What was happening in June? Here’s our Pipiri update – all items collected in one handy page!
Stars of Aroha
Election campaigns start
Female trustee for Rule Foundation
Farewell to Gaynz.com
Auckland parties for queer women
Culture of Love
Specialist mental health services in Australia
Recently, Waiuku couple Nette Scurr and Tess Moeke-Maxwell were facing a personal health crisis that many of us are familiar with: Nette was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and subsequently had a mastectomy.
Meditation was something that helped them both, and their discussions about that led them to develop an indigenous guided meditation tool, based on the natural world of plants, birds and natural landscape.
The book was launched last year, and the app earlier this year. The app works by providing a random selection of meditation guides and includes original sound tracks of the natural world (forest, birds, ocean). The book can also be used randomly, especially with the star cards or rolling star (an icosahedron (20 triangle-sided) shaped dice); or the user can choose a guided meditation deliberately. For example, piwakawaka deals with past hurts and encourages the meditator to move on.
The focus is on providing a “source of peace”, so no particular religion or spirituality is referenced or needed to find the meditation process helpful.
Dr Tess Huia Moeke-Maxwell (Ngai Tai Ki Tamaki Makaurau and Ngati Porou) and Nette Scurr are keen to make the guided meditation process as simple and accessible as possible. It’s designed for people who are new to meditation, but will be enjoyable by those who are more experienced.
Visit the website for more information about the products and the processes.
As at publication, it appears only 2 parties have lesbian candidates, or MPs. Not all parties have released their party lists yet. Please update us if we have missed anyone, or someone new stands.
An evaluation of parties’ policies on matters of particular interest to lesbians will come closer to the election date.
Jan Logie is a current MP, standing in Mana, number 7 on the Party list. She is spokesperson for Social Development (including women, community and voluntary sector), State Services, Local Government (including Civil Defence) and Rainbow issues.
Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, Ngāti Oneone, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Whānau a Kai, is a new list candidate in 2017, standing in Ikaroa-Rawhiti, number 21 on list. She will be known to LNA readers as chair of the Wellington Takatāpui group Tiwhanawhana.
Louisa Wall, Ngati Tuwharetoa me Waikato, is MP for Manurewa and 25 on their list. Spokesperson for Courts and Youth Affairs, and Associate Spokesperson for Justice (Legal Aid) and Sport and Recreation.
The Rule Foundation, the largest and oldest charity focused on advancing the health, well-being and visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in New Zealand, is looking for a new voluntary trustee. Applications are due by June 6.
The foundation, which has never had a female or trans trustee, was established from the bequest and will of Peter Rule, who died 30 years ago. It currently has $1.7million invested and distributes about $50,000 a year.
For its first 20 years the foundation was a privately held trust; since 2009, it has been a registered charitable trust, with accounts and deed available on the government Charities Services website. In the last seven years, it has distributed nearly $300,000 for LGBTTI activities around New Zealand.
Trustee David Reeves says: “We want to do a better job of representing the range of people who apply for the funds.” Current chair Stephen Park, who has Māori and Pākehā ancestry, is standing down, and the four remaining trustees are Pākehā gay men.
Trustees are appointed for four-year terms, which can be renewed. They meet three to four times a year, once face-to-face for the AGM and the rest by Skype. “We’re also keen to get a national spread,” says David. Two trustees live in Wellington and three in Auckland.
The foundation wants applicants with “a deep appreciation of contemporary LGBTI issues at a macro level … governance experience would be valuable, though not essential”. The foundation is interested in applicants “with backgrounds in finance, marketing, fundraising, health, social services or related fields”.
The work is voluntary, although travel expenses are paid. The foundation has a permanent Give a Little page, which has received donations of up to “a few hundred dollars” from overseas and New Zealand donors, says David.
Among many other foundation recipients are the Auckland Women’s Centre for lesbian services; the Battle of the Bent Track roller derby; the Charlotte Museum Trust for events aimed at women of diverse ethnicities; Christchurch Women’s Centre for lesbian services; Auckland’s Gay and Lesbian Singers (GALS) for a David Hamilton commission and the Out and Loud festival; the Mental Health Foundation for Elizabeth Kerekere’s Takatāpui: Part of the Whanau resource, left; the Wellington Regional Orchestra for a piece by a lesbian composer about Freda Stark; Rainbow Youth for provincial outreach and nationwide support; Reel Queer Inc for Out Takes film festivals; Silver Rainbow, above, for research, development and design of an education resource for aged care facilities about older LGB people; the Asia Pacific Outgames in Wellington and Proud to Play sports festival in Auckland; and sponsorship for travel to the Love Life Fono
Former GayNZ.com journalist Jacqui Stanford says the closure of the Rainbow community news website on May 31 leaves “a vast gap in our community. While the mainstream media has evolved for the most part, I think it’s still important for a community to tell its own stories.”
Jacqui (left, in a cap with her wife Dee) blogged for the site as Kitten Power for two years before she become the website’s paid journalist from 2010 to 2015. She left to start a family with her wife and they now have a 19-month-old son.
As a lesbian, she says, “I loved being able to celebrate ‘the sisterhood’ during my time at GayNZ.com. I had the opportunity to interview so many incredible women, across all generations. From history makers and art creators, to community stalwarts and people kicking up a well-needed fuss, it was a real highlight. We are a powerful bunch. Thank goodness we still have LNA to keep telling our stories!”
“One story which will always stick with me is the godawful experience Lindsay Curnow and Juliet Leigh had in Mangawhai Heads, with a homophobic arsonist who subjected them to a series of hate crimes. It was just horrific. But they dealt with it with such strength, humour and grace. They remain personal heroes of mine.”
Jacqui says the fragmentation of the lesbian and queer women’s community concerns her. “It’s important to have a sense of togetherness; maybe younger people don’t need that like we did.” She’s aware of debate among young queer women about whether “labels like lesbian are relevant anymore”. When their son was born, she was very grateful for the “many lesbians who’d been a mum and offered their support and advice. That community support was fantastic – we need to continue that.
LNA was unable to contact long-time lesbian photographer Andrea or the current journalist, Sarah Murphy, before the site closed.
