|It’s been a busy weekend for the Rainbow Labour team at the party’s Congress in Wellington. Co-chairs David Do and Amanda Hill offer an update, and say Labour’s ‘Rainbow Manifesto’ is coming soon.
Policy and Vision
We share David Cunliffe’s vision that New Zealand can be the fairest and most decent society in the world. Labour in government will put people first and will focus on work, homes and families. This of course covers all of our rainbow families.
In practice this means better, safer, jobs with higher wages,, smaller class sizes in schools with good technology, and actively addressing family violence, inequality and child poverty.
The Labour Party will be releasing more policies and its manifesto over the next few weeks and months, including a Rainbow manifesto.
These policies, together with our Rainbow policy, will help all New Zealanders, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender, to live with dignity, security, and opportunity at home, at work, with their families, and in the community.
This election will be about New Zealanders’ hopes and dreams, and our right to live in a society where we are valued and respected. Our message to our Rainbow community is that the only way to make sure this happens is to vote positive and party vote Labour.
The Sector Day
It was a very successful weekend, with a full Rainbow sector day where we talked about both policy and campaigning, a very well-attended Rainbow breakfast, and a positive vibe coming right through the congress as we learned more about what Labour will be talking to voters about this election.
We had Mani Mitchell talk to us about what we can do ensure trans and intersex rights are better addressed in our Party’s policies, and government policy.
The importance of access to basic healthcare as well as increasing capacity in the health sector to cater for trans (as well as LGBTI needs more general) was one main area of discussion.
The importance of legislation (such as Louisa’s marriage equality bill) in giving positive signals to the community was also emphasised.
We had a mental health panel where we learnt about the specific needs of young queer people, who self-harm and suicide in disproportionate numbers to the general population, in terms of counselling and specialist support.
Some key messages from the panel included pushing for consistent standards for all schools to meet about ensuring all students are safe and protected from bullying, and more funding to build the capacity and ability of community and youth-led groups and services who are on the frontline.
Rainbow Breakfast and Rainbow candidates
Kelly Ellis, Labour candidate for Whangarei and trans advocate was the guest speaker at our traditional breakfast on Sunday morning. She talked about her story and what drives her. She encouraged the crowd to stand tall and live authentic lives.
As well as Kelly Ellis, we had a great turnout of members, allies and Rainbow-identifying Members of Parliament and election candidates.
These included Manurewa MP Louisa Wall and Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri, as well as allies Palmerston North MP Iain Lees-Galloway and list MP and Maungakiekie candidate Carol Beaumont.
Labour candidates Tony Milne (Christchurch Central), Tamati Coffey (Rotorua) and Richard Hills (Northcote) also attended.
Our Rainbow MPs and candidates give our community a strong voice in Parliament. Rainbow New Zealanders need to vote positive and Party Vote Labour to make sure we get all of these great Rainbow-identifying candidates into Parliament. David Do and Amanda Hill - 7th July 2014