Mahuru / September 2017

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

Dyke Diary

Ngā pitopito kōrero, news

Lesbian and queer female candidates

Increased reach for National Day of Silence

Auckland Pride members elect their first board members
Wider Hamilton Pride
Biggest Gay Ski Week hits Queenstown

Lesbian and queer female candidates

Last month we interviewed wāhine takatāpui Elizabeth Kerekere, standing for the Green Party in the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Māori electorate, and Kiritapu Allen, standing for Labour in the general East Coast electorate. With the election on Saturday 23, we profile four more queer female candidates and two sitting MPs, all members of either Labour or the Green Party. You can also check out a natty graphic about which parties have policies on a range of queer issues, produced by Out@Work, the Rainbow network of the NZ Council of Trade Unions.

Cherie Chapman, Labour

Like the East Cape of the North Island, there are two queer female candidates standing in the Clutha-Southland general electorate. We interviewed Cherie Chapman, standing for Labour, and Rachael Goldsmith, standing for the Green Party; both identify as Pākehā and bisexual.

El ChapmanCherie, left, said that when she and Rachael were “on the way to a political meeting, we realised we had four queer people in the car – I didn’t know about her and she didn’t know about me. We go to lots of election things together; we’re doing the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party) relationally.”

Cherie says the electorate is varied, containing a huge rural area as well as the resort town of Queenstown, Balclutha and Gore. While it is very different from city or suburban electorates, housing, health and the environment are the three big issues, she says.

“In Queenstown, housing is a key issue – it costs $800 a week for a three-bedroom house, and there are a lot of empty houses owned by overseas people who just come for the ski season. Workers can’t afford to live in the town. In Invercargill and on the east coast, a lot of the housing stock and rentals is run down – some houses are very cold.”

“The Southern DHB has had lots of cuts, and there are very long waiting lists. People have to drive a long way for health services, from Queenstown or further to Invercargill or Dunedin. And the environment is a huge issue with the impact of intensive dairying on rivers and lakes.”

Cherie grew up in a working-class family, has lived in Wellington and the Waikato and moved to Southland in 2012. her Rainbow CV includes establishing the Schools Out support network in Wellington, activism in the Homosexual Law Reform campaign, helping to organise events for queer women in Hamilton, and researching the needs of GLBTI patients using GP services.

El Cherie ChapmanShe says “a lot of people are in the closet and there’s not much of an overt gay community” in the area. “I’d love to build a network here, there’s a need to meet and get strength from each other. Teachers aren’t out,” she says, having spent 30 years in education to assistant principal level. Her new boutique museum, Oyster Allsorts, is closed for the election period, but has “a mini cinema; I’d love to do a queer film festival”.

Cherie decided to stand as a candidate from teaching in Westport, where “I saw the impact of the National Government on kids. They came to school hungry, their families moved around because of rent rises, there were lots of mental health problems, and the school didn’t have the resources for that. I raised $10,000 for a hardship fund in my first month; it’s just not good enough that schools have to do that.”

She says solutions are “structural not superficial. I want all those kids to reach their potential. I came from a poor background, our dad was violent and we shifted around a lot. If I was a kid like that now, I wouldn’t be able to get out of it. Schools need more resources, and health workers. People are starving and tax cuts aren’t enough, they need a raft of support.”

Cherie is 61 on the Labour list, and standing for the first time. “After the election, I want to restore the Bluff wharf, and make NZ Smelters take back all their dross. This aluminium oxide and other toxins was sold to a company for processing into fertiliser but they went into liquidation and it’s sitting in sheds around Southland. The smelter won’t take it because it isn’t theirs.”

“I also want to help strengthen Labour groups in the electorate for 2020. And somewhere in there I might have a little lie-down.” JR

Rachael Goldsmith, Green Party

El Rachael GoldsmithBisexual feminist Rachael Goldsmith, who has Kai Tahu whakapapa, is standing for the third time as Green Party candidate in the Clutha Southland electorate. Born and raised in Southland, she is long-standing member of the party’s Policy Committee, represents the committee on the party executive, and co-convenes the party’s disability network.

For her, “presenting Green Party policy to communities is very important”. She is active in policy-making about women, housing, inequality, animal welfare and industrial relations.

She says inequalities in the region “have widened over the last three years. The Greens have always campaigned to end poverty, but it is increasingly urgent. More and more people are desperate.”

She also believes that water and climate issues have also become more urgent over the last three years. “Funding and infrastructure is not keeping up with tourism in the area”, and housing is poor in areas that are losing population, she says. She is pictured below with her son on the Kingston Flyer.

El Goldsmith & son Kingston FlyerIn 2011, Rachael helped lift the party vote in the electorate by more than three percent, and hopes to boost it again this year.

