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Timeline: 2020s

28 February 2020

  • The first case of COVID-19 is confirmed in New Zealand (New Zealand). Link: RNZ

6 March 2020

  • Amyl/poppers become a prescription only medicine (New Zealand). Link: Body Positive

20 March 2020

  • Sex-on-site venue Checkmate closes due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Wellington). The venue re-opens on 22 June 2020

9 April 2020

  • Former Vice Squad Detective Trevor Morley dies (Wellington). Link:

12 May 2020

  • Restaurateur Leo Molloy's interview on Newstalk ZB sparks a complaint to the Human Rights Commission (New Zealand). Reacting to Molloy's comments, complainant Benjamin Blackwell gave his opinion to Stuff "I get as a bar owner this is probably a stressful time for him, but to use your business and personal platform to channel that anger and frustration by singling out the gay community – when there is no proof of a correlation between the spread of Covid-19 and the LGBT community - is homophobic. Pure and simple.". Link: Stuff

17 May 2020

  • International AIDS Candlelight Memorial services are held online (New Zealand). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physical gatherings are cancelled and memorial services and messages are placed online. Link: Body Positive
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia Intersexphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is marked (New Zealand)

1 June 2020

  • Georgina Beyer becomes a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) (New Zealand). Beyer was awarded the honour for "services to LGBTIQA+ Rights". Links:, Honours list

22 June 2020

  • Sex-on-site venue Checkmate re-opens (Wellington). The venue had closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but re-opened after New Zealand returned to Alert Level 1

26 July 2020

  • The web series Rūrangi has its world premiere (Auckland). The premiere takes place at the ASB Waterfront Theatre. Link: Rūrangi

21 August 2020

  • The annual National Day of Silence takes place around the country (New Zealand). The event is a day of action in which students vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools. Link: Day of Silence

24 August 2020

  • The first ever National Schools Pride Week takes place (New Zealand). The theme is "Celebrating Pride in every school." The week is co-ordinated by InsideOut. Link: School Pride

26 November 2020

  • Wellington High School is placed into lockdown following a threat from a student (Wellington). A parent and student later told media that the would-be shooter planned to specifically target rainbow students - although police later insisted this wasn't the case. Links: Pink News, Stuff(1), Stuff(2)

14 December 2020

  • The NZ Blood Service relaxes restrictions on blood donation (New Zealand). The period for deferral for gay men is reduced from 12-months to 3-months. The same change also applies to sex workers who want to donate blood. Link: NZ Blood Service

1 January 2021

  • Vicki-Anne Heikell is awarded a Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (New Zealand). Heikell is awarded the honour for services to heritage preservation and Maori. Link: New Year Honours
  • Victor Rodger is awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (New Zealand). Rodger is awarded the honour for services to theatre and Pacific arts. Link: New Year Honours

3 February 2021

  • Auckland Pride takes place (Auckland). The festival runs from 3-28 February. Link: Auckland Pride
  • NZ Post issue the Pride 2021 stamp (New Zealand). The stamp is issued to commemorate the 35th anniversary of homosexual law reform in New Zealand. The stamps remain on sale until 2 February 2022. Links: NZ Post (1), NZ Post (2)

7 February 2021

  • Paparoa Pride Parade takes place (Northland region). The parade starts at 5pm from the Thirsty Tui Hotel. Link: Facebook

27 February 2021

  • Whanganui Pride takes place (Whanganui). The festival runs from 27 February - 6 March 2021. Link: Pride Whanganui

19 April 2021

  • New Zealand's border opens for the first time in over a year (New Zealand). For the first time in over a year, New Zealand's border was opened in a two-way quarantine travel bubble with Australia

17 May 2021

  • Rainbow community flags are flown at Parliament to mark IDAHOBIT (Wellington). This year, for the first time ever, five flags are flown: the Transgender, Rainbow, Progress Pride, Bisexual and Intersex flags. They're flown to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphobia and Intersexphobia. This is the first time the Progress Pride flag is flown. Unlike Gilbert Baker's Rainbow flag, the Progress Pride flag is copyrighted by its creator Daniel Quasar

20 June 2021

  • Abuse in Care inquiry hears children at Lake Alice were subjected to ECT treatment (Rangitikei region). TVNZ One News reports that children at the Lake Alice Psychiatric Hospital in the 1970s were subjected to electroconvulsive therapy if they displayed signs of homosexuality. Link: TVNZ

15 July 2021

  • RainbowYOUTH board member Shaneel Lal's public social media post causes controversy (Auckland region). Lal's public statement draws strong responses, including the launch of a petition to remove them from RainbowYOUTH. The organisation responded publicly "Shaneel Lal has been pivotal to our growth as an organisation. Over the last two board terms, they have been invaluable in building connections that help us better serve communities we were unable to connect with in the past and guiding us closer to our aspiration of supporting all rainbow young people. We have been fortunate to have people like Shaneel provide their insight, passion and commitment to RainbowYOUTH.". Link: Express

