What was happening in November? Here’s our Whiringa-ā-rangi update – all items collected in one handy page!
PPTA presses Rainbow issues for schools
Kahukura Pounamu: more events for takatāpui in Ōtautahi
Wild Women Walk an ancient Otago waka site
Paekakariki Pride 2017
Auckland Lesbian Festival
Auckland Pride 2018
Mahinārangi Tocker tribute
Recommendations from a paper by the PPTA’s Rainbow Taskforce at the secondary teacher union’s recent annual conference will spur further action on inclusion for lesbian, queer and gender diverse students in schools.
The conference agreed to five recommendations after discussion on the paper, called Affirming diversity: Inclusion for sexuality and gender minorities (10 pages, PDF). The decision required the PPTA –
- To urge the Ministry of Education to issue clear guidelines to make schools safe for students, whanau and staff with minority genders and sexualities
- To urge the Education Review Office (ERO) to report on whether schools were progressing towards or being inclusive for minority genders and sexualities
- To meet the NZ Standard 8200:2015 on Rainbow-inclusive workplaces by December 2018.
- To continue its free PPTA workshops for school staff about inclusion for sexual and gender minority students
- To consider eliminating gender-biased language in the Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement on parental provisions in the 2018 negotiations.
Kirsty Farrant, a PPTA advisory officer on professional issues who co-ordinates the Rainbow Taskforce, said “there was a lot of discussion before the conference on whether this was PPTA business as a teacher’s union.”
“But PPTA has a broad view across education, not just about issues for teachers, and some teachers are LGBTQI+ and our workplaces need to be safe for all members. Sometimes people forget how important it is to have queer teachers as role models for students trying to find out who they are.” Above are some of the lesbian and queer female teachers at the conference; photo by Rebecca McMillan.
Teachers responded positively to the paper, Kirsty says. “Some teachers told personal stories after the presentation; it was clear that if some of them had had more support at school they wouldn’t have struggled so much.”
Kirsty says clear best practice guidelines from the Ministry of Education are important, as the current guidance is very general, only about students not staff, and is optional. “It’s evolving and it’s far better than anything that’s existed before, but it doesn’t tell schools they have to do it.”
“There are still lots of teachers not able to be out because it isn’t safe in their workplaces, which is very concerning. And some out teachers are harassed and bullied in their schools.” Pictured are PPTA members at the Wellington Pride parade earlier this year.
The Rainbow Taskforce believes that some schools won’t change unless they’re compelled to by ERO checks, says Kirsty. “We have a very good relationship with ERO, so we’ll work with them to get inclusiveness checked consistently around the country.” In some areas, diversity for ERO doesn’t include minority sexual and gender identities, she says.
Kirsty says ERO is working on a “national evaluation of sexuality education curriculum in schools, including a focus on effective practice regarding LGBT students”, which may be published early in 2018.
It won’t be “a massive shift for PPTA to meet the NZ Standard on inclusive workplaces, but it shows our commitment.” As an example, the union will need to change gender choices on the membership form, she says.
“It’s also not about requiring schools to meet the Rainbow Standard. The standard is not written with schools in mind, and may not be the best way to get change. This is about our organisation reaching the standard.”
The recommendation about the Secondary Teachers Collective Agreement refers to maternity grants and a second year of unpaid parental leave, which are available only to female teachers.
“Our work’s not finished, we still have plenty to do,” says Kirsty. “We offer about 20 free workshops a year to schools about inclusive practice, open to all staff, not just union members. It’s focused on students but lots of Rainbow teachers really appreciate it; they pass us notes or tell us afterwards. A lot have never thought about it before.”
“The PPTA is leading the way in some respects; we’re the squeaky wheel that reminds people the issue needs to be dealt with. We work alongside Rainbow Youth and InsideOUT, but because we meet regularly with the Ministry of Education, the Education Council and ERO, we can keep on raising the issues.”
See the livestream of the conference session on the conference web page – discussion about Rainbow issues was on Day 2 (Wed 4) from about 11-11.30am and starts at about 3 hours into the video, as well as from 15m in on Day 3 (Thurs 5). See also the PPTA’s Rainbow Taskforce publication Affirming diversity of sexualities and gender identities in the school community (26 pages, PDF). Jenny R
An initial hui for takatāpui – Māori with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, or sex characteristics – was held in Ōtautahi Christchurch in late September.
With lots of energy to continue, it was agreed to run a second hui before the end of the year, to make decisions about a possible network. That event – Kahukura Pounamu: Te Rā Whakatinana (Day of completion) – will be held on Sunday December 3, 9.30-5pm. The day will include Whanaungatanga – getting to know each other, reporting back the analysis of the work done at Te Rā Tūhura, and considering proposals for an ongoing takatāpui network.
Before then (Sunday November 12) will be a whānau social event for takatāpui and their whanau. This alcohol-free event will help everyone to continue to get to know the group, have something to eat and drink, have an informal Sunday afternoon chill, and have a sing on the karaoke (not compulsory!).
Registration details for both events are on the Facebook pages:
venue details will be sent on registration – this is to help keep the venue safe and to give an idea of numbers.