Being out as bisexual is “almost a non-issue” she says. The media, the public and other candidates “have left it alone”. She says she and the Rainbow Labour candidate Cherie Chapman have “a similar perspective; my campaign team is 100 percent Rainbow, lead by a campaign manager who identifies as takatāpui and a non-binary lesbian, and hers is mostly Rainbow.”

However, the environment for Rainbow people in the region is still not welcoming, she says. While there are new queer support groups in Invercargill, Rainbow people in smaller centres “feel isolated”.

El Rachael Goldsmith2She believes that “we’re getting into the grittier issues” as a community after having won the first wave of populist Rainbow rights like marriage equality. She gives the example of gender neutral toilets as raising a few difficulties for local licensing trusts, and the difficulty of coming out for trans and non-binary people. “They fear losing custody of their kids, being seen as an unfit parent”.

The party plans to review their Rainbow policy after the election in the light of changes for trans and non-binary people, she says.

Rachael is number 37 of the list, and doesn’t plan to stand again in the next couple of elections. She’ll concentrate on building collaborations between disability organisations in the region, and community development for refugees and community housing.

She will continue her paid role as station co-ordinator at Radio Southland, the region’s access radio station; she is still searching for a local Rainbow person “keen to get in front of the mic”. JR

Linsey Higgins, Labour

Linsey is a bisexual Pākehā list candidate in the Whanganui area. She is campaigning alongside Labour candidates in Rangitikei, Waikato and Taranaki-King Country; “my role is to push the party vote, go to different electorates if candidates have a need”.

El Linsey Higgins2In Whanganui she says health care, housing and education have major problems. “Access to health care is a really big issue; it took me three weeks to get a GP appointment.”

“Housing is a massive issue in Whanganui; when I moved here at the beginning of the year we had 30 people looking at one flat. People renting out properties can pick only people without kids, pets, or other ‘liabilities’. We shouldn’t have this in Whanganui, let alone anywhere else.”

“We’re lucky that our housing is the cheapest in the country to buy, but people on low incomes or casual employment contracts, and without a deposit are all stuck renting.”

About education she says that “a lot of our young people don’t go for further studies, and the courses on offer at the polytech have decreased. People can’t access education, so it’s a lot harder to keep young people in the town.”

El Linsey Higgins LFor queer women, getting health care that affirms their identity and accepts them for who they are is a real challenge. We get a heterosexual idea of health care and misinformation is really dangerous. Queer women get told they don’t need a sexual health check because they won’t get sexually transmitted infections – how do you work against that?”

“Our young people have a higher risk of suicide and mental health problems; they have poorer outcomes because they’re not accepted and don’t always have family support. Organisations like PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) are important.”

Linsey has been involved in student politics for the last three years; “last election I was grilling candidates as president about what they’re delivering to students. We’d submit to select committees and there’d be overwhelming evidence against a piece of legislation, but the government would still pass it.”

Linsey believes that for “Labour that’s not the case, policy is research and evidence-driven; it’s about fairness. The moment I finished my job at the national student union, I signed up to the Labour Party.”

Linsey works at the Whanganui District Council and is campaigning on evenings and weekends; she is number 65 on the party list. See her Facebook page. JR

Jan Logie, Green Party MP

El logieJan believes the choice between parties and policies “has never been starker” than in this election. “The government is saying ‘things are going really well’, but what they are offering is more of the same entrenched poverty and record homelessness.”

Jan is a Pākehā MP, standing again in the Mana electorate, and Green Party spokesperson for Rainbow and women’s issues, social development, state services and local government. She was brought up in Southland and now lives in Wellington.

Jan is concerned this election “that conversations I’m having is communities is quite different and more marked” than those happening in the public arena. She gives the example of the response to former co-leader Metiria Turei about welfare issues “in Māori media compared with mainstream media”.

She points to climate change as an issue where the Green Party is “making progress on mainstreaming” a proactive approach – “the government is having to acknowledge it, at least in rhetoric”. She’s also pleased that “Labour is picking up climate change and cleaning our rivers, which have been Green priorities for years”.

When asked about issues for lesbian, takatāpui and queer women, she pointed to economic inequality and safety in schools for young people. “In the 90s, we talked about the feminisation of poverty, which is heightened for lesbians whose incomes aren’t boosted by their male partner’s.” She describes the income support poverty trap as a lesbian issue. (She is pictured door-knocking with Green MP Marama Davidson.)

El Logie Marama DavisThe equal pay case for carers “was a real opportunity, but the government has make it harder for other women, increased the barriers” to equal pay for other women. She says Green Party policy is to hunt out areas of salary discrimination for women and fix them.

Jan says there are signs of improvement in bullying of Rainbow people in schools “but progress is slow in response to the level of harassment – we need urgent and serious action.”

