1 Feb 2020

FIRST CASE OF COVID-19

March saw a dramatic change in how people lived their lives, socialised and conducted business. The first case of the COVID-19 virus is confirmed in New Zealand in late February and by 11 March the World Health Organisation had declared a global pandemic. Remarkably just four days before that Wellington held its Pride parade. It was attended by tens-of-thousands of people who partied without social distancing or face masks. However the reality of the pandemic quickly set in, and within two weeks New Zealand’s borders were closed and the country was preparing to enter a nationwide lockdown. In Wellington the sex-on-site venue Checkmate closed indefinitely and the New Zealand AIDS Foundation began advocating consensual phone sex, webcam sex and masturbating as alternatives to casual sex.

27 Jun 2020

FIRST ONLINE GLOBAL PRIDE

Over five hundred Pride organisations from around the world come together to create a 24-hour Global Pride online event. The virtual Pride was born after COVID-19 pandemic restrictions forced the cancellation of many physical gatherings. Global Pride featured a livestream of music, performances and messages of support. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern represented New Zealand. Ardern told the international audience that Pride was about "recognizing and supporting inclusivity, unity and a sense of community. For me, Pride is recognition of all the work that has been achieved and all the work that is left to do. And Pride can also change people's lives. It's an opportunity for people to meet their role models and see people celebrating their pride."

1 Aug 2020

FIRST SCHOOL'S PRIDE WEEK

The first ever National Schools' Pride Week takes place throughout New Zealand. Over one hundred schools took part, including a number of primary and intermediate schools. The week-long celebrations were co-ordinated by the national youth charity InsideOut. They told schools "We hope that by celebrating and affirming rainbow identities through our pride campaign we can help reduce the experiences of bullying and distress for our rainbow rangatahi." Tabby Besley, managing director of InsideOUT, said "For many young people it could be the first time they've heard their identities talked about in a positive light... It sends a clear message to all students that diversity is normal, it's something to be proud of." Each day had a different theme: education, inclusion, accessibility, whakapapa and rainbow history and celebration/pride.

1 Sep 2020

SAL. ARMY OPPOSES CONVERSION

The Salvation Army (New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory) issues a set of guidelines relating to the Army's stance on gay conversion practices, sexuality and gender identity. The Army affirmed their opposition to any form of gay conversion practices and stated "Salvationists will continue to oppose vilification of, or discrimination against, anyone on the grounds of sexuality or gender. This includes attempts to change another person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and includes actions which deny a person's sexual orientation or gender identity." The statement was in stark contrast to the Army’s strident opposition to homosexual law reform in the mid 1980s, when Colonel Donald Campbell told Salvationists that the moral decay of civilisation was proceeding unchecked and that it was in many ways a greater threat than that of nuclear destruction.

17 Oct 2020

GAYEST PARLIAMENT IN HISTORY

New Zealand made international news headlines when, as Out magazine put it, "New Zealand Elected the Gayest Parliament in History." The outcome of the General Election saw thirteen Members of Parliament who openly identified as being part of rainbow communities – equating to almost 11% of all MPs. The previous record was held by the United Kingdom with 7%. The rainbow MPs came from just two of the parties in Parliament - the Greens and Labour. Newly elected Green MP Elizabeth Kerekere told media that there was still a long way to go in creating a representative and diverse House of Representatives. Kerekere noted that all of the current MPs were cisgender, adding "we still have to go a long way towards representation for our trans, intersex and non-binary whanau."

2 Nov 2020

FIRST RAINBOW DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Following the 2020 General Election, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson is appointed Deputy Prime Minister. Robertson became an MP in 2008, telling Parliament in his inaugural speech "I am proud and comfortable with who I am. Being gay is part of who I am, just as is being a former diplomat, a fan of the mighty Wellington Lions, and a fan of New Zealand music and New Zealand literature." Robertson quickly rose up the political ranks. On his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister, Robertson told media "It's important for young people in the rainbow community to know that their sexuality is no barrier to them progressing."

9 Dec 2021

GENDER SELF-IDENTIFICATION

The Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Act unanimously passes its third and final reading. It is enacted on 16 December 2021.

9 Dec 2021

"I WILL NOT LISTEN POLITELY..."

"I will not listen politely to hate." - MP Deborah Russell reflecting on being on the public hearings for the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration legislation

21 Dec 2021

"IT IS A HUMAN RIGHT..."

"It is a human right to be who you are." - Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon during the opening of Gisborne's Rainbow Pride crossing.

15 Feb 2022

CONVERSION PRACTICES OUTLAWED

The Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Act 2021 passes its third and final reading on 15 February 2022 and is enacted on the 19 February 2022.