Dunedin’s Wild Women Walking Group were given a tour of the Papanui inlet foreshore in October, to increase their knowledge of what archaeological markers to look out for around our eroding coastline and what to do if they find anything.
In 2013, Shar Briden, second from left above, local members of Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou and a team of volunteers found a totara waka eroding from this foreshore on Otago Peninsula.
Plaited fibre ropes found in the waka hull were found to be 460 years old, dating from the mid-1500s, making it the second oldest waka to be found in New Zealand.
For a decade, volunteers have monitored and recovered significant taonga and koiwi (human remains) from the area. Hand-adzed wooden maul and wedges, as well as stone and bone tools and needles, moa bone awls and fish hooks, erode regularly on the foreshore. Shar and JR, photos by Audrey Heyzer.
Labour weekend 2017 was full of pride in Paekakariki; a one-word summary from co-creator, Val Little was “amazing!”. “We’ll need a bigger village in 2018,” she said: there was support and participation from all sectors, not only Rainbow residents and friends.
But actually, “we need to keep it grassroots, its unique and authentic feel.” The starting point was to galvanise the village, and encourage people to think about rainbow issues.
Highlights included having the parade being led by kids from the local primary school, having a new group ‘Kapiti christians for gay marriage’ in the parade (a lesbian couple were recently refused permission to marry in Paekakariki’s St Peter’s, as it’s not permitted in the Anglican church), and Georgina Beyer cutting the ribbon to start the parade. Georgina was the recipient of proceeds from the first event, in 2016, to assist with medical expenses.
This year’s proceeds will go to OuterSpaces Te Kete o Te Kāhui, a registered charity which is the parent organisation for four LGBTIQ+ youth groups based in Wellington. This is to honour Virginia Burns (Virginia Parker-Bowles, or V), an event organiser, community mobiliser and glamour queen who died earlier this year, who was a strong supporter of OuterSpaces.
Val is hopeful that Guinness World Records will recognise the ‘shortest pride parade’; “we have to complete the formal application, but we’re talking about approximately 10 metres, the pedestrian crossing in Beach Road. And then we’ll be lobbying the Kapiti District Council, to paint the ‘zebra’ crossing as a rainbow, rather than white.”
A brief video of the parade posted to LNA’s Facebook page has attracted the most reactions and shares in recent weeks.
Val would love to hear from anyone who has ideas or would like to be involved in 2018; contact her via the Vinyl & Proud Facebook page. And in conclusion, “Wherever you are, plan to come to Paekakariki for Labour Weekend in 2018”.
This landmark event in early November brought together a group of panellists with notable achievements in lesbian and wider communities, and an audience of around 60 current and former lesbian feminist activists.
Speakers included activist and iwi manager Sharon Hawke (Ngāti Whatua, Ngāti Mahuta); lawyer Prue Kapua (Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu), and Samoan anti-violence leader Betty Sio, as well as two panels on social justice and lesbian visibility. The event was organised by Cissy Rock, who facilitated, Violet Ryan and Betty Sio.
The day began with the tikanga of the mana whenua (people of Auckland); the sound of the conch shell and a mihi from Sharon. Sharon defined visibility as mana, “my mana as a person”, and she and Prue talked about the impact of colonisation on the mana of Māori women.
Sharon discussed mana wāhine in her iwi, giving the example of kuia telling the kaumatua what to say on the marae paepae (forecourt) and a fierce aunt who would tell kaumatua in front of manuhiri to shut up and sit down if they didn’t follow the line that had been agreed. [Sharon is pictured below, sitting, listening to Sarah Lambourne, left, with Louisa Wall and Betty Sio.]
She also talked about the recovery of a precious carving of ancestress Whātua Kaimarie, from the swamp in which it had been hidden from missionaries after they forbade carvings with penises and vaginas. “Our visibility was rescued by her”. The carving sits above the door of the whare hui at Orakei, and resurrected the traditional Ngāti Whatua carving style.
Sharon talked about how the mana Ngāti Whatua was gradually destroyed by a series of legal and illegal thefts of their Auckland land, and her involvement in the occupation of Takaparawha (Bastion Point) as a teenager. She described how the iwi are recovering their mana following the settlement of their Treaty claim, which made them the third-largest landowner in the CBD.
She invited everyone to a hui at Orakei on May 25, 2018, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the eviction of Ngāti Whatua occupiers from Takaparawha by 700 police and armed forces. She also talked about becoming the mother, with her partner Mera, of a whangai child in midlife.
Prue Kapua, below, described falling in love with a woman for the first time in mid-life, and her very public coming out as “a bullet point on Louisa (Wall’s) CV in the Sunday Star Times”. She described herself as “lesbian, Māori and a woman – no one takes precedence, they’re all part of who I am”.
As national president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, she is proud that the league was the only Māori organisation to oppose the Springbok Tour in 1956, and also supported the Homosexual Law Reform Bill in the mid-1980s, but described later difficulties other Māori lesbians had had standing for prominent roles in the league.
“For me to be president now for a second term, without any comment about me being a lesbian, shows change,” she said.
