door. Pizza/drinks/cake/coffee all available. Facebook event page.

strong>Funding network logoTuesday 29 6 pm Live crowdfunding evening for diversity and inclusion, organised by the Funding Network and ASB. Canapes and drinks, draws for unique prizes, and dynamic 6-minute pitches from three social change projects – Inside OUT, Wellington-based group with national reach, working to make Aotearoa a safer place for young people of minority genders and sexualities; Urutapu, a powerful tamāhine leadership programme for young Māori women; and the WellBeing Trust, helping migrant families to settle and providing positive parenting programmes. Followed by a live-pledging session which in the past has raised at least $8,000 for each charity. Requested minimum of $100 per pledge; RSVP to 6pm, ASB Cube, 12 Jellicoe St, North Wharf, downtown.

Thursday 31 Auckland Pride Festival Inc AGM Become a member and vote for 2 new Board members, enlarging the board from 7 to 9. Email for a membership form and return it and the fee ($15/30) by the deadline of Thursday 24 to be able to nominate board members and vote. 6pm, Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. All welcome.

Waikato/Central North Island/Hawkes Bay

Thursdays Social dodgeball for takatāpui and LGBTIQ+ people Nau mai haere mai! Folks of all dodgeball abilities are welcome and a gold coin koha is appreciated. 6.30-7.30pm, University of Waikato Faculty of Education Gym just off Gate 4, 213 Hillcrest Rd.  See the Facebook page.

Friday 11 Charlotte Yates & Gil Craig – Words & Music 7.30-9.30pm, Old School Arts Centre, 5 Stewart St, Raglan. Features songs off Charlotte’s new album, Then The Stars Start Singing. $15 presale, Eventfinda.

Saturday 12 Charlotte Yates & Gil Craig – Words & Music 5-7pm, The Bowentown, 1 Pio Road, Taupo. Features songs off Charlotte’s new album, Then The Stars Start Singing. $20 presale, Eventfinda.

Sunday 13 Charlotte Yates & Gil Craig – Words & Music 5-7pm, Village Cinema, 17th Avenue West, Tauranga. Features songs off Charlotte’s new album, Then The Stars Start Singing. $25 presale, Eventfinda.

Wednesday 16 August Equal Pay week drinks & nibbles with Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue and other speakers TBC, 4.30-6pm, Methodist City Action 62 London St, Hamilton, RSVP to

Friday 18 Charlotte Yates & Gil Craig with Show Pony – Words & Music 8-11pm, Lucky Bar + Kitchen, 53 Wilson St, Whanganui.  Features songs off Charlotte’s new album, Then The Stars Start Singing. $10 presale, Eventfinda.

That Bloody Woman by Luke di Somma and Gregory Cooper. Dir. Kip Chapman. Auckland Theatre Company production. Production Photos - Michael SmithTuesday 29-Thursday 31 That Bloody Woman A rock musical about suffragist Kate Sheppard taking on the patriarchy, public opinion and Prime Minister Richard ‘King Dick’ Seddon. ‘Radical, riotous and bursting with wit’, starring Esther Stephens with a live band, get ready to party like it’s 1893. Crystal Palace, Taranaki Arts Festival.

Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Manawatu

Anytime Self-guided LGBTTI walking tour of 24 historic rainbow locations around Wellington’s waterfront in one hour, free. Start at the former site of Carmen’s Balcony on the corner of Harris and Victoria Sts, now the City Library, walk through Civic Square, onto the waterfront, down to Bats Theatre and then back to the Michael Fowler Centre via Courtenay Place. Hear short eyewitness accounts at each location with your smart device using the interactive Google Map, or download the mp3 audio before you set off. See the website.

To October 27, The Topp Twins – an exhibition for New Zealand, Te Manawa Museum of Art, Science and History, Palmerston North. “An exciting opportunity to celebrate the outstanding contribution these inspiring women make to our nation’s social, cultural and political landscape.” Visit the website for information about specific events, opening hours.

Sunday 6 Women in Science Wikipedia workshop 10am-4pm, Royal Society NZ, Te Whare Apārangi, 11 Turnbull St, Thorndon. Free 1-day workshop, learn how to edit pages, correct mistakes, add references, and upload photos. Absolute beginners are welcome; training and troubleshooting is provided. Lunch and childcare provided, and free wifi. Facebook event page for details.

Sunday 6 Turquoise tour: LGBTI rainbow walk tour through Wellington 1-2.30pm, from City Gallery Wellington, 101 Wakefield St, central Wellington. A 90-minute walk tour of the inner city. Free, no booking needed, but check Facebook event page for weather related cancellations.

Sunday 6 A Date For Mad Mary – Film fundraiser for InsideOUT 6.30-9.15pm, Paramount Cinema, 25 Courtenay Pl, city. $20 student/unwaged, $25 waged; $5-$10 from every ticket sale goes towards supporting InsideOUT’s work to make schools and communities safer for young people of sexual and gender minorities. Details and tickets sales on Facebook event page.

