Transgender support for Government Initiative
Agender NZ, a New Zealand trans support group, has welcomed Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin's announcement that
costs for changing sex on a birth certificate will be waived.
Agender NZ National President, Tracee Nelley said that the cost of transitioning for transgender people was
prohibitively high and no one else in Aotearoa New Zealand faced similar barriers;
"We are the only community in this country that has to pay high costs and obtain Court orders so that our identities can
be validated. No one else has to face this. Even within the greater LGBTQI community, trans people stand out as having
to face these barriers.
We see the removal of charges for changing the sex on our birth certificates as long over-due. It is a further step
toward fairness for all, leaving no one behind."
"Removing these charges are a small, but major, step toward full inclusion", she said.
Agender NZ rejects calls from what it referred to as a small group of "misguided gender purists" who opposed transgender
rights. "We've heard the same arguments used before against gay rights activists in the 1980s. It is mostly recycled
prejudice mixed with transphobic hate-language and biological misinformation. We heard the same homophobic arguments
used then. We do not accept it now."
Ms Nelley welcomed Minister Martin's confirmation it she was actively considering the "legal issues raised by Crown Law
on the self-identification clauses which the Select Committee introduced to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and
Relationships Registration Bill".
Agender NZ accepted that this was a complex issue. Ms Nelley said the complexity had not been helped by misinformation
and fear-mongering by a vociferous minority;
"Agender NZ will assist the Minister any way it can to progress this Bill into law. This law is core to legal
recognition of our identities in a way no other New Zealander will ever have to face. We look forward to working with
Minister Martin who so far has been very supportive of trans rights."