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Timeline: Organisations

14 May 1897

  • Magnus Hirschfeld founds the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (Berlin, Germany). The Committee was formed to campaign for social recognition of gay, bisexual and transgender men and women, and against their legal persecution. It was the first LGBT rights organisation in history. Link: Wikipedia


  • The Institut fur Sexualwissenschaft (Institute of Sexology) opens (Berlin, Germany). The Institute is an early private sexology research institute headed by Magnus Hirschfeld. Link: Wikipedia

10 December 1924

  • The Society for Human Rights is formed (Chicago, United States of America). The Society is the oldest documented homosexual organisation in the USA. Link: Wikipedia

11 November 1950

  • The first meeting of the Mattachine Society is held (Los Angeles, United States of America). The Mattachine Society is one of the earliest homophile organisations in the USA. Links: Wikipedia, LAGANZ

October 1955

  • The Daughters of Bilitis is formed (San Francisco, United States of America). The Daughters of Bilitis is the first known lesbian rights organisation in the USA. Link: Wikipedia


  • The Dorian Society is formed (Wellington). The Society is the first documented organisation for homosexual men in New Zealand. Link: Wikipedia


  • The Dorian Society forms a legal subcommittee to work towards homosexual law reform (New Zealand)


  • The Purple Onion opens (Wellington). Pasi Daniels (a.k.a. Pasi Tunupopo) returns to Wellington after performing at Les Girls and the Purple Onion in Sydney to open Wellington's first drag revue club. Link: Stuff

17 April 1967

  • A public meeting endorses the formation of the Wolfenden Association (Wellington). Within a week the New Zealand Homosexual Law Reform Society is formed (the name replacing the Wolfenden Association). Links: Wikipedia, LAGANZ


  • Aquarius Inc. is formed (Auckland). The social group is established in the late 1960s (exact date unknown)


  • The Society for Promotion of Community Standards is formed (New Zealand). The Society is a conservative Judeo-Christian lobby group who oppose, among other things, the promotion of equal rights for lesbians and gays. The Society was founded by Patricia Bartlett, a former nun. Link: Wikipedia


  • The KG (Kamp Girls) Club is formed (Auckland). The KG is a social club for lesbians held in private homes


  • The University Gay Liberation Auckland group is formed (Auckland). The group diverged from Gay Liberation Auckland
  • The University of Canterbury Gay Activists Society is formed (Christchurch). The group is later renamed Gay University Students' Society (GUSS)

23 May 1972

  • Gay Liberation Front Christchurch holds its first meeting (Christchurch). Ngahuia Volkerling (Te Awekotuku) had earlier visited Christchurch (2-10 May) and then Wellington


  • The group Sisters for Homophile Equality (SHE) Canterbury Inc. is formed (Christchurch). S.H.E. was one of the earliest specifically lesbian groups to emerge from Gay Liberation
  • The group Sisters for Homophile Equality (SHE) Wellington is formed (Wellington)
  • The University of Canterbury Gay Activists' Society is formed (Christchurch)
  • The Victoria University Feminist Group is formed (Wellington)

March 1973

  • The Gay-Aid phone counseling service is formed (Wellington)

November 1973

  • The group Rotorua Gay Liberation Front is formed (Rotorua)


  • Gay Liberation Front Victoria University of Wellington ends (Wellington)
  • Herstory Press is formed (Wellington)
  • The Women's Centre opens (Christchurch). The Centre is established by radical feminists, members of SHE and the Socialist Action League

March 1974

  • Gay Feminist Collective is formed (New Zealand)
  • Gay Liberation Nelson is formed (Nelson)
  • The Lesbian Club is formed (Wellington)


  • Auckland Gay Welfare Group is formed (Auckland). The group later becomes the Auckland Gay/Lesbian Welfare Group (circa 1984)
  • Club 69 is formed (New Zealand). The social club was established circa 1975 (exact date unknown)
  • Gay Liberation Front Taranaki (GLT) is formed (Taranaki region). GLT is later renamed Taranaki Gay Society
  • The Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) is formed (Christchurch). In 1980 CHE moved its operations to Wellington

May 1975

  • The Dorian Society Christchurch is formed (Christchurch)


  • Befriend is formed (Christchurch). The group was earlier known as Gays-An and was one of the earliest counseling services in Christchurch
  • Daybreak, New Zealand's first feminist bookshop opens (Dunedin)
  • Eros Northland is formed (Whangarei). The social group was provisionally named The 'G' Club
  • Gay Teachers and Students Union is formed (Christchurch). The Union is later renamed Gays in Education in 1981