“Visibility is very important for Māori women, because of the losses we suffered in colonisation. We have hapū, iwi and wharenui named after women, and more than the 13 female signatories would have signed the treaty if the colonists hadn’t denied that women had the power to sign on behalf of hapū. Colonial women were the property of their fathers or husbands and that was imposed on Māori women.”
She described another of her roles as supporting Louisa’s work in parliament by drafting “things behind the scenes, which is how we got to marriage equality”. She paid tribute to the three lesbian couples who first challenged the Marriage Act, resulting in the Quilter v Attorney-General decision of the 1990s.
More recently, Prue and Louisa have worked on ensuring that children of lesbian mothers can have both their parents on their birth certificates, which is possible under the Status of Children Act and important for access if relationships break down.
In this panel, Prue said that sometimes people are “too scared to call themselves political. As women, Māori and lesbians, everything we do is political – if we’re not political, we’re compliant”.
Betty Sio described her involvement with Bastion Point protest, the Black Women’s Movement and its lesbian caucus, and youth organisations. Both she and Sharon were part of Wāhine mo nga wāhine, set up by Māori and Pacific lesbians.
“We were really hard on ourselves,” Betty said. “We had lots of debates about things like mixed relationships – quite a few were in Māori–Pacific relationships and Black-White relationships. And talking about racism – they weren’t easy conversations.” [Betty, right, was snapped at the festival in a selfie with Sonya Te Mata.]
Later, Betty was a members of several women’s bands, including The Guile and a group with lesbian friends who called themselves Silverbeets. She then helped set up the PI Women’s Project, which worked against domestic violence, alongside Te Kākano o te Whānau and Rape Crisis. That led to her founding the Pacific Islands Safety and Prevention Project, a Black feminist organisation that worked with Pacific women, holding men accountable for their violence against women, and built relationships with similar Black feminist organisations overseas.
Pākehā lawyer and QC, Frances Joychild, discussed her earlier activism for homosexual law reform, against the Springbok Tour, her experience as the mother of a baby with serious health problems, and her more recent work against child poverty.
“It’s disgraceful beyond belief that people can’t get homes, and can’t afford to live. Kids grow up moving three times a year. We’re accumulating a tragedy involving a whole generation that we’ve all let happen.” Prue Kapua agreed: “Inequality is ongoing and intensifying, and needs constant challenge.”
Huhana Hickey also described her experience with a lesbian community that “didn’t want to know disabled women. Nightclubs weren’t accessible so I never got to go.”
Organisers Cissy Rock, Violet Ryan and Betty Sio are pictured with panellists and participants on the second and third from the left at the front, and on the right, respectively.
This panel stimulated the most discussion about visibility and lesbian identity. As well as Sharon, Betty and Louisa, the panel included Sarah Lambourne (Ngāti Kahungunu, Chinese and Pākehā), a long-time lesbian event organiser who identifies as femme; new Auckland Pride board member Cassie Roma, who hails from North America and brought out the gay ATMs when she worked for the ANZ bank; new Pride board member Letitia Taikato (Te Arawa, Ngai-te-rangi, Tainui, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) who identifies as takatāpui; Pākehā Waiheke musician Frankie Hill; Pride Board member Sonya Te Mata, who has Cook Islands, Māori and Tahitian ancestry and leads the Pacific contribution to the Oceania segment in the Parade.
Prue pointed out that a Google search for ‘famous lesbians’ brings up “every actor who has played one, and celebrity lesbians” but not those who have led significant social change for lesbians. Louisa mentioned the international Lesbian Visibility Day on April 26, which has rarely been commemorated in Aotearoa.
Audience and panel members discussed differences between women who came out in the 70s to 90s and since then. Sonya said “the intergenerational difference is very strong”. Frankie said she sees lesbians as assimilated rather than visible. “Young people today are coming up with their own terms to describe their lives. Lesbian was such a powerful word for us, but I think it’s quite natural for the word to go out of use.”
Betty expressed a view often heard in discussion between sessions, when she said “I hunger for lesbian space. I took for granted that lesbian space would always be there – I want that for younger women.”
The kaupapa/theme for Auckland Pride 2018 is ‘Rainbow Warriors: Pride and Peace’, recognising that human rights and LGBTIQ+ people are under attack all over the world: He pōkēkē uenuku i tu ai! Against a dark cloud, a rainbow stands out brightly!
Festival and Parade registrations are now open, and dates for major events are confirmed: Opening and Gala, February 2; Same Same But Different Writer’s Festival, February 9-10; Heroic Garden Festival, February 9-11; Big Gay Out, February 11; Pride Parade and Party, February 17.
The programme for the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival is starting to be released, and includes two performances of “Love Me As I Am”, a multi-artist tribute to and celebration of the music and life of Mahinārangi Tocker.
She wrote over 1,000 songs, in a range of styles, exploring identity and aroha. Mahinārangi was a champion for Māori music, gay rights and mental illness rights, with an enormously energetic approach to creativity.
Artists include Anika Moa, Annie Crummer, Shona Laing and Charlotte Yates. 8pm, Great Hall, Auckland Town Hall. Tickets from $39-79 pp, $294-474 for table of 6. Visit Facebook event page and Auckland Arts Festival website.
