New Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel established

Published: Thu 3 Sep 2015 02:13 PM
Media release
3 September 2015
New Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel established
The Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel has now been formally established, giving Auckland’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (GLBTI), or Rainbow, communities a vehicle by which to provide strategic advice to Auckland Council on issues of importance to them.
The council’s Governing Body gave final approval to establish the panel on 27 August.
The inaugural members of the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel are:
• Jordon Harris (Interim Co-Chair)
• Julie Radford-Poupard (Interim Co-Chair)
• Aram Wu
• Audrey Hutchinson
• Bruce Kilmister
• Diana Rands
• Duncan Matthews
• Julie Watson
• Lexie Matheson
• Mark Fisher
• Merv Taueki-Ransom
• Moira Clunie.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown first proposed the establishment of a Rainbow Panel at the 2014 Big Gay Out.
“For Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city, it must be liveable for all Aucklanders,” says the Mayor. “This panel will give members of Auckland’s Rainbow communities a voice in the same way that the council has provided for other groups such as our young people, our seniors, and our ethnic and Pasifika communities.
“Auckland’s diversity is its strength and I am proud of the support Auckland Council has provided to events such as the annual Pride Festival and now to the Rainbow Panel.”
The Rainbow Panel will initially be funded by the Mayoral Office Budget.
Councillor Cathy Casey, Chair of the Community Development and Safety Committee, is a long-time supporter of establishing a Rainbow Communities Panel and says it has been a long time coming.
“For many years, over successive councils, the Rainbow community in Auckland has been asking for representation in the same way other communities are represented. I’m absolutely thrilled that today the council has truly acknowledged Auckland’s incredible diversity and finally given a formal voice to GLBTI Aucklanders. This is an historic day for our Rainbow communities.”
A report presented to the Governing Body earlier this year highlighted that GLBTI people continue to experience discrimination on an institutional and individual level as well as high levels of addictions, mental health issues and suicide. It also explained that people of diverse gender identity still face legal and social obstacles that impede their ability to lead their lives fully, safely and openly.
Four demographic advisory panels were established in the first term of Auckland Council for the disability, Pacific, ethnic and youth communities - two by legislation and two on the initiative of the Mayor. A Seniors Advisory Panel has also recently been created to represent the interests of older Aucklanders.
The new Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel will meet later this month to discuss their work plan for their first term. The first panel meeting open to the public will be announced thereafter.
Notes to editors:
Click here to learn more about Auckland Council’s Advisory Panels.

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