  • Gay Liberation Auckland Inc. ends (Auckland)
  • National Gay Rights Coalition Resource Centre opens (Wellington). The Centre later becomes the Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre
  • The Alliance group is formed (Otago region). The group later becomes the Otago Gay Equality Society in May 1978
  • Wanganui Gay Rights Group is formed (Whanganui)

8 January 1977

  • A meeting is held to set up the National Gay Rights Coalition of New Zealand (New Zealand)

February 1977

  • The Auckland Gay Social Club is formed (Auckland). The club later becomes the Laetus Social Club in March 1978
  • The social Hawkes Bay Gay Society is formed (Hawke's Bay region)

14 February 1977

March 1977

  • Christchurch Women's Liberation Collective is formed (Christchurch)

April 1977

  • Lesbians Ignite Fire Brigade is formed (Wellington)

May 1977

  • The Lesbian Club ends (Wellington)

July 1977

  • The National Gay Rights Coalition is formerly established (New Zealand). The coalition comes out of discussions held during the fifth National Gay and Lesbian Conference held in Wellington in October 1976. Link: Salient

August 1977

  • Manawatu Gay Rights Association (MAGRA) is formed (Palmerston North). The Association is later renamed Manawatu Lesbian and Gay Rights Association (MALGRA). It is New Zealand's longest running LGBTI rainbow rights and social organisation. Links:, LAGANZ


  • Auckland Gay Rights Activists is formed (Auckland)
  • Gay Liberation Front Christchurch ends (Christchurch)
  • Gay Rights of Waikato is formed (Waikato region)
  • The social Victoria Club is formed (Wellington)
  • The Taranaki Gay Society is formed (Taranaki region). The Society grew out of Gay Liberation Taranaki

March 1978

  • The Laetus Social Club is formed (Auckland). The Club grew out of the Auckland Gay Social Club

17 May 1978

  • An electrical fire occurs at Sun Sauna (Wellington). Link: WCC Archives


  • Breathing Space, a coming-out group for lesbians is formed (Wellington)
  • Gay Switchboard is formed (Wellington)
  • Help End Repressive Attitudes (HERA) is formed (Dunedin). HERA is a support group for lesbians
  • The Gay Community Centre opens (Wellington). The Centre is located at 6 Boulcott Street. Link: LAGANZ
  • The Gay Health Workers Alliance (GHWA) is established (New Zealand). Links: Bay Area Reporter, LAGANZ
  • The Otago Gay Support Group is formed (Otago region)
  • The Otago University Gay Rights Society is formed (Otago region)
  • The Taranaki Gay Society ends (Taranaki region)
  • The Women's Resource Centre opens (Wellington). The Centre is located at 6 Boulcott Street

May 1979

  • The Nelson Gay Welfare group is formed (Nelson). Link: LAGANZ

2 July 1979

  • Television: homosexual employees of the Defence Department will be discharged (New Zealand). ref: TZP1031. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

August 1979

  • Geyserland Gay Club is formed (Rotorua)

11 August 1979

  • Television: National Gay Rights Coalition (NGRC) making recommendations to the Human Rights Commission (New Zealand). ref: TZP28741. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

December 1979

  • Nelson Gay Society is formed (Nelson). The Society grew out of the Nelson Gay Welfare Group


  • Gay Liberation Wellington ends (Wellington)
  • Gays In Education is formed (Auckland). It is later renamed to Gays and Lesbians are Everywhere in Education (GLEE)
  • Lesbian Action for Visibility in Aotearoa (LAVA) is formed (New Zealand). The lesbian feminist separatist group is formed in the 1980s (specific date unknown)
  • The Gay Health Workers Alliance ends (New Zealand)
  • The Gay Information Centre is established (Christchurch)
  • The group Auckland Gay Rights Activists ends (Auckland)
  • The group Gay Rights of Waikato ends (Waikato region)
  • The Lesbian Legal Advisory Committee is formed (New Zealand)
  • The Lesbian Mothers' Defence Fund is formed (New Zealand)
  • The Network Group is formed to oppose the Warren Freer Bill (New Zealand)

February 1980

  • The Auckland Gay Task Force is formed (Auckland). The group is formed as a result of the Westside Sauna raid. Link: LAGANZ

March 1980

  • The Lesbian Centre opens (Wellington). The Centre is located at 6 Boulcott Street

27 March 1980

  • Newspaper report: Gay Health Workers Alliance (GHWA) in New Zealand (New Zealand). The group is open to doctors, medical students, nurses, social workers, and allied health professionals. LAGANZ notes that this group started in 1979. Links: Bay Area Reporter, LAGANZ