How do you capture the lifetimes lived by one person in an article? From the army to fashion this is the story of Tai Waru.
Tai affiliates to Te Ati Awa in Taranaki through her father and Ngāti Kuri in the far North through her mother, and was born and brought up in Manurewa in South Auckland. Tai is the third youngest of seven children and has a twin sister Tina, right.
Tai says her “family was marae-based”; she grew up with a strong cultural heritage doing kapa haka, and spending time with whānau in Taranaki. She attended a lot of wananga at Ruapotaka Marae in Glen Innes, the small marae at Green Bay High School, and Hoani Waititi in west Auckland.
Tai spent a lot of her younger years with her grandfather, kaumatua Sonny Waru, below, who she describes as “a tohunga in many areas, he was a great orator and knowledgeable in whakapapa and history. He ran courses on marae protocol and tikanga for young people.”
Sonny Waru was one of the kaumatua who accompanied the landmark Te Māori exhibition to the USA, as well as the Māori contingent attending expos in Australia. He was also an actor, known for three films from the 1980s: Mauri, The makutu on Mrs Jones, and The lie of the land.
At 16, Tai began a six-month Limited Service Volunteer army course, and was in the army full-time for the next six years, based at the former Papakura army camp. She worked as part of the communications section.
When Tai left, she started working as a supervisor before ending up in management for the past 20 years in the production, distribution and warehousing sector. “It was hard because I was managing between 10 and 60 staff, a female working in a male-dominated area and at times there was a lot of resistance from my male colleagues. It was hard for them to have a female manager.”
After Tai left the army, she also met the father of her son and was married for eight years. Not long after this relationship she came out aged 32.
Tai never identified same-sex couples or queer people as she grew up, and it never occurred to her that she could love a woman. “My mum sent me to counselling when I was 13 because she thought I was gay; I didn’t understand what she was talking about. I didn’t know who I was. All my family said they knew before I did; when I came out they told me ‘it was about time you woke up’.”
“I met a lady through rugby league that I developed strong feelings for. The first moment I passionately connected with a woman it blew me away; I knew straight away this is who I should have been years ago. I instantly felt comfortable – I had a lot of catching up to do.”
Tai didn’t like the lesbian label when she first came out; but when she learnt about butch and femme she “felt a strong connection with butch”. Growing up she had been the sister that tinkered with motors outside with her father, while her other sisters worked inside the home.
Tai played with army toys, her sisters with dolls. “At first I thought I was attracted to butch women, but it was about wanting to be one.” Tai now identifies as being a lesbian and butch, while her twin sister “embodies the feminine side, lipstick and dresses.”
She has encountered discrimination, especially earlier on in her work, with some of her managers asking her to conceal her sexuality in the belief that it would make other staff uncomfortable.
She told one four years ago that she “wouldn’t make a big announcement, but I’m not going to lie. I had to put up with that kind of behaviour a lot, but I worked through it. To be a leader, to motivate and empower and for staff to trust you, you have to be honest; not one staff member has turned away from me.”
Tai has been active in the lesbian community since she came out. After league she joined the Metro Softball Club with other lesbians, has organised drag events, and currently co-ordinates takatāpui participation in Auckland Pride and other events.
In Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington, Tai is also known as the drag king Burn (above with Sonya as Slash), in shows where women perform as their male persona. Her first drag king performance was in a show organised by Cath Cooker over 15 years ago and since then Tai has performed for occasional gigs as part of the rock duo Slash and Burn.
In 2008 Tai and her friend Andy, AKA Miss Taro Patch, organised the first of the popular Kings and Queens drag nights, which provided a platform for over 50 new drag performers. Tai had to stop organising Kings and Queens five years ago, to concentrate on study and work, although she wants to run another SHOW at Auckland’s Family Bar.
Tai and Miss Ribena will be hosting a drag king competition on Auckland anniversary weekend in January 2018.
In 2012, Tai’s Melbourne-based twin Tina started what became the Indigenous Runway Project, below, a programme which brings together indigenous designers, models, photographers, make-up artists, sound engineers and production staff to create fashion runway events.
Tai initially contributed part-time, behind the scenes in IT and operations, but for the last two years has run operations full-time with her twin. Tai doesn’t want to leave home, so she Skypes overseas partners, does programming from home, and travels regularly to events.
Since 2013 Global Indigenous Management has built partnerships with First Nations in Canada, Native Americans in the USA and Māori around New Zealand. They are a part of Melbourne Fashion Show and the Virgin Airlines Fashion Festival. In 2014 they were also contracted to do the Positive Runway for the World HIV conference.
The project has reached over 5,000 people and includes a week of model training, photo shoots, cultural exchange and confidence building. Tai still marvels at the beauty of indigenous models and designs.
“The garments capture the stories of indigenous cultures, the beauty of indigenous people, culture and creativity.” Tai is keen to organise a Rainbow Runway in Aotearoa in the future as a part of Pride.
Tai is one of the Māori co-ordinators liaising with takatāpui communities for Whanau Uenuku and Oceania as part of Auckland Pride, and marched with a half-face moko as part of the Oceania contingent in the parade this year with her partner. She and Tania (on the right) have been together for almost 10 years. Tania’s daughter has also been in the parade every year since Auckland Pride started.