“There’s also a crisis in mental health across the country. We’ve been fighting for what used to be called Pink Health for more than 20 years – queer-friendly, community based mental health services and we’re still not there. Mainstream services are slowly considering whether there is discrimination built into their services.”

A positive move since the last election has been the creation of a cross-party Rainbow Network, co-chaired by Labour’s Louisa Wall and National’s Paul Foster-Bell, where Jan has been an active member. Before this initiative, she says, there was little traction within the education system on a report about the safety needs of queer students, commissioned by former Green MP Kevin Hague. “A report on the Education Review Office’s (ERO) auditing of schools showed real problems, with schools saying they had no queer students”, and other disturbing results.

El Logie 2“Yet this term, with the cross-party group, ERO will review safer sex programmes in schools, inclusivity and safety for trans students. There’s still further work to be done, but we’ve made exciting progress.”

Two other issues she sees as important are “urgent action on health care for transwomen – so many DHBs provide no services at all for trans people – and medical protection for intersex people.”

The cross-party group has also contributed to Rainbow youth organisations getting more funding, and to the recent establishment of a Rainbow policy group involving several different government ministries, she says. “We need a strategy across government to ensure government policies and procedures meet our needs – one-size-fits-all doesn’t work!”

Jan believes the polls will show increased faith in the Greens; “we’re aiming to grow our vote”. JR

Louisa Wall, Labour MP

El Wall 1Louisa (Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Waikato) is standing for her third full term in South Auckland’s Manurewa electorate. She is currently Labour’s spokesperson for courts and youth affairs as well as associate justice and sport spokesperson.

She was a Silver Fern from 1989 to 1992 and a member of the world champion Black Ferns team in 1998.

As co-chair of the cross-party Rainbow parliamentary network, we asked her about issues facing lesbians and other Rainbow people, and she replied by email.

The network “has been engaging with Ministers and officials” about national and international issues. National issues include –

  • Recommending that the Education Review Office investigates the wellbeing of LGBTIQ students
  • Advocating for supports for the physical and psychological needs of those born intersex and their families
  • Advocating for an adequate supply of publicly-funded gender reassignment health services, including counselling, endocrinology and surgical services, as well as the rights of transgender people in prison.

International issues include –

  • Taking a first principle approach to international human rights and universal homosexual law reform
  • Expressing concern about the purge of gay men in Chechnya, and the public flogging of men for consensual gay sex in Indonesia’s Aceh province.

El Louisa Sophie Tauhara Huhana HickeyLouisa says that these issues have been raised “by and with our community and are also being addressed with national and regional human rights and social justice partners”. She is pictured with Sophie Tauhara, left, and Huhana Hickey at a Rainbow Labour event.

Louisa reiterated a request for lesbians to contact her about issues they want raised in parliament, which she made at the May dinner of the Auckland Lesbian Business Association.

“I look forward to engaging with Alba and our members to determine lesbian specific kaupapa.”

“Is there a demand, for example, for lesbian couples to be eligible for access to assisted reproductive technology (ART), which is currently only available to heterosexual couples? This proposal is currently being debated in France and I am interested in its relevance to our community in Aotearoa NZ.”

“Just what are the issues lesbians are passionate about?” She invites lesbians to email her at JR

Jo Wrigley, Green Party

El Jo Wrigley campaign shotJo stood as a Green candidate for the Waikato Regional Council, but this is her first time standing in a national election for the Hamilton West electorate, where she sees the major issues as income, housing and water.

“There are a lot of people on fixed incomes or benefits; they want enough food to feed their children, secure rental accommodation, and be able to participate in the city life. We have lots of minimum wage jobs; families have to get government top-ups to get by.”

“We’re 1,300 houses short of what we need, there are increasing number of homeless people and families here, and security is tenuous, especially if you’re renting. Quality of housing is an issue.”

“I’m a beneficiary advocate – I often work with people moving from sleeping in a car to a motel to rental accommodation. They often haven’t received their full entitlements, and if they had they’d have been able to maintain their rental income instead of sleeping in cars.”

“Often people can get only casual work, and they struggle to maintain their rent because their income fluctuates and WINZ is inefficient.”

“What comes through when we’re door-knocking is people want all children to have the same opportunities; they can see the inequalities.”

El Jo Wrigley & Ham East Sam Taylor“The Waikato River is very important to people in Hamilton; it’s a much-loved taonga – our roads and walkways all track and cross it. People want the river to be clean and the water to be accessible. Not many people are brave enough to swim in it, and it’s not recommended. It has improved over the last ten years – part of that is the work of the Kaitiaki group led by Waikato Tainui, but they still haven’t tackled the pollution from the city itself.”

Jo raised in a dairy-farming family in the Bay of Plenty and then the Far North. She has worked in the union movement, co-convened the CTU Out at Work network, and the Rainbow Greens.