7 April 1980

15 April 1980

July 1980

  • The Gay Information Centre opens (Christchurch)

10 September 1980

  • Television news report: Wellington City Council refuses to allow a lesbian group to advertise on buses (Wellington). ref: TZP5053. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

1 October 1980

  • Television news report: a Wellington lesbian group is not able to advertise on Wellington buses (Wellington). The Town Clerk said it may encourage vandalism, ref: TZP5006. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision


  • The Otago Gay Support group ends (Otago region)
  • The Waxing Moon archive begins in Hamilton (Hamilton)
  • The Women's Place bookshop opens (Wellington). The bookshop is located in Cuba Street
  • The Young Gays Group is formed (Auckland). The group is formed circa 1981 and works closely with the University Gays Group
  • The Young Lesbian and Gay group is formed (Auckland)
  • University Gay Liberation Auckland ends (Auckland)

September 1981

  • Lesbians and Gays Against Racism is formed during the campaign against the Springbok rugby tour (New Zealand)


  • Daybreak - New Zealand's first feminist bookshop closes (New Zealand)

January 1982

  • The group Gays in Education ends (New Zealand)

April 1982

  • Mobilisation for the Opening of Parliament is formed (New Zealand)

1 November 1982

  • Television: interview with Eileen Swan from HELP about rape in New Zealand (New Zealand). ref: TZP116218. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

9 November 1982

15 April 1983

August 1983

  • The Gay and Lesbian Information Centre is formed (Dunedin). It is later absorbed by the Otago Gay and Lesbian Welfare Council in 1984

7 October 1983

  • Television: Air New Zealand in dispute with gay community (New Zealand). ref: TZP115859. The chairman of Air New Zealand is disputing with the gay community over AirNZ's promotion for gay travel market in North America. . Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

12 December 1983

  • The Laetus Social Club ends (New Zealand)


  • The National Gay Rights Coalition of New Zealand ends (New Zealand)
  • The Otago Lesbian and Gay Welfare Council is formed (Otago region)
  • The Wanganui Gay Rights Group ends (Whanganui)

27 April 1984

1 June 1984

  • The AIDS Support Network is established (New Zealand). The Network has branches throughout the country, including Auckland. The Wellington branch is established by Bruce Burnett, Phil Parkinson, Bill Logan and possibly others. Links:, LAGANZ

1 September 1984

  • The Wellington Gay Task Force is formed (Wellington). The group is formed by John McDavitt, Bill Logan and others. Links: LAGANZ (1), LAGANZ (2)

7 October 1984

  • Television: Customs Department want someone else to judge the decency of videotapes (New Zealand). ref: TZP12546. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

6 November 1984

  • The Christchurch Gay Task Force is formed (Christchurch). Link: LAGANZ

10 November 1984

  • The Auckland Gay Task Force is reformed to campaign for homosexual law reform (Auckland). The main spokesperson for the group is Peter Wall. Links: LAGANZ (1), LAGANZ (2)


  • The Dunedin Gay Task Force is formed (Dunedin)
  • The Gisborne Gay Task Force is formed (Gisborne). The Task Force consisted of Trevor Lawler and Chris Piesse who who left the area in the face of anti-gay discrimination and harassment
  • The Greater Auckland Business Association (GABA) is formed (Auckland). The Association later renames to the Gay Auckland Business Association
  • The group Accept: Human Rights for Homosexuals is formed (Nelson)
  • The group Campaign for Tolerance is formed (Auckland). The largely heterosexual group is set up to support the homosexual law reform campaign

January 1985

  • The Hawke's Bay Gay Society ends (Hawke's Bay region)

18 March 1985

  • The AIDS Support Network becomes a charitable trust (New Zealand). The name is changed to the AIDS Support Network Trust. Links: LAGANZ,

21 March 1985

  • The Salvation Army announces it will administer the anti-homosexual law reform petition (New Zealand). Link: LAGANZ

26 May 1985

  • The media reports claims that Gay visibility week has resulted in harassment (New Zealand)

2 June 1985

  • Television news report: the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) decide on the Homosexual Law Reform Bill (New Zealand). ref: TZP123647. Link: Nga Taonga Sound and Vision

18 June 1985

  • The group Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays (HUG) is formed (New Zealand). The group is set up to support the homosexual law reform campaign. Link: LAGANZ

