Did you know your browser is out of date?

To get the best possible experience using our website we recommmend that you upgrade to a newer version or other web browser. IE8 is no longer supported. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below. Click on the links to get to the download page.

Rainbow Initiatives

Rainbow Initiatives

Ara Taiohi has had a key focus on rainbow* young people since 2012 when the Queer/Trans Caucus was first established as part of Te Hautaki. Our work aims to support rainbow young people and the organisations working with them so that young people thrive. A strong and sustainable rainbow sector and culturally competent support services are essential to be able to positively address the higher risk of mental health issues and suicide among rainbow young people.

Since 2014 we have been working on on four initiatives which align with Ara Taiohi's strategic priorities: to connect the sector, raise the standards, champion youth development and promote sustainability

  • Administering the Queer/Trans Grants Programme 2014/15 aimed to raise the standards and sustainability of groups working with rainbow people. 
  • Developing a Rainbow Competency Framework to equip mainstream organisations working with young people to provide safe and positive experiences to rainbow young people.
  • Capturing a picture of the rainbow youth support sector via Snapshot.
  • Collating and sharing resources which support people who work with rainbow young people.
Ara Taiohi has decided to expand our language to be more inclusive of the cultural identities that may not fit into the LGBTIQ or Queer/Trans definition. We are using Rainbow to include all peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand under the sex, sexuality and gender diversity umbrellas. This includes people who identify as akava’ine, asexual, bisexual, fa’afafine, fakaleiti, FtM, gay, gender fluid, gender-neutral, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, gender variant, hinehi, hinehua, intersex, lesbian, mahu, MtF, non-binary, palopa, pansexual, polysexual, queer, questioning, rae rae, tangata ira tane, takatāpui, tóngzhì, trans man, trans woman, transfeminine, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, vaka sa lewa lewa, whakawahine and more!
We will continue to use 'queer/trans' in relation to existing projects that use this terminology. 

Rainbow Competency Framework

We think it’s crucial that LGBTIQ community organisations are supported in their excellent work by mainstream organisations and institutions. Competency frameworks are designed to help organisations and individuals provide services that are appropriate to people outside their usual frame of reference. Competency is about understanding and learning to communicate across cultures by understanding our own position isn’t neutral.

We shared a draft framework with members of a key informant hui in January 2016 and feedback was incorprated into a final draft.  We are currently seeking funding to pilot the framework.

To conitunue to develop the rainbow competency framework we will be linking to all the great stuff that’s happening so that young rainbow people around the country can benefit and have positive and affirming interactions with mainstream service providers.

Get in touch if you have got stuff you’d like to share to help raise the standards across the motu! We know there’s amazing work going on locally and we’re keen to hear from you.

Back to top of page

Queer/Trans Grants

Ara Taiohi established the Queer/Trans Grants Programme in 2014 which aimed to raise the standards and sustainability of groups working with rainbow young people. We wanted to support groups, organisations, training opportunities and events that are key to empowering our young people, helping them to feel connected, valued and have a positive sense of identity. This programme, supported by the Ministry of Youth Development was the first of its kind for the New Zealand and received an overwhelming response from the rainbow support sector.

To be eligible for this grant you had to be working specifically with rainbow young people.

The 2014 Grants round supported 23 organisations to create more sustainable rainbow youth support networks across the country, helped new organisations get started, granted funds to organisations who may never have received funding before and enabled groups to develop workshops and training resources. These organisations represented 75% of these requests. Check out the successful applicants and their projects here

Due to the high level of interest we received in 2014 we allocated a second and final round in 2015. We were able to fund 83% of the 30 applications we received. To see who the successful 2015 applicants were, click here 

Snapshot 2015

The purpose of Snapshot 2015 was to get a picture of the rainbow youth support sector and identify strengths and gaps. Snapshot 2015 happened in two parts: the Snapshot form, a questionnaire designed to gather information about the capacity of organisations across the country that were supporting rainbow young people and the Snapshot Forums. The Snapshot Forums took place in three cities: Christchurch, Auckland and Hamilton. We also had a number of one-on-one conversations with people at various events and hui that we personally participated in as well as several people who chose to participate via email.

Snapshot highlights the strengths, identify gaps and emerging themes to better inform the support (or gaps in support) being provided to the sector and will be given back to the rainbow sector as a resource that can be used to shape ideas and goals. We will work with the rainbow youth support sector to determine the best audience and use of the information and publish the full analysis later this year. So far Ara Taiohi has used the information to help assist the assessment panel in their allocation decisions of the 2015 Queer/Trans* Grants. 

Download a copy

Back to top of page

Awareness raising and advocacy

Ara Taiohi Submission to the Homelessness Inquiry

On 5 September 2016 Anya Satyanand, Executive Officer of Ara Taiohi and Sandra Dickson, Rainbow Competency Framework Co-ordinator presented submissions to the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry Panel.

The submissions can be found here at gaynz.com.




Presenting to Census 2018

As part of the review of Census 2018 we presented our feedback on the need to appropriately represent young people identifying as part of the rainbow community including preliminary findings from Snapshot 2015. 

If you would like to find out more get in touch

Contact us

Presentation to the Child, Youth and Epidemiology Conference

Ara Taiohi was invited to present findings from the Snapshot 2015, a picture of the rainbow sector that identifies strengths and gaps at the 2015 Child, Youth and Epidemiology conference in Wellington. Attendees reported they found the presentation to be very engaging and many identified actions to take back to their workplaces. 

To view the slideshow

Download here