11 November 2021

12 November 2021

  • Stats NZ survey shows 1 in 20 adults identify as LGBT+ (New Zealand). The Household Economic Survey (HES) for the year ended June 2020 was the first HES to reflect inclusive questions on gender and sexual identity. Of the total adult population, 0.8 percent identified as transgender or another gender/non-binary and 3.7 percent reported being a sexual identity other than heterosexual (gay or lesbian, bisexual, or another sexual identity). Link: Stats NZ

19 November 2021

  • The first community case of COVID-19 Delta variant was confirmed in the Capital (Wellington). The confirmation of the positive result in Wellington signalled the end to COVID-19 free life in the capital city. Auckland was the first place in New Zealand to have community transmission of the COVID-19 Delta variant (since August 2021). Link: NZ Herald

9 December 2021

  • The Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Bill passes its third and final reading (New Zealand). The Bill unanimously passes its third and final reading. Link:

12 December 2021

  • The first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant was identified in New Zealand (Christchurch). Link: RNZ

15 December 2021

  • The COVID-19 border restrictions for the Auckland region are removed (Auckland). Travel throughout New Zealand opens up

21 December 2021

17 January 2022

  • Apostle Brian Tamaki is remanded in custody (Auckland). Tamaki was taken into custody after an alleged breach of his bail conditions. Link: Stuff

19 January 2022

  • Big Gay Out is cancelled due to COVID-19 Omicron concerns (Auckland). The event was due to take part on 13 February 2022. Link: NZAF

20 January 2022

  • Auckland's Rainbow Parade is cancelled due to the COVID-19 Omicron risk (Auckland). The parade was due to take place on 19 February 2022. Link: RNZ
  • Victoria University of Wellington apologies for harm caused to former students (Wellington). The statement follows an investigation into "allegations of sexually harmful behaviours" by former staff member Jack Body. Link: VUW

23 January 2022

  • Auckland's Pride Festival is cancelled due to the threat of COVID-19 Omicron (Auckland region). The festival was due to run 1-27 February 2022. Link:
  • New Zealand is placed into the Red COVID-19 traffic light setting (New Zealand). Omicron transmission has been detected spreading in the community (Auckland, Palmerston North and Nelson area). Link:

2 February 2022

  • Justice Committee release their final report on the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill (New Zealand). The next step is for the Bill to be debated by the Committee of whole House. Link: Parliament

6 February 2022

  • The petition "Actually Ban Conversion Therapy in New Zealand" is launched (New Zealand). The petition, organised by Shaneel Lal, begins "The New Zealand government is set to ban conversion therapy in the coming week. The government has put forward an inadequate and ineffective Bill that will fail to ban conversion therapy or provide any support to victims and survivors of conversion therapy. The government has ignored queer voices during the select committee process and insists on passing their Bill.". Link:

29 March 2022

  • Labour MP Louisa Wall resigns (New Zealand). Link: Scoop

23 April 2022

  • The first case of Omicron XE is detected in New Zealand (New Zealand). Link:

24 April 2022

  • The first same-sex dance couple appear on Dancing with the Stars (New Zealand). The show premiered on 24 April 2022 on Three, and featured Eli Matthewson (who identified as gay) and his professional dance partner Jonny Williams (who identified as straight on the show). The pair were voted off after the second public vote (2 May 2022). Link: The Spinoff

2 May 2022

  • New Zealand borders are opened to international visitors for the first time in two years (New Zealand). People vaccinated against Covid-19 from sixty visa waiver countries are allowed to again travel to, and enter New Zealand. Link: One news

15 May 2022

  • An AIDS candlelight memorial service takes place at St Matthews in the City (Auckland). This year, physical services are only held in Auckland and Hamilton. Link: Body Positive
  • An AIDS candlelight memorial service takes place at The Lady Goodfellow Chapel (Hamilton). This year, physical services are only held in Hamilton and Auckland. Link: Body Positive

17 May 2022

  • The Intersex, Trans, Bisexual, Rainbow and Progressive flags are raised at Parliament (Wellington). The flags are raised to mark IDAHOBIT - the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia. Link: Facebook

8 June 2022

  • For the first time ever, no AIDS related deaths occurred in New Zealand in the last year (New Zealand). The announcement came from the New Zealand AIDS Foundation on the day it changed its name to the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa. Link: News Hub
  • The New Zealand AIDS Foundation changes its name to the Burnett Foundation Aotearoa (worldwide). Their website notes "Our name no longer captured the breadth of the mahi we do. HIV and AIDS have always been our core focus... However, the landscape of HIV, AIDS and STIs in Aotearoa has changed drastically over the past almost 40 years... A new name makes it easier for us to evolve over time by reflecting our broadened scope.". Link: Burnett Foundation Aotearoa

10 June 2022

13 June 2022

  • National School's Pride Week takes place (New Zealand). The week runs from 13-17 June. Their website states: Schools Pride Week is a nationwide event with a range of activities that whole schools, rainbow diversity groups, QSAs, or even individual students and staff can get involved with in their schools. Celebrate and affirm rainbow identities in your school by taking part!. Link: School's Pride

17 June 2022

  • Christchurch Pride takes place (Christchurch). The festival runs 17-28 June. Link: Express

9 July 2022

  • The first case of Monkey Pox is identified in New Zealand (Auckland). The Ministry of Health identify the person as being in their 30s and living in Auckland. They had recently returned from overseas. Link: RNZ