She describes herself as a dyke, is married to a lesbian and came out around 2001. “Since 2000, Hamilton has become a much more inclusive city, a reasonably safe place to live for women-loving women. Non-passing women have a more challenging time, as they do in most places.”

She identifies issues for aging, parenting and young lesbian, takatāpui and queer women. She’s concerned about the future income and housing of “aging queer women who are single, and those who are not femme or straight passing as they get older. She’s keen to bolster Hamilton’s Waikato Queer Youth and UniQ, as well as a lesbian mothers’ group for those with young children.

“There is lot more being done about workplace Rainbow rights and how heteronormativity affects people. There’s an assumption that marriage equality has solved everything, but it’s very difficult for us to talk openly and be authentic at work, to dress as we might be most comfortable.”

Jo says she’s “been surprised how people are so nice to people who knock on their door to have a conversation. They go from unfailingly polite through to positively enthusiastic about what they’re voting for this year. I’m number 30 on the list. I’d definitely do this again if the members selected me.”

After the election she expects to continue as a beneficiary advocate with People’s Power and Single Parent Services in Hamilton. JR

Increased reach for National Day of Silence

NDS HeatherRegistrations for the National Day of Silence (NDS) on August 18 were up by 18 percent this year, with 89 from individuals and organisations like Yellow Pages, and 43 from schools.

The annual campaign is run by Wellington-based Rainbow youth organisation InsideOUT, to create action against the silencing effect of bullying, name-calling and harassment of Rainbow students.

DoS Unlearn homophobia“Not all people know to register and we don’t know how many participated in all the events, but expect it is in the thousands,” says organiser Laura Duffy. Just over 200 #Selfiesforsilence were posted to the InsideOUT NDS Facebook page.

This year InsideOUT created new graphics for the event which can be re-used each year, as well as t-shirts, tattoos and stickers.

Laura believes the unlearn posters and social media graphics, pictured, were a strong point of the campaign this year, showing that negative attitudes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transpeople can be unlearned. She said the campaign received a lot of suggestions about what unlearning looks like. JR

Auckland Pride members elect first board members

Auckland-Pride logoLesbian event organiser and café co-owner, Verity George, and senior social media manager and Yankiwi Cassie Roma were provisionally elected to the board at the first AGM since the Auckland Pride Festival became a membership organisation.

The election results are subject to police and credit checks, which weren’t able to be done in the short time since the constitutional change. Six people stood for the two board positions, offering a wide range of experience and many years of community involvement.

They included long-time Pride volunteer Baz Bloomfield, HIV+ volunteer Vincent Koh, part-time Family Bar manager James Laverty (aka Miss Chocolate), all gay men; and Tracy Phillips, Senior Police Professional Conduct Manager and a member of the Police Rainbow working party for Auckland Pride events, who identifies as heterosexual.

More than 30 people packed the room, hearing evaluation of the 2017 festival, including information about the board’s decision not to allow the Department of Corrections to march in the 2017 parade, also made by Wellington Pride.

Auckland Pride LexieBoard chair Lexie Matheson, left, said that the decision “was a big wake-up call” for the department, which has since created “a game-changing policy” about transgender people in prison to be released shortly. Rainbow staff have also recently established a staff network, Rainbow Corrections.

Tracy Phillips told the meeting that police have shared Rainbow training policies and processes with Corrections, and Lexie said their involvement in the 2018 parade had not been decided.

The meeting heard that Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) has cut funding for the parade from $100,000 to $45,000. Festival Director Julian Cook has somewhat offset this loss with regional event funding from Auckland Council, and has applied for other funding.

Treasurer Richard James said, in response to a suggestion from the meeting, that after five years the festival brand was at the point where it could consider raising income from some commercial festival events.

The board acknowledged that it needed to improve its reporting to funders and Rainbow communities. It became evident during the meeting that due to personnel changes, the board did not yet have notes from some recent community feedback hui.

There was some discussion of the role of commercial organisations in the parade, with suggestions that only those with Rainbow Tick accreditation or similar commitment to our human rights could take part. Members were told that most of the companies taking part had received the tick, but thought that this was not widely known and should be promoted in the parade.

The board is working with AUT to gather more data about Auckland region Rainbow communities, in the absence of data from Census and Statistics NZ, but this will take time. See the Pride website. Jenny R

Wider Hamilton Pride

Two women have helped steer Hamilton’s annual Pride Festival to encompass more events and a wider range of the Rainbow community

Ham Pride BondChair Rhiannon Bond, left, 22, who describes herself as queer, has been supported by co-chair Kyro Selket, below, a lesbian who is a generation older. The festival runs from Friday 8 to Saturday 16 and includes 11 events, two of them organised by groups of lesbians/queer women.