Jacqui says she’s sad the site has closed but “completely understands the owners’ reasons for stepping away. It’s been a long, hard slog!” For 16 years, the site has been co-owned by Jay Bennie, the content editor, and Neil Gibb, the technical manager. Bennie says the Lesbian and Gay Archive of NZ (LAGANZ) in the National Library has captured the entire site and more than 18,000 articles. It is also available on archiving website the WayBack Machine.
Bennie also plans a set of audio interviews for LAGANZ, saying he’ll “go through my contacts book” for former politicians, DJs, activists and organisation stalwarts.
GayNZ.com has always been staffed by one “almost full-time” paid writer and a small team of volunteers, he says. “After 16 years of trying to stay on top of all the issues and aspects on law, health and different parts of the community, we wore ourselves out.”
The site mostly covered costs, but was often supported by Bennie’s other business, the gay men’s sex-on-site venue Lateshift in Auckland city. “We wanted to maintain our editorial independence, rather than market a Rainbow audience to advertisers,” he said.
“A lot of women have been part of the team. Especially when the paid writer was a man, they made sure we were aware of what was happening in women’s circles.”
Bennie says “A lot of the time resources the broader GLBT community has relied on have come from gay men, because we have more commercial venues, and spending power that attracts sponsors and advertisers. It’s always been one of my hopes that those resources weren’t used for gay men alone, but for the needs of the wider Rainbow community.”
“I was quite concerned that most of the anger about the No Pride in Prisons protest [at the Auckland Pride Parade, left] seemed to come from relatively well-off gay men who wanted to have a party in a bubble, without acknowledging the difficulties and different life experiences of others. It’s always been important for GayNZ.com to bridge the gaps in the community.”
Neither he nor Jacqui know what, if anything, will replace the website. “One of my fears about social media,” says Bennie, “is that while it makes more information available, it can also create silos of people with similar experiences who remain unaware of the lives of others.”
“I’m old enough to remember lesbian support of homosexual law reform [in the 1980s] and HIV and that created a lot of enduring links between organisations. I’m not sure those links are being created now. Gay men are probably much less aware of women’s issues these days” than they were in the 80s and 90s, he says.
The Māori new year will be celebrated around the country in festivals and events from mid-June.
Māori women are strongly represented in the Auckland festival as artists, photographers, rongoa practitioners, weavers, composers, and theatre and kapa haka performers. Three events that caught our eye include the theatrical dance piece Lick my past, left, where Nancy Wijohn and Kelly Nash focus on the experience of Māori women as friends and foes. It runs at the Basement Theatre in the city from June 27 to July 1.
Get in quickly for The mooncake and the Kūmara, which sold out before its first season. Written by award-winning Māori-Chinese playwright Mei-Lin Te Puea Hansen, it is based on the Māori-Chinese love affair of her grandparents. It plays at the Q Theatre on Queen St from June 29 to July 2.
The third event is a free photography exhibition, Matariki: The strength of the Sistas, celebrating the strength of sistahood between young women excluded from mainstream school, who gain an understanding of atua wahine (female gods) with established artists. It’s on at Studio One Toi Tu, 1 Ponsonby Rd from June 22 to July 13.
See the website for a host of events around the Auckland region, many of them free.
Tauranga events include kite flying, exhibitions, music, art workshops, lectures, and guided tours of Mauao (Mount Maunganui).
There’s a buzz about four Auckland-region parties in June and July, three of which focus on lesbians and queer women.
Lick’s annual Prison Party on Saturday 10 on Karangahape Rd will enable fans can dress to express their favourite show – Orange is the new black from the US, or Aussie drama Wentworth. Entry is $10 before 11am; see the Facebook event page.
A lesbian-organised concert and dance at Galatos on June 24 will be a rare chance for Aucklanders to experience the powerhouse voices of lesbian duo Daughters of Ally . Organiser Cissy Rock says the sisters will sing “maybe some Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls; it will be an event about lesbian culture”. Check them out on YouTube. DJ T Rex will also spin some discs. Tickets are $25 from Eventbrite.
aLba has brought back their popular winter dinner and dance on Saturday 22 July, with MP guests Louisa Wall and Jan Logie, and DJ Linda T. Retiring aLBa committee member, Violet Ryan, says the group hopes to make the dinner an annual event again. Numbers are limited as the dinner will be held in Ima Cuisine in Fort St, so get in quickly. Earlybird tickets are $55 for members and $65 for non-members until June 5; see the Facebook event page.
And last but earliest is a fundraising party for Oceania Pride Aotearoa at Family Bar on Sunday June 4. This partnership between takatāpui and tangata Pasefika, Ngā aho tapu o te Moana-nui-o-Kiwa – Sacred connections of Oceania, was formed for this year’s Pride Parade. The advisory committee is fronted by two lesbians who are long-term organisers across communities. Tangata Whenua co-ordinator is Tai Waru, of Te Atiawa, Ngāti Kuri and Tainui, and the Tangata Pasefika co-ordinator is Sonya Apa Temata, of Cook Islands, Hawai’ian and Ngāti Kahungungu ancestry, who we profiled in February.
MCs for the fundraiser are Newshub’s Aziz Al-Sa’afin, Lady Trenyce, Limelight Cabaret‘s Macau Johnson and Miss Ribena, and the night will showcase more than 20 Māori and Pasefika performers, all for a gold coin entry. Email email@example.com.
UN Free & Equal, part of the United Nations Human Rights Office, recently launched a small campaign exploring the role that culture and tradition play in the lives of lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people around the world.
The #CultureOfLove campaign features three short videos illustrating culture and tradition opening to LGBTI people:
- In Tradition, a young man in Mumbai brings his boyfriend to a family celebration of the Festival of Holi
- In Culture, a genderqueer youngster in Britain joins their father at a soccer match and basks in the comradery that goes with supporting the local team
- In Family, Chinese parents shake off their initial hesitation and include their daughter’s same sex partner in their traditional Lunar New Year celebrations
The agency also recently relaunched its campaign website, which has a large archive of inspiring previous campaigns, videos of high-profile supporters and stories of overcoming discrimination. JR
Mind Victoria opened a dedicated LGBTIQ specialist mental health and well-being centre in May. It offers psychological counselling, family and relationship counselling, occupational therapy and sex therapy.