A knee injury stopped Tai playing softball, but it hasn’t stopped her from learning mau rakau (taiaha), which is open to all genders and ages.
“Sexuality was never an issue for our Māori people – there was always a place for takatāpui,” she says, stressing that “prejudice against takatāpui was not part of us as peoples”. At the Pride Parade this year, Māori religions including Pai Mārire, Rātana and Ringatū were represented in the first cultural float, showing support and acceptance of sexual diversity.
Tai is very proud of a rainbow korowai that she commissioned from Waikato designers Te Whare A Rangi, who have also worked with the runway project. She asked the permission of her parents and her son to give the korowai to the Rainbow community and her father, mother and family came to Auckland for the handover ceremony. Tania accepted it on behalf of the Rainbow community.
The idea came to Tai at the funeral of south Auckland whakawahine (transwoman) Mama Tere. “Her casket had no representation of the Rainbow community on it, no rainbow flag or korowai; I thought that if I wanted to wear one, other people would too. It’s there for everyone’s use, for any occasion”.
During the hearings on the Marriage Equality Bill, Tai flew a rainbow flag at her house in west Auckland. When it passed she says, “I grabbed it and ran down Lincoln Rd waving it. That’s how proud I was.”
She and Tania “are still engaged; we were waiting for my father to become a celebrant so he could marry us, but we lost him last year. Within six months, we lost my dad, my mother and my father-in-law, Tania’s dad. That was a very hard year. “Losing our parents reminds us of the importance of family.”
Tai has never hidden her sexuality and has embraced it since she came out. Her family also have been just as supportive. Tai has a collection of over 100 ties and when her dad passed away he left her his ties and cufflinks. She and her dad would share ties when her family stayed with her.
Family have always embraced Tai and her choices in life; it is what has helped shape Tai into a leader, a mentor and a woman proud of her sexuality.
Peggy’s passion for animals shines through as she talks about her work. And it’s driven a relatively recent career change.
She is a lecturer in Animal Welfare at Auckland’s Unitec and coordinator of the Certificate in Animal Welfare Investigations. This certificate is required for anyone who wishes to be an SPCA Animal Welfare Inspector and is the only tertiary course in this field in Aotearoa. It’s a distance course, with three blocks taught on site during the year.
It wasn’t a planned career path. Originally from Indiana, Peggy trained and worked as a teacher, working with children from Kindergarten to 12th grade (New Zealand’s Year 1 to Year 13). Then she was a neonatal nurse working in Intensive Care in the US, and after a move to Auckland to be with her Kiwi partner (she’s been a citizen since 2005), working at National Women’s for 11 years.
Peggy “thought about my passion for animals” when considering a change from the demands of nursing, and retrained at Unitec, on the one-year course she now teaches, and worked as an Animal Welfare Inspector. She also started a Master of Veterinary Forensics (distance study) with the University of Florida, graduating earlier this year – the only person in Aotearoa with this kind of qualification. Peggy now also operates a consultancy in veterinary forensics.
So what is veterinary forensics, and who uses it? Forensics involves applying science to questions of law – in this case, law around animal welfare. For the RNZSPCA, the focus is generally on matters of neglect or cruelty. Other professionals are involved, though: veterinarians, who, surprisingly, don’t get training in how to examine and write reports on cruelty and neglect, and lawyers working on animal welfare matters. Police are involved: they are also animal welfare inspectors and although they do not take many prosecutions, they may add in an animal welfare charge as part of a drug bust, for example. It is generally the police who see how animal welfare matters are associated with the occurrence of domestic violence.
An aside: New Zealand research, reported as ‘Pets as Pawns: The Co-Existence of Animal Cruelty and Family Violence’, is available from Community Research. It’s an examination of the link between animal cruelty and family violence, investigated with a combination of interviews, a survey of Women’s Refuge clients, and surveys of animal shelter managers.
Being an Animal Welfare Inspector was “my hardest job ever”, says Peggy. The work makes physical, mental and emotional demands on the worker. People are often working independently; it’s just as likely to be rural as city-based work, and for animal lovers, there is a constant presence of evidence and worry about mistreatment and neglect.
There is a strong link with nursing work, it turns out. “They are both high stress,” says Peggy, “and you are often working with vulnerable people, families in crisis, a wide range of cultures. There is also the opportunity and need for education.”
Education is a theme that comes through many aspects of animal welfare work. “Most people want to do the right thing,” Peggy confirms. Sometimes the education is for the animal owner, and sometimes for the complainant. For example, “it’s not against the law for a dog to be on a chain all day. It may not be the best treatment, but it’s not automatically unlawful.” So then the inspector is helping the owner to review and maybe modify their approach, as well working with the concerned complainant, perhaps a neighbour, to explain why they are not implementing their preferred solution, such as removing the dog. (Complaints are not infrequently received as solutions to a problem that hasn’t actually been determined.) The communication component of their training clearly needs to address technical, cultural and safety matters.
