All people have the right to legal gender recognition, whatever their immigration status. Rainbow Path strongly believes that Aotearoa can be a country where that is a reality for every trans, non-binary and intersex person living here. Everyone should be able to obtain official New Zealand documents with their correct name and gender.
People who follow our Facebook page will know the huge support there has been for Rainbow Path’s campaign linked to the BDMRR Bill last year. We have previously shared our frustration that no solutions for people born overseas were included in the Bill. Recommendations to do further work on this issue also made no explicit reference to asylum seekers, refugees or migrants on temporary visas.
After a huge amount of last minute lobbying at the end of last year, Rainbow Path watched Parliament TV on 9 December, hopeful that our lived experiences might have been enough to make a difference. In our Facebook post we described how that felt.
“As the Bill went through its third reading, excited Rainbow Path members and allies were sitting in front of the screen, listening closely to the speeches and cheering each time our Rainbow refugee and asylum seeker communities were acknowledged. What was remarkable is not only that it was passed unanimously, but also the commitment we got to finding solutions for people born overseas, during the 18 months between now and when the regulations for self-identification come into effect.”
Our ongoing lobbying has been to ensure this includes asylum seekers, refugees and migrants on temporary or timebound visas, as well as permanent residents and citizens born overseas. A huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all our allies for your unrelenting support.
Less than a week later the Select Committee wrote to Rainbow Path confirming that their recommendation applied to all overseas-born New Zealanders, including refugees and asylum seekers. We have shared the letter in full below.
Watch this blog and our Facebook page to see details of the community discussion we will be hosting on 16 and 21 June from 6.30 – 8pm. We want to hear from any overseas-born trans, non-binary or intersex people living in Aotearoa, especially those who are unable to get their gender and name recognised in their country of origin. Together we will identify the range of different barriers we face and explore potential solutions.
GOVERNANCE AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
KOMITI WHIRIWHIRI TAKE WHAKAHAERENGA
15 December 2021
Inquiry into Supplementary Order Paper 59 on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill
“Thank you for your email about the inquiry into Supplementary Order Paper 59 on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill. We commend you for your advocacy on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers living in New Zealand, particularly in regard to this piece of legislation.
As mentioned in your email, we made a recommendation to the Government to commit to pursuing a solution that would allow overseas-born New Zealanders to register a nominated sex. Thank you for raising the issue of whether refugees and asylum seekers were intended to be included in this recommendation.
In our report on the Inquiry into Supplementary Order Paper 59, we did intend to include refugees and asylum seekers within this recommendation. It is our expectation that the Government will work towards finding a solution that would allow all overseas-born New Zealanders, including refugees and asylum seekers, to register a nominated sex.
We have copied in the Minister of Internal Affairs and officials at the Department of Internal Affairs so that they are aware of our intention.
Thank you again for your advocacy on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers in the rainbow community.
Chairperson Governance and Administration Committee