It will also aim to help link people into legal, jobs and housing support, given how important these connections are for people who experience discrimination in many areas of their lives.
The rationale for the service is similar to social and health needs identified in Aotearoa New Zealand: the LGBTIQ community have the highest rate of suicide in Australia and much higher rates of mental illness than the general population. They also have high rates of anxiety, depression and high impact disorders such as bi-polar disorder, psychosis and a range of trauma related conditions. Young LGBTIQ people in particular are struggling, with twice as many likely to engage in self-injury than the general population, that figure doubling for those identifying as transgender.
The centre is in North Fitzroy, Melbourne, and people from any geographic location are welcome. The fee structure is expected to accommodate people with a range of financial situations.
Georgina, left, and Jessie Matthews are two Nga Puhi/Pākehā sisters who whakapapa to Whangarei but were born and raised in Tauranga Moana by their dad Ally and their mum Janice. They started singing together in the family band when Georgina was seven. Aucklanders can enjoy their powerhouse vocals when Daughters of Ally performs at a lesbian-run concert and dance on June 24 at Galatos (see Dyke Diary), but this will be their last performance together for some time.
“We’ve been going full blast for three years”, says Jessie. “We’re pretty booked out eight or nine months in advance, which is good for a two-person covers band.” Jessie is nine years older than Georgina, with a brother in between; Jessie lives in Hamilton and Georgina in Auckland. Daughters of Ally took a break from mid-March, when Jessie was 36 weeks pregnant.
Her first baby Ally is a month old, and Georgina is training to qualify for the new skateboarding event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They both have day jobs and singing gigs have filled their weekends.
Georgina’s course in audio engineering finishes at the end of June, while Jessie is on maternity leave from her teaching job at Hamilton East Primary School. From September to January, Auckland-based singer Lana MacFarland will join Jessie in Daughters of Ally while Georgina has a break and starts a new job. Jessie and Lana met in 2016 when Jessie performed as Effie and Lana as Deena in Dreamgirls in Auckland.
Outside the New Zealand skateboarding scene, Georgina’s achievements are little known. “I started skating when I was 13, after my brother started. I skated with two boys down the street, I was a tomboy down the park every weekend – the boys pushed me a lot more than if I’d been by myself.” In local competitions she was often the only girl; “there were no girls’ divisions and I would always come in the top three.”
She won the 2000 NZ nationals, and that was when her parents realised how good she was. They took her to Sydney for an All Girls Skate Jam, where she came second. She went professional at 16 and gained international sponsorship from Gallaz shoes, which distributed US skateboard products. That gave her boards and a package of skateboard products every month.
“I went on tours with their team, and to the Globe world cup every year. One of my best years was 2004, when I skated against my main influence, Elissa Steamer – I came fourth. I’m friends with most of the top women skaters, like Vanessa Torres from US.”
“One of my biggest inspirations was Stacey Roper from Taranaki, who was a bit older than me. She’d push all the girls to skate together, we’d skate together every weekend in Auckland. Dad used to sit in the car watching me skate on the weekend for five hours. He didn’t know what the moves are called but he would come over and tell me my foot should be further back when I did that trick.”
Georgina lived in London for a year in 2011 and came first in the UK. Her skateboarding career took her to China on a two-week tour. “I’ve been so lucky to see the world skating. When I was 18 I became a rep and was a brand manager for Gallaz, and later worked as a territory manager for Globe’s skate brands in Melbourne. I was the sales rep for Van shoes for the South Island – a lot of things have come out of picking up my brother’s skateboard when I was 13.”
To qualify for the 2020 Olympics, she’s skating at least three times a week, learning new tricks and still receiving sponsored for shoes and boards. “I always say hello and chat with girls at skate parks and help them if they’re interested. It’s definitely male dominated, but there’s so many girls out skating or trying it now. Competitions now have a division for women.” She says the female “skateboarding community is predominantly gay”.
“Female skaters from Browns Bay on Auckland’s north shore have set up the Sisters of Shred Facebook page; “I always point girls I see skating to that page. They’ll post where they’re going this weekend, and invite others along. A couple of girls are also running skate schools for girls.”
Skating on concrete is hard on the body. “I’ve had a knee reconstruction and I have a broken knuckle. I haven’t broken any bones, but had bumps and bruises on my shins, chipped my teeth, smacked my head, rolled my ankles lots of times, got lots of scratches and bruises.”
“You just have to get back up and try it again. When you’re 17 you bounce off concrete, things don’t seem to hurt as much. I’m still happy with the level I’m at, I haven’t got to my peak yet.”
New Zealand skaters haven’t heard about the qualifying framework for the Olympics. “The Australians have already had an Australian Olympic camp, but haven’t heard anything here. We need to start thinking about it because we have great skaters in New Zealand.”
The sisters’ dad is a musician and retired wharfie who was friends with several of the famous touring Blerta music and theatre crew in the 70s, and “brought us up singing and playing instruments since we were kids, like the Jackson Five,” says Jessie. “We did gigs – I’ve been doing it since I was 13 and Georgina started when she was six.” Georgina adds: “Dad was in a band called Sons and Lovers, and a few others. He had an afro – photos of him when he was young look so cool, he had so much style.”
When Georgina was young “my dad would always put me on the drums, so I’d drum, sing a few songs and go home to bed. My family is a big inspiration; my dad and sister taught me everything I know about singing. We’ve always been very close and it’s the best, having family members as band mates.”
Both sisters are multi-instrumentalists as well as singers. Jessie was in the first season of X Factor and reached the grand final of Stars in our Eyes, and has “been round the world performing as Aretha Franklin. We could live off performing, but we enjoy our day jobs.”
“Most weekends we perform in towns around the North Island,” she says. “Our repertoire is very broad, we can cater for 18 to 80, from the 1940s to the current top 40. We can change the music at weddings when the grandparents go to bed – we judge the crowd.” Ally, now 65, “plays with us quite often. He just loves it.”
Jessie describes the sisters as “quite shy off the stage. Georgina’s an absolute live wire on stage, we’re not your average Kiwi Māori singers, we’re powerhouse vocals with no trills and frills. We don’t rehearse, we never have – we practice a lot on our own.”