The implementation of the Health and Safety at Work Act has made changes to how Animal Welfare Inspectors’ work is arranged, and there is more thought given to some of the most challenging physical aspects of the work: someone shouldn’t be on their own climbing a ladder or crawling under buildings. There is more awareness of the risks inspectors may face when working alone: approaching situations where people don’t want them there, where drugs and alcohol, mental health issues may be affecting the parties. Most call-outs in the middle of the night have stopped, although there are still responses to owners needing help to rescue their animal.
Peggy brings her previous experience to her teaching, so the course, which she is rewriting, will address more interpersonal skill requirements for the increasing numbers of students. This year they started with about 30 students, and are expecting around 45 in 2018.
What else does an animal welfare inspector do? They teach, help, advise, and direct the animal owners they come into contact with. They also prosecute – a last resort – so they are the experts in the Animal Welfare Act, how to collect and collate information and evidence, how to create the prosecution file.
And her own animals? Peggy and Alison have an ageing Golden Retriever named Beatrice, who has worked as a therapy dog, and several cats. They have fostered “around 100” cats over the years, and “failed to return” some of the most needy: blind, three-legged, developmental delay.
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.
Renée is well-known as a multi-genre writer: plays, novels, online fiction …
Her memoir, These two hands, was published last month, has had a launch in Dunedin, and has two North Island launch events this month: Sunday 12 in Wellington (part of Playmarket’s ‘Accolade’ event), and Tuesday 21 in Auckland (Women’s Bookshop).
Read an excerpt in the Spinoff; buy the book from Unity Books in Wellington or the Women’s Bookshop in Auckland.
Alice Casey has published two novels this year, and has started work on number three.
“When I was younger, I’d get to about 50,000 words and then not finish,” she says. More writing experience, more life experience, and better technology (“software now makes managing a large file much easier”) has made the difference.
Mangoes for Mei Fong came out of her time teaching English in Taiwan. In a conversational English class, students explained the custom of ‘ghost marriage’: a posthumous marriage of an unmarried woman, so she won’t be single forever. “What would that mean for the lesbians I socialise with?”, Alice thought. And, “that would make a good novel!”.
The landscape of the lesbian community was “completely different in Taiwan. In New Zealand, in 2003, the expectation was dressing androgynously. In Taiwan, dressing femme or girly was celebrated.”. Alice’s Mandarin language was “good enough for dog walking and lesbian bar conversations”, and she lived there for six years, but she’s asked a Taiwanese friend to read and critique Mangoes to give her confidence she’s understood and portrayed the community fairly. And the friend has given this Taiwanese lesbian ghost story the thumbs up.
Wanderlust for Beginners is set in small town New Zealand. The central character is Eerin Kate, born to a lesbian couple, who is now 14 and entering puberty. She has Down Syndrome, and has started seeing ghosts. And there’s a murder mystery.
Alice describes this as a ‘joyously far-fetched fantasy novel’: like Mangoes, there is humour, but also seriousness and social commentary on individuals and social groups. “It’s surprising what I’ve had a chance to process from writing these novels,” Alice says. “It’s not something I think about consciously as I’m writing, and that’s probably a good thing – it would be inhibiting – but afterwards I can see, for example, that Wanderlust has all the children I didn’t have myself.”
The sequel to Wanderlust is Alice’s work in progress. But she also has a full-time job, part-time work, a partner, several animals, so there’s still quite a lot to do.
“Elizabeth Kerekere, who identifies as lesbian, has spent five years writing her PhD and discovering new evidence takatāpui existed in pre-colonial society.”
This brief Herald article outlines Kerekere’s work, includes an animated story of Hinemoa and Tūtānekai narrated by her, and profiles three takatāpui youth.
Kate Millett was born in the US in September 1934 and died early September 2017, shortly before her 83rd birthday.
She was hugely influential to feminists and lesbians, since at least the publication of Sexual Politics, based on her PhD thesis, in 1970. It is available from Lilac in Wellington and should also be available in public libraries.
Millett published another 10 works, mostly non-fiction, and was also an artist (sculptor and artist). She established what was the Women’s Art Colony in New York State, now the Millett Center for the Arts. She was active in civil/human rights activism, and the peace movement. She experienced severe mental health issues, and was an anti-psychiatry activist.
In 2012, with Armistead Maupin, she was awarded a Lambda Pioneer Award for Literature. She was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
Read what you can find that Millett has published, and read about her, in Wikipedia and in obituaries: Robin Morgan and Julie Bindel, radical lesbian feminist, in the Guardian. Here is Val McDermid’s letter on the importance of Kate Millett. The New Yorker’s interview with her at the beginning of September – the last one.
Information is organised by region (national events first, then north to south, then overseas), then by date.
Northland/Te Tai Tokerau
Waikato/Central North Island
Otago/Southland/Te taurapa o te waka
Saturday 4 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.
Saturday 4 Auckland Lesbian Festival – Celebrating our visibility Studio One Toi Tu, 1 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. 5 events programmed from 10am, plus shared community lunch.