September 1985

  • The New Zealand AIDS Foundation is formed (New Zealand). The Foundation grows out of the AIDS Support Network, after receiving a Government grant in April 1985

11 July 1986

  • The Burnett Clinic is opened by Health Minister Dr Michael Bassett (Auckland). The Burnett Clinic is named after Bruce Burnett and is the first HIV/AIDS clinic in New Zealand


  • The New Zealand Homosexual Law Reform Society ends (New Zealand). The Society's files are donated to the Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre


  • The Dorian Society ends (Wellington)

6 July 1988

  • The first meeting of the Wellington Bisexual Women's Group is held (Wellington)

October 1988

  • New Zealand Prostitutes Collective opens its first community base (Wellington). Located at 282 Cuba Street Wellington, the venue also became the location for the first needle exchange in Wellington and the National People Living with AIDs Union (1989-ca.1994). The Collective was based at 282 until 1994 when the building was sold

21 October 1988

  • Media reports that the Ettie Rout Clinic opens in Christchurch (Christchurch). The clinic is the third AIDS clinic to open and is run by the New Zealand AIDS FOundation. The Clinic carries Rout's name until 2003. Link: Nga Taonga

1 December 1988

  • The New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt is launched on World AIDS Day (Wellington). Inspired by the NAMES Project, the New Zealand quilt is established by the People With AIDS Collective. The first panel is presented by Daniel Fielding for his partner Peter Cuthbert who had died in October 1988. Link: NZ AIDS Memorial Quilt


  • The Auckland Gay Men's Health Group is formed (Auckland)
  • The Gay and Lesbian Community Centre opens (Wellington). The Centre utilises space at the Evergreen Coffee Lounge
  • The social group Spectrum is formed (Nelson). Links: Spectrum, LAGANZ
  • The Women's Place bookshop closes (Wellington)

24 February 1989

  • The Lesbian Club ends (Wellington). The Club ends for the third time

24 March 1989

  • The birth of what was to become RainbowYouth occurs at the National Gay and Lesbian Conference (Auckland). Link: RNZ

June 1989

  • The group GLAD is formed (Hamilton). The group is formed to work for anti-discrimination, including the broadening of the Human Rights Act

September 1989

  • The Gay Motorbike Club is formed (New Zealand). It soon became the Mercury Motorbike Club

22 June 1990

  • The Gay Community Centre closes (Wellington)


  • The Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) Trust is established (Wellington). The initial core of the collections goes back to an initiative of the National Gay Rights Coalition in 1977. It developed into a research library and archives known as the Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre which was placed in the care of a trust in 1984. In 1988, to ensure the collections a secure home, the trustees made an agreement with the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington for their permanent accommodation. Links: LAGANZ(1), LAGANZ(2)

25 November 1992

  • The Hero Charitable Trust Incorporated is established (Auckland). The Trust's vision was: A community which, through creative expression and celebration: learns to love, care and support itself. The Trust's kaupapa was: HERO seeks to serve a community characterised by love - the love of a man for a man - the love of a woman for a woman. That service finds expression through creativity and celebration. Through the activities of Hero the mana, health and pride of our community will be strengthened. Link:

17 April 1993

  • The first national conference of the New Zealand [AIDS] Quilt Project takes place (Auckland). The conference is attended by committee members, volunteers and regional coordinators. Link: New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt

1 September 1993

  • Nicki Eddy becomes the first full-time paid worker for the New Zealand [AIDS Memorial] Quilt Project (Auckland). Eddy is the National Convenor for the quilt. Link: NZQP newsletter

January 1994

  • Buddies - New Zealand's first gay massage parlour opens (Wellington)

17 September 1994

  • The Lesbian Information, Library and Archives Centre (LILAC) opens (Wellington). The Centre is for women-oriented women and holds the largest accessible collection of lesbian books and other materials in New Zealand. Link: LILAC

October 1995

  • Gays and Lesbians in University Employment at Victoria University of Wellington (GLUE-VUW) is established (Wellington). The group is set up by Victoria University staff. Link:

13 March 1996

  • The Gay Association of Professionals (GAP) is formed in Wellington (Wellington). The Association changes its name to Rainbow Wellington in the mid-2000s. Links: Queer History NZ, LAGANZ

19 April 1996

  • The Pride Centre opens at its new premises (Auckland). The Centre is located at 33 Wyndham Street,between Albert and Hobson St, inside the Peoples Centre. Links: (1), (2)

August 1996

  • Gays and Lesbians in Business (GLIB) is formed (Christchurch). Link: Queer History