Rhiannon, a former president of UniQ, the queer student group at the University of Waikato, is pleased that the Lesbian Social Group (LSG) is organising a cocktail party on September 9. “It’s hard to meet other queer women – our free dating apps are pitiful!” At the time of writing 80 women had expressed interest on the event Facebook page.

Ham pride KyThe other event by women is a Trivia Night on Saturday 16, run by the Rainbow Warriors lesbian/queer women’s softball team, and MC’d by Hamie Munroe, co-presenter of Free FM’s Flat Out Pride show.

Team co-manager Leslie Forrest says players have been regulars at former LSG Pride quiz nights, and took it over as a fundraiser for new team uniforms when LSG decided not to run it this year.

“We want to open it up to friends and allies – everyone’s welcome”, says Leslie Forrest. They hope to increase numbers from around 50 to 80 or more at the hard-fought event, with a pride category among many others. Teams are up to six people, and entry is $5 with a cash bar. See the event Facebook page.

Rainbow Warriors welcome any women-loving-women and friends to their practices and games as supporters or players, whether or not they’ve ever thrown a ball. “We are proudly in last place in the women’s senior league, getting better all the time,” says Leslie. They practice on Wednesday evenings and play on Saturday afternoons, both at Resthills Park. See the group Facebook page.

Ham PrideFamily Planning (FPA) is also running ‘A night of learning and love’ on Saturday 16, an interactive workshop on healthy relationships, specific to queer people. Rhiannon says “there’s not enough education in schools or adult life about relationships and communication, and some of that is heteronormative,” and has valued previous FPA workshops.

Other events include a Proud Party, a tramp at Mt Pirongia, ten-pin bowling, a family picnic, the screening of Australian docco Gayby Baby, and an alcohol- and drug-free youth disco.

Rhiannon is keen to see more women at mixed events. “I so often go to events and it’s just boys; I want that to change. The only way is for us to get involved and make events for us too.” She invites women to “bring a tribe of your friends.” See Dyke Diary, the Facebook page or the website for details. JR

Biggest Gay Ski Week

Up to 2,000 people, including around 400 lesbians and queer women, are expected to visit Queenstown this month for Gay Ski Week QT from Saturday 2 to 9. Around 1,400 are expected to attend the 14 events, including a Queer Quiz, a drag race on the Remarkables skifield, and speed dating.

GSWQT 3The event attracted 1,000 people to the town in its first year, “so it’s doubled in six years”, says organiser Sally Whitewoods, right. People attend different parts of the week, with some from Dunedin and Christchurch driving over for weekends and others staying for only part of the week, she says.

The Rocky Horror film night in Arrowtown was booked out in late August and more events will be sold out before the week starts, Sally says. She is most excited about the Propaganda Party, on the last night of the week, a gay event from Auckland featuring DJs Adam Love from Sydney and Jordan Eskra from Auckland.

Sally advertises the week as inclusive, with “something for everyone” rather than separate events for men, women or other groups. “I don’t want boundaries,” she says.

Members of the Spectrum Club, a queer-straight alliance for LGBTQIA+ people and supporters aged 15 to 24 in the Queenstown area, are volunteering on the GSWQT information desk at the airport and other sites.

GSWQT 1Sally says Queenstown businesses have become more involved, including in a window display competition. Businesses decorate their windows around two GSWQT posters, and photos of their displays are posted on the GSWQT Facebook page on Monday 4.

GSKQT participants Like the photo they want to win, and the winner is announced on Friday 8, winning $1,000 in Mediaworks advertising. Sally says seven businesses entered the first competition and hopes this year it will be up to 30.

Another event, Gay Ski Week NZ, was run from Australia at the same time of the year for the previous two years, but is no longer happening. See the GSWQT website. JR

Nga wāhine, people

Alps to Ocean cycle ride
From Mitimiti to Waipareira

Alps to Ocean cycle ride

Sarah reports on a lesbian adventure. In comparison with the better known Otago rail trail, this ride is more challenging: while mostly downhill, some of it is quite steep – both up- and down-hill – and falls are part of the territory. It was lots of fun, but it was a lot more than a ride round city streets.

Six women set out for an intrepid cycling adventure in April. The mission: to cycle the Alps to Ocean cycle way starting at Tasman Point (near Mount Cook/Aoraki) to Oamaru (300kms).

It started with an email in November from Ali Watersong seeking women to cycle with. “Well why not?” I thought. (I hadn’t been on a bike for 20 years and am adverse to hard physical exercise.) I consulted a work colleague who had done some distance cycling and she agreed – not in the realm of impossibility.

Decision made! Then I was on my bike. I took this biking very seriously. Out there after work and in the weekends, breaking in my bike bum and leg muscles. Finally the time came and it was all on. It was totally awesome. Fantastic company, incredible scenery, physically challenging at times but totally do-able. We biked about four hours a day over 6 days with a back up van for the busy on road bits or if we needed a day off. Ali booked accommodation ahead: a mix of holiday homes and motor camps. We had a night each cooking and shared petrol and van costs. This kept the cost very reasonable.