“I’ll call George and say ‘I‘ve just learnt that new Ed Sheeran song and you’ll have to listen to it and see what backing you want to do’. Since we live in different town, I’ve got to learn it well enough to hold it on my own. We’re equally lead voices which mesh really well, our harmonies are very polished but our solo voices are quite different.”
Georgina says it’s a “different feeling singing alongside your sister, an extra bit of specialness. We’re so in tune with each other, it’s such a breeze singing with Jessie. We’re best mates doing what we love, sharing with each other and experiencing different things together.”
The two have also written and performed on their own. Jessie works “with a producer in the UK and released house/techno music under Ministry of Sound. We write different original stuff. George is singer-songwriter, like Anika Moa, but mine’s a bit more soul, with more backing.”
Their first single Poppa, released in 2015, is reggae, “but that’s not how I would describe us,” says Jessie. “We’re quite diverse in what we sing. We like pop, soul and rap.” Georgina says her audio engineering course “helped me learn about the recording side”. She has “a handful of originals – eventually I want to write and record songs.”
The pair “love the Topp Twins – we’re also lesbians, we’re sisters, we’re two Māori girls quite different but quite like the Topps,” says Jessie. “We’re very close, George and I, like they are.”
Both sisters identify as lesbian and Georgina also describes herself as gay. Jessie, who came out first, says “I never felt like I couldn’t say anything or be who I was. It was nerve-wracking at the time, but my family were so supportive, all my extended family as well. They’re proud of who I am.”
Georgina says when she was “just out of school I started having feelings for a girl; the first girl I was with I realised it was more than a fling. I came out at 18. My mum thought it was a phase at first, but they’ve been very supportive. Mum and Dad had already been told once, so I was the cherry on the top.”
Jessie has been with her partner Sue for nine years “and we’ve been married four years in October. We had planned to get married regardless and then the marriage equality law got passed. We were one of the first 100 to get married. My wife is from South Africa, from quite a conservative Christian family.”
“Sue and I are the legal parents on Ally’s birth certificate; there’s space for the donor’s name, and for whakapapa – he’s part-Māori like me, and it was really neat. We wouldn’t be able to do that in lots of countries in the world.” The sisters’ parents recently moved to Hamilton to be near “us and the baby”.
Jessie and Georgina are two to watch; see Dyke Diary for other Daughters of Ally gigs and watch this space for news of Georgina’s skateboarding.
Top photo by Salina Galvan; handplant skateboard photo by Cullan Jack.
LNA’s print predecessor, the Tāmaki Makaurau Lesbian Newsletter, first profiled South Otago sheep farmer Megan Barclay four years ago. She has been running her Scots grandparents’ 234ha sheep farm on Ngai Tahu land at Clydevale, near the Clutha River, for 13 years, with the help of four sheep dogs, a quad bike and a tractor. However, since 2013 she’s faced injury and the work of protecting the farm creeks.
“In March 2016, I was putting the rams through a footbath and a big one, about 100kg, pushed me over and I tore a ligament and the meniscus cartilage on my right knee,” says Megan, who weighs under 60kg. “I finished the job then iced the knee and looked for work I could do with my knee in the air. So that afternoon I sowed out grass on the tractor.” Luckily, autumn and winter are her quiet time, averaging ten hours a day feeding out and doing maintenance.
Megan was in pain and using walking sticks for five months before her knee came right. “I couldn’t sit still for longer than 10 minutes or it would seize and lock. Every morning I drove to a heated pool 30 minutes away, which warmed it and enabled me to function. It took until August before it stopped hurting; I started walking on soft ground with tramping poles. I couldn’t run, which I loved, and I couldn’t cycle, so thank god for swimming.”
“It was a month before I could see a specialist in Dunedin and another month before I got the result of the MRI.” She was told she’d need surgery, but that no operation spaces would be available until January this year. However, “four months after the injury I got to see a surgeon who decided it would heal itself.” Megan is now back doing the recreational trail running she loves.
“There were only a few farm jobs I couldn’t do. My father helped with drenching the ewe lambs and I sold off the last of the works lambs. I took everything really slowly and because I couldn’t sit still, I kept on going,” she says. “At this time of the year the rams were out with the girls and every ten days I’d change the permanent colour crayon on the rams’ chest harnesses.”
The colours transferred to the ewes, so Megan could tell which ewes has been mated on the first ten days of April and would therefore lamb early in September. “If a storm came through, I concentrated on the ewes who are lambing. In winter I bandaged the knee and strapped it with a brace and hobbled along marking out small blocks with electric fences. I did get someone to help out at lambing in September,” her busiest time, “but my knee was fine by then.”
“Luckily it was a mild winter, but I was worn out, tired and frazzled, waking up with pain in the middle of the night. It was emotionally hard. When you’re on your own, you haven’t got anyone to ask how you’re feeling or cook your meals. You’ve just gotta get on with it.”
Megan normally works long hours, seven days a week. She has 1,800 Texel Coopworth ewes, 500 hoggets, 40 calves and 18 rams. Like all farmers, her tasks are dictated by the seasons, and she has few breaks away from the farm. [The photo at the bottom is of her and her mum on a cycling holiday in France, during one rare holiday.]
“In July the ewes get an ultrasound in the yard and I find out which ones are pregnant with more than one.” Lambing in September is busy, with tailing and tractor work to sow grass into the winter crop paddocks. In early December, she drenches and weans the lambs, and sends the first crop of male lambs to the works at Balclutha.
Unlike her childhood, when wool provided most of the income, now meat production earns 90 percent, making farming more intensive. At Christmas and New Year she dags the sheep and prepares the lambs for shearing. Then it’s crutching, “shaving their bottoms with a handpiece so they don’t get flystrike, more drenching, and mowing seed heads off the grass”.
The other big change has been preserving the four creeks on the farm, which wander through two-thirds of the paddocks. “When my grandfather bought the farm, the only water source were the creeks in the paddocks. When I took over the farm from my dad 13 years ago, a third of the area had water troughs.” Megan paid $20,000 to get water to troughs in every paddock.
“As farmers we love our land. You see a fence and you think my grandad did that. There were only eight paddocks on the whole farm when they brought it and now there are over 30. Each new addition, whether a fence or a shelter belt, gives you such pride.”