October 1996

  • The building that housed Club 47 is demolished (New Plymouth). The building also used be the home of the Shelias Arms in 1992. Link: Fiona Clark

7 May 1997

  • The Intersex Society of New Zealand is launched (Wellington). The Society is launched by the Minister of Health Hon. Annette King at a function in the Council Chamber at Victoria University. The Society subsequently became a Charitable Trust on 26 March 1998. Link: ITANZ (pdf)

22 October 1998

  • New Zealand Navy announces a gay-friendly policy (New Zealand). It includes the issuing of pink triangle stickers to identify "safe places"

17 April 2000

  • The domain name is registered (New Zealand). LAGANZ is the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand

21 August 2002

  • The Hero Incorporated Society is wound up. (Auckland, United States of America). The Society was responsible for Auckland's Hero parties and parade. Link: Queer News Aotearoa

20 September 2002

  • Countrymen's Institute sauna closes. (Auckland). The sauna was established in 1988 by Glen Morris and Lawson Bracewell. Link: Gay NZ


  • The Nayland Alliance of Gays and Straights (NAGS) is formed at Nayland College (Nelson)


  • The Samoa Fa'afafine Association is formed (Samoa). The Association is founded by So'oalo To'oto'oali'i Roger Stanley

10 February 2005

  • The New Zealand AIDS Foundation comes out in support of the Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill (2004) (New Zealand). NZAF Executive Director Rachael Le Mesurier said that "safe sex is a self-care behaviour that is enhanced when people feel that they belong to, and are accepted by, their communities and society at large. Legal protection against discrimination will go a long way toward achieving that.". Link: Scoop

October 2006

  • The Human Rights Commission launches an inquiry into discrimination experienced by transgender people (New Zealand). The inquiry is a world first by a national human rights institution. It results in the publication of To Be Who I Am/Kia noho au ki toku ano ao in January 2008. Link: Human Rights Commission

7 May 2007

  • The Charlotte Museum Trust is registered as a trust (Auckland). Link: Charlotte Museum

January 2008

  • The Human Rights Commission publishes To Be Who I Am/Kia noho au ki toku ano ao (New Zealand). The inquiry into discrimination experienced by transgender people is a world first by a national human rights institution. Link: Human Rights Commission

12 March 2008

  • The Awhina Centre officially opens at Level 1, 187 Willis Street (Wellington). Link: GayNZ

December 2008

  • The Rule Foundation is established (New Zealand). Named after Peter Rule, the Foundation is established to advance the health, well-being and visibility of rainbow New Zealanders. Link: Rule Foundation

31 August 2013

  • A quiz night raises $1,500 for the new Body Positive office in Wellington. (Wellington). Link: Gay NZ

7 June 2017

  • PPTA calls for gender-neutral uniforms and toilets be introduced into schools (New Zealand). The Taranaki Daily News reports that in its latest voluntary guidelines, the Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) calls for gender-neutral uniforms and toilets be introduced into schools. Link:

23 July 2017

  • Auckland Pastor Logan Robertson calls for gay people to be shot (Auckland). During a sermon at the Westcity Bible Bapist Church, Past Robertson states he isn't against homosexuals getting married "as long as a bullet goes through their head the moment they kiss...that's what should happen". Excerpts of the video sermon are then uploaded to Youtube. Links: NZ Herald, PrideNZ

28 October 2017

  • Aunty Danas Op Shop opens (Wellington). The shop is located in the community centre at 128 Abel Smith Street. The shop raises funds for the national takataapui, transgender, and intersex organisation Gender Minorities Aotearoa. Link: Aunty Danas

17 May 2018

  • The Human Rights Commission joins with the Rainbow NZ Parliamentary Network to commit to twice-yearly community hui (New Zealand). Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue said "these hui will alternate between Auckland and Wellington every six months, providing a space for the community's voices to be heard by Rainbow leaders in Parliament.". Link: Human Rights Commission

17 May 2019

  • The NZ AIDS Foundation rails against Israel Folau with the #unfolau social media campaign (New Zealand). The campaign coincides with the annual Pink Shirt Day and IDAHOBIT. The NZAF says on social media "Homophobic comments have real, harmful effects on us. If you support the rainbow community, share this and #UnFolau anyone who thinks homophobia is free speech. Anyone who wants to share their beliefs otherwise, there is a certain bigot we can think of that might care to listen. Your comments will be deleted as we will #UnFolau you." The campaign met with mixed reaction, with some users describing it as bullying itself. Link: Facebook

20 March 2020

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

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

20 January 2022

  • 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

8 June 2022

  • 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