So if I can do it, you can. I am encouraging those of you who shirk from such physical challenges to get on your bike.

There are some amazing bike tracks around the country. I was surprised at how off road the track was for scenery not otherwise accessible by car. Biking is a great way to holiday and see the country. Grab your friends and go for it.

See and

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

Te ao pāpāho, media

We welcome your suggestions of websites, books, films and any other media of interest to lesbians and queer women.

The Bertha revolution in Dunedin
A picture of you?

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

The Bertha revolution in Dunedin

Berthat Revolution 2Sarah Baird’s Bertha Revolution exhibition runs until September 8 in the Dunedin School of Art Gallery in Riego St. It includes around 300 text posters expressing misogynist, anti-lesbian and victim-blaming “rubbish that people are still experiencing” with 300 small ceramic Bertha figures and a 3m high Bertha statue.

“It’s a reminder to people that feminism is not over and there is still work to be done, especially in the current political climate,” says Sarah. The exhibition finishes her Masters of Fine Art course, with closing drinks and nibbles on Friday 8 from 4.30pm.

Bertha “was constructed from the limbs of eight different people and has turned out to be a figure that nearly everyone relates to”, says Sarah. See more on her website and on Instagram.

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

Rātaka takatāpui, Dyke Diary

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

Northland/Te Tai Tokerau

Sunday 10 Birds of a Feather Whangarei hike followed by lunch 10am meet at Mimiwhangata Coastal Camp for a 2.5 hour return walk on Puriri Track. 1pm, Helena Bay Gallery Cafe. All welcome. Join public Facebook group for details.

Saturday 23 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.

dykehikesprofileSunday 3 Dyke Hike 11am. Arataki Visitor Centre/Nature Trail/Beveridge/Slip Track. The Visitor Centre is well worth checking out. We’ll start with the nature trail, a 1 hour loop with good interpretive signage and an impressive stand of Kauri. This will bring us back to the Visitor Centre. Then we’ll do another loop taking in the Beveridge and Slip tracks which are steeper and will take about 2 hours. Hikers can opt to do the shorter first loop only, which will be easy, mostly flat with some steeper sections near the Kauri, or do both loops. Both hikes, about 3-3.5 hours. Grade: Easy (Nature Trail: okay in strong walking shoes, not many hills, good tracks) to moderate (both loops: boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible). Email, visit or the Facebook page.

Literatea1Sunday 3 First Ladies Litera-Tea Hear 13 women writers talk about their novels, autobiography, flash fiction, biography and Anne Salmond’s Tears of Rangi. Plus a lavish afternoon tea; 1-5.30pm, Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Epsom Girls. $65; get tickets here or contact the Women’s Bookshop – 09 3764399 or email – with credit card details. No door sales.

Monday 11 Auckland Council Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel hui 6.30-8.30pm, Studio One Toi Tū, 1 Ponsonby Rd. The Auckland Council Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel wants to create picture of our rainbow communities in Auckland. 3 questions: 1) What are your dreams for Auckland? 2) How can council help achieve this? 3) If you could change one thing about Auckland tomorrow, what would it be? 3 ways you can get involved: 1) Take the survey: 2) Come to the hui 3) Organise a gathering of your friends to gather feedback and we will chip in to help with any costs like food, childcare or transport! Visit the Facebook event page for details.

Wednesday 13 aLBa AGM 6-9pm, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. Nominations for executive, AGM followed by guest speaker. $10; free for aLBa members. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Sunday 17 Coffee & Stroll 10am, meet for coffee at Packing Shed Cafe & Gallery, 99 Parrs Cross Rd, Henderson; 10.30am, an easy 40-minute stroll along the Oratia walk & cycleway.

Tuesday 19 – Saturday 30 Preoccupation exhibition Jersey at Grey, 37 Scanlan St, Grey Lynn: opening Tuesday 19, 5-7pm;  gallery hours Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-3pm. Includes works by Miriam Saphira.

Tuesday 19 – Thursday 21 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. Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, Queen St.

Lick HPSaturday 23 Lick House Party for girls who like girls and their friends. Just like going over to your mate’s house – cheesy fun photo frames, barbie dolls in suggestive positions in the bathroom, video games in the living room. Free French fries @ 10.30pm, pizza @ 11pm, nuggets @ 11.30pm. 10pm – 3am, $10 before 11pm, $15 after, Neck of the Woods, 155B Karangahape Rd, city. See the Facebook event page, join the Auckland FB page, and see the national FB page.