10am: Sharon Hawke Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Mahuta; 11.15am: Prue Kapua Ngāti Whakaue, Te Arawa, Ngāti Kahungunu; 12.30pm Panel discussion on Social Justice with Sharon Hawke, Frances Joychild, Prue Kapua, Betty Sio, Louisa Wall; 1.45pm free shared community lunch with Louisa Wall MP, please bring a plate to share; 2.45pm Betty Siō, Samoa, in conversation with Cissy Rock; 4pm What’s wrong with the L word? A discussion about lesbian visibility. Panel includes Carole Beu, Verity George, Sharon Hawke, Frankie Hill, Sarah Lambourne, Cassie Roma, Betty Sio, Letitia Taikato, Sonya Temata, Louisa Wall. Moderated by Cissy Rock. Visit Facebook page for details and links to tickets. $15/session, $20 for final session, in advance; $20/25 on the day; $50 day pass in advance.
Saturday 4 Singing for our lives – fundraising concert for the Auckland Women’s Centre with Hanna Wiskari, Linda Whitcombe, Innes Asher, Elizabeth Bennett, Anna Dunwoodie, Beverley Young, Anna Percy, Margo Regan, Kay McCabe, Karen Jones, Jean Reid and others. 2pm, St Georges Church, 2 The Terrace, Takapuna, $20.
Sunday 5 Dyke Hike 11am. Waiheke Island Reserves. We’re going to beautiful Waiheke to walk the Forest Heart section of Te Ara Hura. We’ll walk though reserves, past vineyards, up to Trig Hill and along the coast. Take the 10am ferry to Waiheke. Meet on the ferry or at Matiatia wharf. We’ll take the bus to Rocky Bay, and walk through part of the Forest Heart walk. 3.5-4 hrs not including buses and ferries. Easy (okay in strong walking shoes, not many hills, good tracks) to 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.
Wednesday 8 aLBa Celebrating ‘Women like us’. Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. Sheridan spent 2 years working with the Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal communities in the remote Ngaanyatjarra lands of Western Australia. Come along and hear some of Sheridan’s stories of the people, the work she did there, the adventures she had, and the hugely enriching experiences she enjoyed. Networking from 5.30pm, speaker from 6.30pm.
Wednesday 8 LATE 2017: Sing It, Sister music & misogyny – part of Auckland Museum’s programme: details to be confirmed. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a wonderful heritage of strong female musicians. What have they been up against in order to make it? How have they turned challenge into success? How many more wonderful musicians could New Zealand celebrate if we lead the international industry in challenging misogyny in music? This LATE will celebrate strong female and non-binary musicians, explore future visions for the music industry and discuss local solutions to global cultures of sexism.” Advance tickets $25, Institute members and students $20, door sales $30.
Saturday 11 Auckland Roller Derby League play Swamp City Roller Derby from Palmerston North for the first time since 2014. Doors open 4pm, first whistle 5pm, ActivZone, Glenfield. Tickets $5 on the door. See the Facebook event page.
Sunday 12 As the whirlwind swoops Six queer poets read their work as part of the NZ Poetry Conference and Festival. With Whaitiri Mikaere, winner of the 2014 Matariki Poetry Slam; prose writer and poet Gina Cole; actor and writer Verity George; Shortland Street trans consultant Cole Meyers; Dan Goodwin, and led by novelist and poetry slam winner Sandi Hall. 3-4pm, One2One Cafe outdoor garden, 121 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby. See the website.
Sunday 19 Coffee & Stroll 10am, meet at Columbus Coffee, Auckland Museum; 10.30am, we explore the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Entry is free with museum entry; museum entry is free for Auckland residents (bring MyMuseum card or proof of residence and ID).
Tuesday 21 Book launch: These Two Hands: A memoir, by Renée, 6pm, Women’s Bookshop, 105 Ponsonby Rd. Celebrate the sassy life-story of an 88 year-old NZ feminist lesbian novelist and playwright.
Wednesday 29 – Friday December 1 Wahine Toa, the personal stories of Gloria Van Grafthorst, Kate Leslie, and Judith Mukakayange, all women involved with HIV/AIDS. Performed by Maxine Cunliffe, Verity George (left, chanelling the 80s) and Alex Ellis, produced by b.Terongopai.t Presents, with Positive Women Inc, Body Positive and NZAF. $18/$25. 7pm, Tiny Theatre, Garnet Station, 85 Garnet Rd, Westmere. See the Facebook event page.
Thursday 30 The Muse, Vale Cole and Frances Christoffel, play at Ponsonby Cruising Club, Westhaven, 6:30–8pm. Bar snacks and meals available. Accessible by lift, phone venue on 09 376 0245.
Saturdays Rainbow Warriors women’s softball team play in the local league at Resthills Park in Glenview, either at 1pm or 3pm, depending on the draw. Check their Facebook page.
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 2 LSG drinks, 5.30-8.30pm, The Helm Bar and Kitchen, 22 Ulster St, Hamilton in the Garden Bar. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 4 Pink Drinks and Performing Arts Night, with the Glow Singers among other performers. 5-7pm, Nivara Lounge, Victoria St.
Sunday 19 Lesbian Social Group Gourmet in the Hamilton Gardens Bring a deck chair or rug and enjoy the wide variety of food available, or your own picnic on the Rhododendron Lawn. From 4.30pm; look for the rainbow flag.