Sunday 6 DANSS classes for lesbian and gay people and friends. No partner necessary, 7pm beginners revision, 8pm intermediate revision, upstairs at Thistle Hall, cnr Cuba & Arthur Sts, city. Email

Monday 7 PFLAG – Q Social get-together from 6.30pm, Speights Alehouse, 27 Grey St, Palmerston North. This is the first social/support meeting for PFlag Queer this year and we are wanting to see if there is support for our group to continue. All members of the LGBTI+ community, their family and friends are most welcome to come along. Nibbles provided. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Friday 11 Rainbow Wellington drinks, 5-7pm, Bad Grannies, corner Cuba and Vivian Sts, city.
Saturday 12 Equal Pay march in Palmerston North with flash mob dancing to She works hard for the money at start and finish. Dance led by Public Service Association Youth (PSAY), 11am-12noon, meet at Te Awe Awe quadrant of The Square and march to George St, email Lisa Wilde

Equal Pay Wgtn posterSaturday 12 August Equal Pay rally and dancing in Wellington with speakers Kristine Bartlett, Vanisa Dhiru, Suzanne Snively and Richard Wagstaff. Wear something purple! 1pm, Cuba St stage near the bucket fountain. See the Facebook event page or email Sue O’Shea

Thursday 17 From equal pay to equal value in Aotearoa /NZ Talk by Cybele Lock about the history of women’s campaigns for wage justice, including why campaigns for equal pay resulting in the Equal Pay Acts of 1960 and 1972 did not eradicate the wage gap, and subsequent campaigns. Cybele is a history lecturer at Victoria University.  5.30–6.45pm, National Library of New Zealand, Molesworth St, city.

Friday 18 Songs, silliness and stuff with Anji Kreft (Debs in lesbian webseries Pot luck). 7.30pm, S&Ms Bar, Cuba St, $10, door sales only, all proceeds to LGBTQ charities.

Saturday 19 Naked Girls Reading – the smut edition 8-10pm, The Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. Tickets $20 Eventfinda, $25 on door, $30 VIP. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Tuesday 22 Rainbow Wellington’s Election Forum: question party representatives on their LGBTI policies. 6-8.30pm. St Andrew’s on The Terrace, 30 The Terrace, Te Aro. Participants include @Anne Martin (NZ First), Grant Robertson (Labour), Jan Logie MP (Greens), Stephen Berry (ACT), @Pete Young (Democrats), @Damian Light (United Future), @Ian Havill (NZ People’s Party), @Irinka Britnell (Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party), @Margaret Mather (The Opportunities Party), Nicola Willis (National), @MP Gayaal (Migrant And Refugee Rights Campaign – MARRC Aotearoa/New Zealand). Visit the Facebook event page for details.

Friday 25 Carterton Pink drinks from 6.30pm, The Buckhorn bar & grill, 20 Memorial Sq, Carterton (off High St, near the roundabout). Plenty of parking nearby. All welcome, friendly crowd. You can get snacks and meals and the usual range of drinks/coffees (check menu). If you don’t see us in the main bar walk through to the room by the garden bar.

Friday 25 Charlotte Yates & Gil Craig with Show Pony – Words & Music 7.30-9.30pm, Hokowhitu Bowling Club, 279 Albert St, Hokowhitu, Palmerston North. Features songs off Charlotte’s new album, Then The Stars Start Singing. $15 presale, Eventfinda.

Saturday 26 Charlotte Yates & Gil Craig with Show Pony – Words & Music 7.30-9.30pm, St Peters Hall, Cnr Beach Rd and Ames St, Paekakariki. Features songs off Charlotte’s new album, Then The Stars Start Singing. $15 presale, Eventfinda.

Nelson area/Whakatū

The Lesbian Connection (TLC) sends a monthly email of events in the area, Nelson and Motueka in particular. Contact to go on the mailing list or for more details of any events.

There’s currently no-one co-ordinating activities for Nelson potluck dinners or brunches. Walking group is still happening now and then; keep an eye on Facebook for details. And there is a Motueka brunch once a month. Do contact TLC if you can help with regular – or one-off – events.

Wednesday 16 Equal Pay coffee conversations, Pomeroy’s Café, 105 Montgomery Square, Nelson. Men asked to pay more for coffee. Email Pip Jamieson

Sunday 20 Motueka brunch from 11am, TOAD Hall, Lower High St, Motueka.

Christchurch/Ōtautahi, Canterbury/Waitaha and West Coast/Te Tai Hauāuru

The Christchurch Women’s Centre keeps a diary of events in Christchurch and elsewhere on their Lesbian Support page. Check events on the  Christchurch LGBT social events page.

The Lambda Trampers and Lambda Lattes are mixed social tramping and walking groups for lesbians and gays living in and around Christchurch, and their friends. The Lambda Trampers programme and contact details to August 2017 are available.

Free MP3 by singer/Songwriter Lisa Tui, celebrating the launch of her website with digital copies of her song I Wonder On You. Listen to her new single Comin’ on Home, released to commemorate six years after the quakes. Hear her sing on her Facebook page.

July 17-Friday 11 August Canterbury University Diversity Festival an opportunity to celebrate and embrace the individuals that make up our UC community. Visit Facebook event page for full programme and links to events. Includes Thursday 3 Feminist Jeopardy!, 5.30-8pm, game night with a variety of topics and categories related to gender and feminism.

Thursday 3 CODE: Debugging the gender gap 6.30-8.30pm, a documentary examining the lack of women and minorities in computer science and software engineering. Open to all UC students and staff. Facebook event page for details.

(Likely) Saturday 19 Equal Pay flash mob, time and location to be confirmed. Email Nancy McShane

NGR chch AugThursday 31 Naked Girls Reading: The smut edition Tickets $20 from Eventfinda or $25 on the door, 7.30-11.30pm, Exchange, 376 Wilsons Rd North, Christchurch, see the Facebook event page.

Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka

Saturday 19 Equal Pay Tea Party with dancing. Dress as a woman who inspires you or wear the suffragist colours of purple, white and green. 11am-12.30pm, Exchange Plaza, corner of Princes and Rattray Sts, email Vicki Taylor for dance practice details.

Tuesday 22 Space Seminar with Brighid Morgan speaking about the Unphased Project, her Dunedin-based series of video interviews celebrating the diversity of bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, demisexual, asexual and other non-monosexual queer people in New Zealand and beyond. 1–1.50pm, University of Otago campus, email for the location.



August 12-September 16 Canada k.d. lang Ingénue Redux tour Visit website for details of dates and ticketing information.


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

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