Sunday 24 Fifth Season gay and lesbian garden visiting group go to Kaipara Coast Plant Centre and Sculpture Gardens, 1481 Kaipara Coast Highway (SH16), 4km north of Kaukapakapa Village. Meet at the entrance, 2pm. Free for members, or $10 entry. Phone Wendy Wilson, 027 548 3510 or

Wednesday 27 Queer Open Mic Night 7-10pm, performances start at 7.30pm, Grid AKL, 101 Pakenham St West. A rad night of poetry, music and much more!
Entry by koha. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 30 Mosaic workshop at Charlotte Museum 10am-4pm, $10. Bring your budding, blooming or bursting creativity! All art projects welcome. Visit Facebook event page for details.

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.

Thursday 7-Saturday 9 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. Clarence Street Theatre, Hamilton. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Friday 8-Saturday 16 Hamilton Pride Volunteers, event ideas, event co-ordinators all wanted. Contact Hamilton Pride via the Facebook page.

Friday 8 Proud Party opening event for Hamilton Pride week: 8pm-2am, Diggers Bar, 17 Hood St, Hamilton. This year’s Pride party theme is “unapologetically fabulous”. Ending HIV New Zealand and Hamilton’s LGBTI+ networks have come together to organise an awesome night filled with great music, drinks and dancing! DJ, tons of drink specials and fabulous entertainment from Hamilton’s very own drag scene. $5pp door charge. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 9 LSG Cocktail Party 5-7.30pm, House on Hood, 27 Hood St, Hamilton. Celebrate Pride Week with the Lesbian Social Group at our fabulous cocktail party! Glam it up in your favourite cocktail dress, throw on a natty rainbow tie, or mix it up however you like it – just come ready to celebrate! There will be Pride week cocktail specials, snacks available for purchase, and sparking conversation with the ladies and lesbians of LSG. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 9 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 7.30-11pm, Redoubt, Te Awamutu.

Sunday 10 Out in Pirongia 7.30am-3pm, An outdoors excursion on Mt Pirongia. Bring a packed lunch, snacks, water and energy. Car pooling from Hamilton: meeting at 7.30am, leaving 7.45 at a yet-to-be confirmed central location for those that need a ride – be prepared with koha for your friendly drivers for the 30-minute trip to the mountain base. Endeavour to start walking around 8.30-8.45am. (Please note the times may change). This is an all ages event for newbies or those who are already outdoor junkies. However, it is recommended that you have a reasonable level of fitness – alternatively a go-get-it-can-do-attitude for 5-7 hours outdoors walking and enjoying the views and crisp fresh air to get to the summit or Pahautea Hut – or as far as your heart’s desire. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Monday 11 WaQuY (Waikato Queer Youth) AGM 5-7pm, 9 Ward Ln, Hamilton. It has been a year of exciting changes and we would love to share our growth with you including our new home with Zeal Hamilton. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Wednesday 13 A night of learning and love An interactive workshop on healthy relationships and communication with Louise from Family Planning. Followed by Kirsty from the University of Waikato on her research about love in its various forms. Snacks provided. 6-7pm, room L.G.04, L block, University of Waikato, Hillcrest. See the Facebook event page.

Thursday 14 Screening of GAYBY BABY 8-10pm, Lido Cinema, Hamilton. The film follows the lives of 4 kids – Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham – whose parents all happen to be gay. As they each wrestle with personal change, the outside world wrestles with the issue of marriage equality, and whether or not kids of same-sex families are at risk. Followed by Q&A with Ebony and guests. Tickets $10 unwaged, $15 waged. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Friday 15 Tenpin bowling 6-8.30pm, Bowl and Social, 346 Victoria St, Hamilton. $7 per game. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Friday 15 Pride at the Disco 2017 Hamilton Pride youth event 7-10pm, 9 Ward Ln, Hamilton. For those aged 27 and under only. Drug and alcohol free. $10 door charge. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 16 Pride in the Park 2017 Hamilton Pride family event 12noon-2pm, kid friendly, free admission. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 16 Rainbow Warriors Trivia Night 7-10pm, Waikato Commerce Club, 197 Collingwood St, Hamilton Lake, Hamilton. Wrap up Hamilton Pride Week with a trivia fundraiser for the Rainbow Warriors, the only queer women’s sports team in the Waikato! Bring a team of 4-6 people or join a team on the night. $5 entry. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 16 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 8-11pm, Top shot bar, Te Puna, Tauranga.

Saturday 23 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 9.30pm-12.30am, Slims Bar, Opotiki.

Friday 29 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 9-11pm, Junction Bar, Thames.

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.

Friday 8 RW Drinks 5-7pm, Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. Hosted by Rainbow Wellington, everyone welcome. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 9 ‘A comedy show with good comedians in it’ 8-10pm, The Fringe Bar, 28 Allen St, Te Aro. Tickets $14 Eventfinda, $20 on the door. Visit Facebook event page for details.