Megan’s biggest ongoing job is protecting the creeks on the farm with culverts and fences to meet the Otago Regional Council’s plan for swimmable water sources by 2020. “We all want swimmable creeks and rivers, but that has huge financial implications for farmers.”
“When stock or vehicles go through creeks, there’s not allowed to have any sediment go into the creek. The cost of keeping cattle out is huge. Last year I bought five culverts for $15,000, but couldn’t afford to put them in. This year wool prices dropped by half, because lots of people are buying synthetic carpets. It cost $10,000 to install all the culverts.”
The next plan is to build fences along the creeks. “We’d love to have them fenced with riparian planting, but I have to do it out of a shrinking income. If it’s too hard, then conglomerates end up buying farms and it becomes less a family-owned industry and more industrial farming, which doesn’t look out for local interests. There are changing times ahead for the farming sector.”
Megan believes that the levels of sediment and E coli in the water set by the government and councils “are not necessarily that achievable. For example, one farmer near us has a natural bush area above a creek, but has measured high E coli levels in that water, possibly from a dead bird or possum. The E coli levels dropped in one creek I fenced off, but then increased again, maybe because of the ducks in it.”
Megan has leased 30ha to a cropping farmer “but will take that back next year and increase my stock numbers. I raised 40 bobby calves last year, but haven’t figured out whether I’ll increase the numbers of cattle or sheep. It’s silty land, not appropriate for too many heavy cattle, but cattle are less work than sheep. Then again, cattle are really expensive at the moment; I have to do the figures.”
Megan is still single; “I don’t get out much and don’t see many lesbians. I’m happy being me here, other people treat you as you are. The farrier who came to do my horse’s shoes was yarning away – his wife was apparently being a bit stroppy and he said ‘You’ll have the same problems with women as I do’. I knew nothing about his life but he knew about me and was okay with it all.”
Injuring her knee “makes you think about what else you could do, but I was in so much pain there was no way I could have done a desk job, I couldn’t sit still. It’s the kind of fall that could happen in a supermarket. I haven’t any other plans for the future. I love working outdoors with animals.”
We welcome your suggestions of websites, books, films and any other media of interest to lesbians and queer women.
We appreciate the original cartoons provided by Helen Courtney. This one, Flight of fancy, seems to fit particularly well with Media.
Hopes Dashed?, by feminist economist Prue Hyman, is an excellent addition to the BWB Text series of small but well-written New Zealand-based publications from Bridget Williams Books. Subtitled ‘The economics of gender inequality’, in 120 focussed and well-structured pages, Prue updates us from her 1994 Women and economics: A New Zealand feminist perspective.
Whatever your level of interest and knowledge about economics, and women’s paid and unpaid work in particular, this book has lots to offer.
Readers familiar with the field will find it a useful summary. If this topic is unfamiliar, you’ll find the mix of local and international content helpful. And now is a good time to be thinking, reading and talking about gender equity, in economics, work and income: with an election looming, the questions this book provokes are ones to consider before voting.
The first two chapters deal with unpaid and paid work, which often overlap. Unpaid work – child care, care of others, housework, voluntary work – is important and contributes enormously to society and well-being, but is seldom recognised outside feminist circles. Prue summarises: “The lack of progress since [Kate] Sheppard’s day is depressing, but the continuity of feminist analysis over 130 years is impressive.” Prue analyses time use surveys, explains satellite accounts, discusses problems for sole parents and governments’ “inability or unwillingness” to assist.
The chapter on paid work covers job segregation, discrimination, and the gender pay gap, providing counters to those who still argue that the gap does not exist. It also critiques inadequate government perspectives and actions.
Chapter 3 explores how equal employment opportunities (EEO) and pay equity should work, with an extensive case study of the Kristine Bartlett/pay equity case, which has progressed since publication.
Prue moves to ‘The importance of radical labour market policies’ (“Encouragement, advice and rewards for good behaviour are manifestly not enough”), suggesting three simple actions – raise the minimum wage, build the living wage, and introduce Universal Basic Income. Prue ends with ‘Towards a caring economy’, where success is measured by the quality of life for all, raising the hopefulness quotient.
This is the time to read this book. It’s reasonably priced as a print or e-book, and will be available in libraries and bookshops near you.
Disclosure of interests: I’ve worked in women’s employment, in EEO, and I’m a friend of Prue Hyman’s. I think this makes me an informed commenter, not a biased reviewer.
You watched Pot Luck – Aotearoa New Zealand’s first and (so far) only lesbian webseries – right?
If your answer is “oops, not yet”, or “I want to re-watch it, but I forgot where to find it”, then go to one of the viewing platforms or social media links (at end of story).
If the answer is “when are they going to film a second series??!??”, then read on. Season 2, which picks up a few months after the end of Season 1, will start filming later this year.
Season 1 has had very positive receptions around the world – 1.5 million unique views. While the majority of viewers are in the US, Pot Luck has been officially selected for webfests locally, and in the UK, Ireland, US and Australia. It won 10 Merit awards in the Rome Web Awards and now has 9 nominations for their Excellence awards (to be announced later this month).
Watch this space!
Gina won the Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction in the Ockham Book Awards in May.
Julie won Gold in the 2017 Australia/New Zealand – Best Regional Fiction section of the US-based Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Translesbians in lesbian-feminist spaces
Nadia Gush, pictured with cartoons by Helen Courtney, was contracted to work as Director of the Charlotte Museum Trust in 2015, and is one of many discussing the significance of their own historical practice in the edited collection History making a difference: New approaches from Aotearoa, recently published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
A little more than a fortnight into my former job as director of the Auckland-based Charlotte Museum Trust, I was confronted with the political conundrum of translesbian presence in lesbian feminist spaces. Surrounded by iconic lesbian heritage ranging from a collection of 1970s t-shirts adorned with political slogans, to replica goddess figurines from antiquity, a person came through the Museum doors for whom 1970s lesbian t-shirts were, at best, an uncomfortable fit. This visitor to the Museum was welcomed by Miriam Saphira with customary enthusiasm. Seemingly genuinely interested in the displays, they diligently absorbed the information on lesbian history provided by the Museum’s lower rooms. They were polite and friendly. They were also silent from the moment they entered the Museum to the moment they left. As they signed their name in the visitor’s book, I was struck by how inherently unwelcoming the Charlotte Museum must seem to translesbians. No amount of welcoming smiles from front of house staff and volunteers could make up for the exclusivity of identity politics on display in the Museum; this was not her history, but it was being written in her name.