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.
Sunday 5 LGBTI rainbow walk tour through Wellington 1-2.30pm. A 90-minute walk tour of the inner city. Most is on the flat using accessible public footpaths. Learn about activism and homosexual law reform, homosexuality being used as a political weapon, LGBTI rainbow personalities and famous artists, early social meeting places. Starts outside the City Gallery, Civic Square, ends Midland Park, Lambton Quay. Free, no booking required. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Friday 10 RW Drinks 5-7pm, Bad Grannies, corner Cuba and Vivian Sts. Hosted by Rainbow Wellington, everyone welcome. Visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 11 Breast Cancer Foundation’s Pink Star Walk fundraiser, Frank Kitts Park, Wellington waterfront: 5km (7.15pm start) and 10km (6.30pm start) distances. Fees vary by distance; earlybird registration available before September 1. Visit website for details and to register.
Sunday 12 Book launch: These Two Hands: A memoir, by Renée, part of Playmarket’s ‘Accolades’ event. 3pm, Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Tce, central Wellington. Visit website for details and to RSVP. Celebrate the sassy life-story of an 88 year-old NZ feminist lesbian novelist and playwright.
Wednesday 22 LILAC AGM 6.30pm, LILAC lounge, 2nd floor, 187 Willis St, central Wellington. The Annual report and associated papers on the website, along with previous years’. Visit ‘About LILAC’ on the website for more information about resources and services.
Monday 27 Launch of the book of the exhibition We don’t have to be the building by Sian Torrington at the opening of the HELP fundraising exhibition, No Apologies. The collaborative exhibition told the personal stories of lesbian, bi-sexual, queer female bodied, trans* and female identified activists as a form of activism. The loose-leaf, poster-style book edition of 100 was designed by Jemma Cheer, and includes a commissioned essay by Ellie Lee-Duncan, written reflections and images from the process, and colour prints of the final works, which can be put on the wall. Sian will also show some original drawings from the project, and smaller drawings and sculptures, and speak with the other artists. The book is $40; and 60 are presold. 6.30pm, Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St, city. See the Facebook event page.
The Lesbian Connection (TLC) sends a monthly email of events in the area, Nelson and Motueka in particular. Contact email@example.com 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 12 Motueka brunch from 11am, The Smoking Barrel, 105 High St, Port Motueka.
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.
Sunday 12 Kahukura Pounamu Whānau Day 1-5pm, a whānau social event for Takatāpui and their whānau before the next major hui. Please bring a plate of kai to share, and your own non-alcoholic drinks (alcohol-free event). Venue details will be sent to you when you register: visit Facebook event page for details.
Saturday 18 Christchurch Fetish Ball 2017 – Sensual Overload Acts confirmed so far include Cherry Buttonz (Australia), Zylah (Auckland), Domania Duo (NZ), the Magenta Diamond (Wellington), DodgyRope (right) and UncommonBonds (Christchurch) with DJ Forge. See details and book tickets on the website.
Sunday 19 Lambda Lattes Walk the hilly Zig Zag Track. Meet opposite 7 Nayland St, Sumner for a prompt 10am departure. Near the bottom the track splits in two; take the left branch. Phone Devon on 926 5692.
To Monday 6 Re-Configure – an art exhibition revisiting Mariam Shapiro and Judy Chicago’s groundbreaking Woman House, 46 years ago, which tackled art as installation, craft as art, feminism and the lack of gallery representation for female artists. Dunedin artists Shelley McConaughy, Kiri Mitchell, Sarah Baird, Megan Brady, Francine Keech, and Michele Beevors address these issues and note that the ratio of female to male students at Dunedin School of Art has been 85-15 over the last 15 years. 20 Atkinson St, South Dunedin, Tuesday to Saturday 10am-4pm. See the webpage.
Friday 3-Thursday 16 “A cure for restlessness” exhibition of paintings and drawings by Becky Cameron Mint Gallery, 32 Moray Pl, central Dunedin. Drawings made on my walk down the length of the South Island contrast with works made on my return to Dunedin. Two ways of being in the world: moving through it, gathering fleeting impressions; or staying put and looking for beauty in the familiar. Opening Friday 3, 5pm. Gallery hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm.
Saturday 4 Wild Women Walk from Brighton Beach to Bruce’s Rocks & return For details, and to advise whether you need or can offer transport, contact Ann Charlotte: 022 133 9529 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Pictured is the October walk with 15 women to Papanui Inlet, where archaeologist Shar Briden talked about her discovery of waka and other artefacts dating to the 1500s (see the News page). Photos by Audrey Heyzer.
October 3-December 1 Peggy Seeger’s ‘First Time Ever Tour’ To coincide with the publication of her memoir, The First Time Ever and accompanying CD, singer songwriter and feminist icon Peggy Seeger takes to the road for a 20-date UK concert and literary festival tour. Details on Facebook Tour Dates page.
November 3-5 DIVA Literary Festival & Awards Birmingham, England. “Celebrating the best of lesbian/bi women’s literature” Visit website and Facebook event page for details, programme, author information and bookings.