That Bloody Woman by Luke di Somma and Gregory Cooper. Dir. Kip Chapman. Auckland Theatre Company production. Production Photos - Michael SmithWednesday 13-Saturday 16 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. The Opera House, 111 – 113 Manners St, Te Aro, Wellington.

Tuesday 19 RW Spring pizza/pasta banquet 6.30-9pm, Mediterranean Foods, 42 Constable St, Newtown. Great food, wine and music. This venue was most popular in RW events survey 2017. $40 RW members, $50 non members. Hosted by Rainbow Wellington, visit Facebook event page for details.

Wednesday 20-Wednesday 25 October Queer and Trans* Drawing Class (6 Wednesdays), 7-9pm, Toi Poneke Arts Centre, 61-69 Abel Smith St, Te Aro. Led by Sian Torrington, an expressive drawing class! It’s about finding ways to be in our body and let it speak through drawing. You don’t need any experience of drawing to come along, and all materials will be provided. $170 for the full course; some free places available. Visit the Facebook event page for details and to contact Sian.

Thursday 21 ‘When family violence wears a slightly different hat’ a workshop exploring family violence that impacts and/or relates to LGBTI, rainbow communities. Walter Nash Centre, 10 Tocker St, Taita. 9am-12noon. $50. Visit the It’s Not OK campaign’s Facebook page for details.

Saturday 23 Chill out and draw – a UniQ Massey Wellington event, 11am-3pm, Campus Co-Lab space. Visit Facebook event page for details.

Saturday 23 A table reading of lesbian feminist writer Renee’s play Dancing, a slice of queer theatre history presented by queer performance producers Brackets. (And they might event tell you the election results.) Bats Theatre, 1 Kent Tce, Wellington city. See the Facebook event page.

Thursday 28 Massey multi-campus potluck 6-9pm, Campus Co-Lab space. Massey Pride from Albany Campus will be travelling down to meet with us, and all are encouraged to bring a plate along and have a chat! Visit Facebook event page for details.

Friday 29 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.

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.

Sunday 10 Walk to the centre of New Zealand Meet 10.45am for 11am departure at 10.45 for 11am departure at the starting point at the Botanical Reserve, over a footbridge from the end of Hardy Street. You can park your car on Hardy Street East. This is one of Nelson’s most popular walks. Steep but short (30-60 minutes depending on age/fitness). Dogs welcome. Followed by …

Sunday 10 Nelson lunch, from 12.30pm, River Kitchen, 81 Trafalgar St, near iSite. Join the walkers for a bite to eat or just coffee at this lovely riverside cafe.

Sunday 17 Motueka brunch, from 11am. Muses café, 136 High St, Port Motueka.

Saturday 30 Introduction to Zentangle workshop 11am-1pm, Richmond library meeting room. Tutor: Kate Morgan, Certified Zentangle teacher. Let your inner artist come out to play, whilst learning the basics of the Zentangle method during this fun and relaxing workshop. Anyone can create beautiful images from repetitive patterns. To book or for more information, contact Kate Morgan: 027 916 1626 or $12 to cover Zentangle materials & venue hire.

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.

Sunday 17 Lambda Trampers mystery circuit of Mt Pleasant/Tauhinu Korokio, a Ngati Mamoe pa from 1700CE. Meet at the corner of Durham and Peacock Sts for 9am departure. Free, although $5 to share a car to get there. Phone Di on 022 093 5817.

Saturday 30 Takatāpui hui to discuss the possibility of setting up a network in Christchurch/Ōtautahi of takatāpui (Māori people of all genders who identify as LGBTIQT+). Free. See the Facebook event page and email for venue details and to provide numbers for catering.

Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka

Saturday 2 Wild Women Walk St Clair to Lawyers Head Meet for a prompt 11am start opposite the Starfish Cafe near The Esplanade and finish there for coffee too. Phone Ann Charlotte 022 133 9529 or email

Gay Ski WeekQTSaturday 2-Saturday 9 Gay Ski Week, Queenstown, including an Opening Party, Gayote Ugly, Quiz night, a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Karaoke, a Cabaret Night up the mountain, a Leather & Lace evening, the Gibbston Valley Long Lunch and a Coronet Peak night ski. VIP passes now on sale. See the website.

Monday 11 Space Seminar with Rosemary Overell about media representations of non-heterosexual people. Rosemary is a lecturer in media, film and communication and works on gender and queer politics of representation. 12–12.50pm, University of Otago campus, email for location and seminar updates.

That Bloody Woman by Luke di Somma and Gregory Cooper. Dir. Kip Chapman. Auckland Theatre Company production. Production Photos - Michael SmithSeptember 26-Sunday 8 October 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. Fortune Theatre, Dunedin.


kdlangAugust 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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