I do not know whether the person who came into the Museum identified specifically as ‘translesbian’ – a term signalling both transgender and lesbian identities – all I knew was that they had made the effort to visit the Museum, and that they were positioned as an outsider by the stories held and preserved within that Museum. What I am also only able to speculate on, is whether or not they felt like the Museum had offered them what they were looking for. Many women who visit the Charlotte Museum experience a sense of validation and community, appreciating an opportunity to look into the past and see people who were ‘just like them’. Did my potentially translesbian visitor feel validated? Did they feel like they were looking at people ‘just like them’? I found the possibility that someone who identified as lesbian might feel ostracised within a museum dedicated to lesbian heritage and culture to be deeply troubling.
The tension between translesbian presence and lesbian feminist politics is much larger than the very human question of whether or not visitors to a museum feel represented in displays and exhibitions. ‘Woman’, as a political category, has consolidated around the notion of a body capable of giving birth. ‘Lesbian’ has in many instances followed suit, particularly in the context of lesbian feminism. An example of this is apparent in the May-June 1982 issue of the New Zealand newsletter Lesbian Lip. This particular issue of the lesbian-only newsletter demonstrates how lesbian feminists could be motivated to lay claim to a particular gendered archetype that prioritised the birthing body.
Under the heading ‘Are you a lesbian or a woman?’ the newsletter’s feminist authors contemplated the relationship between ‘women’s liberation’, and ‘lesbian liberation’, arguing in turn for a new definition of ‘woman’ itself. Under the heading ‘lesbian and queers’, one author argued that ‘woman’ exclusively meant white, middle-class, and heterosexual. In turn lesbians could not be women. Lesbians may have been unnatural aberrations, they may have been Godless sinners, but they did not fall within the contemporary definition of what a woman might be. It was in response to this that lesbian feminists began to imagine a utopia where ‘woman’ could mean non-heterosexual, and could exist outside of patriarchy.
For many it was ‘the goddess’ that became a symbol of this utopian state of being. Marija Gimbutas was instrumental in this movement, revolutionary in claiming that the preponderance of female Neolithic figurines found in various archaeological sites demonstrated that there was a pre-patriarchal community in human history. She believed that this community centred on the Mother-Goddess, and because of this, it was men who were positioned as second-class citizens rather than women. Gimbutas was influential amongst spiritual feminists of the 1980s and 1990s who chose to identify with this mythic pre-patriarchal way of life. The drawing accompanying the articles on (not) being a woman in Lesbian Lip evoked this pre-patriarchal ideal. It did so in that it depicted a Minoan snake goddess. In Gimbutas’ pre-patriarchal community, lesbian feminists saw the possibilities of their own utopia. Of course, what made Gimbutas’ Neolithic figurines identifiable as female was that they all had vulvac shapes inscribed upon what presented as their lower torsos. Many such figurines are assumed to be fertility idols.
When my presumed translesbian visitor came into the Charlotte Museum, she was confronted with this version of lesbian feminism, whereby the vulva is the icon of lesbian identity. It was plainly referenced in the Museum’s art and heritage collections. Was this her body? Did she feel as if her corporeal existence was encompassed within the cabinet showcasing replica goddess figurines? Did she care?
The issue at the heart of the political conundrum that is translesbian presence in lesbian feminist spaces is that the core of lesbian feminism is troubled by the vulva-less body. We might politely suggest that what is in someone else’s pants is no business but their own, and we might hold trans-friendly events with fervour, but lesbian feminism has not trodden the path of politeness. By utilising the vulva as an icon of strength and sisterhood, ‘lesbian’, as a category of identity, has been forged in ways inherently antagonistic to translesbians. No amount of ‘and you can come too’ is going to provide translesbians with the authenticity that lesbian feminism has given to the body capable of bleeding and birthing through a vagina. In turn, an aspiration to truly embrace the full diversity of lesbian experience is necessarily ontologically earth shattering.
Northland/Te Tai Tokerau
Waikato/Central North Island
Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka
Saturday 1 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.
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.
Thursday 1 Wonder Woman – a film night with the Auckland Women’s Centre 7.30-9.30pm, Reading Cinema, 3058 Great North Rd, New Lynn. Fundraiser for the AWC’s Women’s support service. Tickets $20 from Eventfinda. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Friday 2 EquAsian movie night at AUSA Queerspace, 5-7pm, movie starts at 6pm: screening 2 short films with queer theme from Bombay Talkies (2013) Indian anthology film consisting of four short films. Free, kid friendly. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 3 Ratchet Queens – Vogue Ball 8pm, Family Bar, 270 K’Rd, central Auckland. Visit Facebook event page for details including categories and entry prices.
Sunday 4 Dyke Hike 11am. Waitakere Dam. This collection of tracks will take us to Waitakere dam, some good view points and interesting tunnels. Meet at the car park halfway down Christian Rd, at the beginning of Filter track. We will start on the Swanson Pipeline Track just before this. 3-4 hours. Grade: Moderate (boots recommended, expect a few hills and stream crossings are possible). Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.lesbian.co.nz or the Facebook page.
Sunday 4 Oceania Pride Aotearoa Fundraiser Family Bar & Club, 270 Karangahape Rd, central Auckland. Doors open 7pm, first show at 8pm. Entry is a gold coin donation. See express story for details; contact at email@example.com.
Tuesday 6 Women’s action-based facilitation group, led by Cissy Rock. Runs 7-9pm every Tuesday to December 12. $30 per session or what you can afford. Old Homestead, Pt Chevalier Rd, Pt Chev. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 021 964 884.
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 17 Eleanor Bishop’s Jane Doe about a woman who goes to a party, gets drunk, blacks out and is raped. Karin McCracken leads a public reading of a rape trial transcript, where audience members read as witnesses and lawyers, and feed in live responses via their phones, interwoven with frank and funny footage from young people from across America and Aotearoa. 7.30pm, Q Theatre Loft.
Tuesday 6 – Saturday 17 Julia & Nisha Madhan’s Power Ballad Part karaoke party, part performance lecture, ripping apart language to find new ways of talking about pleasure, anger and femaleness. Created and performed by Julia Croft. Basement Studio, Lower Grey’s Ave, city.
Thursday 8 – Saturday 10; Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 Julia Croft’s If There’s Not Dancing At The Revolution, I’m Not Coming A performance collage of film scripts, pop songs, costume, comedy, dance and live art, all stretched, teased, shattered and reassembled to challenge the treatment of women’s bodies in popular culture. Created and performed by Julia Croft. Basement Theatre, Lower Grey’s Ave, city.
Saturday 10 Lick Auckland presents OITNB vs Wentworth #3 10pm-3am, Neck of the Woods, 155B Karangahape Rd, central Auckland. General door entry: $10 before 11pm, $15 after. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Sunday 11 Charlotte Museum event planning session Wide input welcome to help the museum’s vision for the future, 2–4pm, Studio One, 1 Ponsonby Rd.
Wednesday 14 Writer Julie Helean in conversation with Carole Beu. Julie won the Katherine Mansfield Award in the BNZ Literary Awards, and gold for best fiction from the Australia/NZ region in the 2017 Independent Publishers Awards in New York. Organised by aLBa, 6pm, Tiny Theatre, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere.
Saturday 17 GALS 25th Anniversary concert – overseas tour to Waiheke Island 2.30-4.30pm, Morra Hall, 115 Ocean View Rd, Oneroa, Waiheke. Tickets $23/15/10 from website.
Sunday 18 Coffee & Stroll 10am, meet for coffee, Woodworks, 1790 Great North Rd, Avondale; 10.30am, an easy 40-minute stroll in Heron Park, either walking down from the cafe, or parking off Cadman Ave (Gt Nth Rd to Fairlands Ave to Cadman Ave).
Sunday 18 ‘Feminists Are Funny’ A night of feminist hilarity with a line-up of quality comedians: fundraiser for Auckland Women’s Centre. 7-10pm, starring Michele A’Court and friends. Q Theatre, 305 Queen St; tickets $45 + booking fee. Visit Facebook event page.
Tuesday 20 – 1 August Questioning group with Cissy Rock and Ellie Lim A free, non-judgemental seven-week space for women to talk about same-sex attraction. Tuesdays 7-9pm, Auckland Women’s Centre, 4 Warnock St, Grey Lynn. Enrol by Tuesday 13, email email@example.com or call 09 376 3227 ext 1.
Saturday 24 Indoor rock climbing with Gay4Play, 3.30-6.30pm (last Saturday of every month). Extreme Edge Rock Climbing Panmure, 40c Morrin Rd, Panmure. “Get fit, have fun and be fabulous this summer; join a great mix of people that are looking to get fit and have fun with super friendly people. Beginners and experienced climbers are all welcome.” $26-36 entry depending on gear hire. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 24 GALS 25th Anniversary concert – a celebration! 5-7pm Pitt Street Methodist Church, 78 Pitt St, central Auckland.Tickets $23/15/10 from website.
Saturday 24 Daughters of Ally 8pm-midnight. Galatos, 17 Galatos St, central Auckland. Lesbian run event for dancing, meeting friends and having a good time. Band 9-11pm with DJ T Rex either side. Tickets $25 from Eventbrite.
Saturday 24 Fifth Season GLBT gardening club mid-winter Christmas buffet dinner with all the trimmings. St John Training Centre, Manukau Rd. Members $20, non-members $35. Reserve a place with Wendy Wilson, 027 548 3510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday 25 Rainbow Youth AGM 12 noon, Rainbow Youth Drop-in centre, 11 Edinburgh St, central Auckland. Visit Facebook page for details.
Wednesday 28 OUTLine AGM 6-8pm, Rainbow Youth ,11 Edinburgh St, central Auckland. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Friday 30 Social Drinks evening, hosted by Charlotte Museum Trust 7-11.30pm, Revelry, 106 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. A social drinks evening for lesbian and bi ladies and their friends. Visit Facebook event page for details.
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 2 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 6-9pm, Still Working bar, 13 Lynden Ct, Chartwell, Hamilton.
Friday 9 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Clarence St Theatre, Hamilton. Tickets $42/40 + service fee.
Friday 9 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 8-11pm, The Cook, Hamilton. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 10 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, TSB Showplace, 92-100 Devon St West, New Plymouth. Tickets $40.50 + service fee.
Wednesday 14 Glow Singers open night 7-8.30pm, University of Waikato Gate 1 Knighton Road, Hamilton. Middle of the year take-in: We are opening the door for a few weeks to invite those who love to sing, a chance to come along and sing with us to see if we are the right fit for you – a collective of diverse women who love to sing together and hope you want to come hang out and sing with us too. Visit Facebook event page for details and to message.
Saturday 17 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 8-11pm, Top Shot Bar,Te Puna, Tauranga.
Friday 23 Daughters Of Ally free and public gig 9pm-12midnight, The Junction Bar, Thames.
Saturday 24 Women’s Self Defence class Hamilton Pride and the Women’s Self Defence Network – Wāhine Toa offer this one-day feminist self-defence course for Rainbow women of all ages and abilities. Self defence is using the skills and abilities you have to keep safe in a broad range of situations, and it’s fun! 9.30am-2.30pm. Email Bex for the venue on email@example.com.
Sunday 25 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Napier Municipal Theatre 116-119 Tennyson St, Napier. Tickets $40.50 + service fee.
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.
Pipiri / June
Sunday 11 Lesbian Overlanders and Coffee walk Two or four hours at Berhampore, starting at 10am from Berhampore cafés, Adelaide road. Waterproof shoes recommended. Catch the 9.16 or 9.28 No 1 Island Bay bus at bus stop A beside the Wellington railway station. Contact Lainey Cowan firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 303 9006 on the day.
Sunday 11 Launch of Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality by Prue Hyman, BWB Books, 4pm, Paekakariki Museum refreshment rooms, Petticoat Junction. Books available for $15, cash only please.
Sunday 11 DANSS classes for lesbian and gay people and friends. No partner necessary, 7pm Beginners Jive, 8pm Intermediate Cha Cha Cha, upstairs at Thistle Hall, cnr Cuba & Arthur Sts, city. Email email@example.com
Sunday 18 DANSS classes for lesbian and gay people and friends. No partner necessary, 7pm Beginners Quickstep, 8pm Intermediate Waltz, upstairs at Thistle Hall, cnr Cuba & Arthur Sts, city. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 19 Opening of First Do No Harm group art exhibition about consent, and ending sexual violence towards women, gender minorities, people with disabilities and other marginalised people. Exhibition runs to Tuesday 27. 6pm, Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St, Te Aro.
Friday 23 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North. Tickets $38 + service fee.
Friday 23 ‘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.
Saturday 24 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Royal Wanganui Opera House Whanganui. Tickets $40/38 + service fee.
Saturday 24 (7.30-8.30pm) & Sunday 25 (2-3pm) The Glamaphones – Passion concerts Massey University Theatrette, Block 10 (Old Museum Building), Buckle St, central Wellington. Tickets (waged, $25; unwaged, $15; child <12, $10) from Eventfinda or directly from choir members; door sales depending on availability. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Sunday 25 DANSS classes for lesbian and gay people and friends. No partner necessary, 7pm Beginners Rumba, 8pm Intermediate Tango, upstairs at Thistle Hall, cnr Cuba & Arthur Sts, city. Email email@example.com.
Tuesday 27 Out Wellington AGM 6-7.30pm, AGM formalities, and a chance to get involved in Wellington Pride 2018. Visit Facebook event page for details.
The Lesbian Connection (TLC) sends a monthly email of events in the area, Nelson and Motueka in particular. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to go on the mailing list or for more details of any events.
There’s currently no-one co-ordinating activities for Nelson events, other than potluck dinners, last Friday of the month. Walking group is still happening now and then; keep an eye on Facebook for details. Do contact TLC if you can help with regular – or one-off – events.
Saturday 3 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Trafalgar Centre, Nelson. Tickets $42/40 + service fee.
Friday 16 Pot luck dinner, Atawhai Crescent, Nelson, 7pm. Dogs welcome; contact Ruth on 03 545 1431.
Sunday 11 Motueka brunch, 11am, Elevation Cafe, High St, Motueka.
Saturday 24 Quiz and Clittails Night, Motueka, from 7.30pm, Bring nibbles or dessert to share, BYO drinks. Contributions to clittails welcome but not essential.
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. Lambda Latte programme details are below.
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.
Friday 2 Drag Queen & King night Information via Christchurch Pride Facebook page.
Saturday 10 Shelly and Danice of InLimbo sing covers and originals, 12-2pm, BeatStreet Café, Barbadoes St, plus good food.
Saturday 10 Opening of Making Space exhibition of collaborative art-making from six artist collectives including South Auckland’s queer Pacific arts collective FAFSWAG, the four Maori women of Mata Aho, online arts collective Fresh and Fruity, and three Christchurch-based groups – Pasifika writers’ collective Fika, the SaVAge K’lub and collaborative arts group The Social. Runs to 10 August, CoCA Centre of Contemporary Art, 66 Gloucester St.
Friday 16 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Theatre Royal, 118 Stafford St, Timaru. Tickets $38 + service fee.
Saturday 17 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Oamaru Opera House. Tickets $40/38 + service fee.
Saturday 24 Switched on Coffee Group Meet women over good coffee and conversation. 1pm, Ground Floor Café, 47 Riccarton Rd, the end closer to Hagley Park. Phone Nicci 022 068 4498.
Saturday 24 Z’EST a new female duo of Julie-Anne Whitson and Danice Dearborn sing a diverse collection of songs, and guest singer Waiana Kotara. 12-2pm, Beatstreet Cafe, corner Barbadoes and Armagh Sts.
Saturday 24 Lisa Tui live recorded concert, Orange Studio concert series. Lisa is a singer songwriter of contemporary jazzy, folky music, with Gary Easterbrook, grand piano; lead guitarist Nikora Jonathan; double bassist Alastair Wallace; and vocalist Haze Usmar. $35, only 45 seats; buy online at lisatui.com or email email@example.com. 7.30 pm at Orange recording studio, Ferrymead.
Sunday 25 Lambda Trampers walk to the Monument and Mount Herbert. Meet at Princess Margaret Hospital, Gate 3, Cashmere Rd in time for a prompt 8am departure. Park at the Purau Saddle, climb to the Monument, a steep lava dome, then an easy track to the summit of Mt Herbert. 360 degree views, track is rated medium. $12 for those sharing vehicles. Phone Maree 021 036 4648.
Thursday 1 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Civic Theatre, Invercargill. Tickets $40/38 + service fee.
Thursday 15 Urzila Carlson “Studies have shown” 7.30pm, Queenstown Memorial Centre, 1 Memorial Dr, Queenstown. Tickets $40/38 + service fee.
Friday 16 Opening of Wairua group art exhibition, featuring multimedia artist Molly Rangiwai McHale and 15 other artists and running to Wednesday 21 as part of Puaka Matariki. DJs Coco Solid and Voodoo Gangster will play at the opening. 5pm, Dunedin Community Gallery, 20 Princes St by the Octagon.
Sunday 18 Wild Women Walk Sinclair Wetlands and public planting day. 1pm, leaving from Dunedin at noon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 022 133 9529 to confirm.
May 26–June 4 World OutGames, Miami Beach, USA, 10-day event featuring more than 40 events across three areas: Sports, Culture and Human Rights. See www.OutGames.org or Facebook page, or email email@example.com.
June 2-9 L Fest Del Mar, Hotel Montepiedra, Campoamor, Spain. A week full of fun and frolics in the sunshine; for lesbians and all women who love women. Tickets £149 via website; also visit Facebook event page for details.
June 11 Dyke Bar Walking Tour 2-5pm, an historic tour of dyke spaces lost. Tour starts at Cubbyhole bar, 281 West 12th St, New York city. Tickets from Eventbrite (1 free drink included). Visit Facebook event page for details.