Help create a legal gender recognition solution for people born overseas

If you are a trans, non-binary, or intersex person who was born overseas, please register for one of these sessions hosted by the Department of Internal Affairs. They take place THIS THURSDAY 30 JUNE and on TUESDAY 5 JULY, from 6.30 – 8pm.

Colourful  stylised images of people as triangles with circular heads

The new BDMRR Act only introduces a self-ID process for people born in Aotearoa. These online sessions are the first steps towards finding a solution so that overseas born people can register their gender in Aotearoa.

Rainbow Path members will be participating in both sessions. Register now as spaces are limited – we would love to see both calls fully booked. There are a few details below and more when you click on the registration link.

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Information supplied by the Department of Internal Affairs

“A self-identification (self-ID) process for birth certificates will be available from mid-2023. This is significant for transgender, non-binary, intersex, and takatāpui New Zealanders, who will be able to amend the sex on their birth certificate without going through an intrusive and costly process.

At present, the new self-ID process does not apply to people born overseas who don’t have a New Zealand birth certificate.

Government are committed to pursuing a solution to enable overseas born people to register their gender. If you were born overseas, we’d love to hear your perspective to help us find a solution.”

Join this Community Discussion organised by Rainbow Path

Overseas born trans, non-binary and intersex people need our correct name and gender recognised in Aotearoa too!

All overseas born trans, non-binary or intersex people living in Aotearoa are invited to this community discussion, especially People of Colour – including people on temporary visas such as international students, migrant workers, refugees, and asylum seekers.

Are you a trans, non-binary or intersex person living in Aotearoa but born overseas?

Have you had difficulties getting your correct gender and name recognised on official NZ documents or records?

Rainbow Path warmly invites you to join our community discussion on Zoom, that will be held over two evenings in June. You are very welcome to come to either or both sessions:

If you can’t make those times, you can still register to send us any info or questions – and we will send you an email update after the sessions.

Rainbow Path has been lobbying hard for trans, nonbinary and intersex asylum seekers and refugees to be able to get our correct name and gender on Identity Documents (IDs) available to us – the Certificate of Identity and the Refugee Travel Document. We worked with other community organisations, especially Gender Minorities Aotearoa, on that campaign.

This is so we have an ID we can use in our daily life, including to open a bank account, get an IRD number, or when we have to prove who we are to a healthcare provider, an employer, landlord, WINZ or other government agencies, etc. Without a usable ID, every aspect of our life is made significantly harder.

We recognise that the issues are broader than the Certificate of Identity and the Refugee Travel Document. They also affect many other trans, non-binary and intersex migrants, especially those who are unable to get their gender and name recognised in their country of origin.

We understand that the barriers we face also differ depending on our immigration status – whether we are permanent residents, or citizens, or on temporary visas such as student visas and work visas. Racism also affects how often many of us are asked to show IDs.

Last year a law was passed that will make it easier for trans and non-binary people born in NZ to change the gender on their NZ birth certificate. The government is looking at different solutions for people born overseas to have our correct gender and name recognised here. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) is consulting with trans, non-binary and intersex migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in late June and early July.

Before our communities head into that government consultation process, Rainbow Path is organising two community discussions with others from our trans, non-binary and intersex migrant and refugee communities. We want to:

  • Identify the range of different barriers we face, and
  • Explore the potential solutions we need in order to have IDs we can use here in Aotearoa.

This way, we will be able to better support each other and raise constructive ideas during the government’s consultation process.

All overseas born trans, non-binary or intersex people living in Aotearoa are welcome, especially People of Colour – including people on temporary visas such as international students, migrant workers, refugees, and asylum seekers.

None of the personal details you share on these community discussions will be shared with anyone not on the Zoom call. You can also join the Zoom calls with your video off if that feels safer for you. Everyone on the call will be reminded how important it is to not share information that could disclose another person’s identity. It will be your choice whether you then join the later calls with people from the Department of Internal Affairs and what you choose to share then.

We are also asking a few allies/resource people to join the Zoom calls, because they support people born overseas to change details on NZ documents.

Please note: This Zoom call won’t focus on changing details on overseas documents as the New Zealand government has no power to change those. However, sometimes getting an official document issued by the New Zealand government may help with that process. That is how some permanent residents have used a Declaration as to Sex from the New Zealand Family Court. That option will disappear when the new law starts in June 2023, so permanent residents will also need a new solution.

If you have any more questions, you can contact us on rainbowpath@protonmail.com

Select Committee recommends a legal gender recognition solution for asylum seekers and refugees

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.

Placard made by a Rainbow Path member

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.

Select Committee’s letter to Rainbow Path confirming that their recommendation includes all overseas-born New Zealanders, including refugees and asylum seekers

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.

Ngā mihi


Ian McKelvie

Chairperson Governance and Administration Committee


Rainbow Path’s concerns and hopes for the BDMRR Act

A trans person writing a submission with three posters behind them that say "Yes to BDMRR".
Artist: Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho’s illustration for the Counting Ourselves report

The Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) Bill returns to Parliament this week. Trans asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are some of the groups most often asked to show a photo ID to prove their immigration status in Aotearoa. Yet they are currently excluded from the Bill’s provisions. It’s not too late to commit to addressing this gap.

Rainbow Path’s recommendations about the BDMRR Act

Rainbow Path made a written and private oral submission in support of the Select Committee Inquiry into  Supplementary Order Paper 59 but also noted significant gaps left by the proposed changes to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995.

The need for a NZ Identity document with the correct name and gender marker has become even more important now that we have Vaccine Passes. People are likely to be asked more often to show a photo ID to verify that the Vaccine Pass they present belongs to them. This will be another barrier for trans and intersex people whose overseas IDs have the wrong name and/or gender marker. 

In our submissions, and the wider campaign supported by Gender Minorities Aotearoa, Rainbow Path made three related recommendations. These were to ensure that all trans and non-binary people born overseas can access a New Zealand ID with their correct name and gender, through a simple administrative process based on self-determination. Specifically, we recommended that:

  1. permanent residents, who currently can amend these details, should retain that right – but with a simplified process too.
  2. trans asylum seekers and Convention refugees on temporary visas should be able to obtain a document with these correct details, such as a Certificate of Identity or Refugee Travel document issued by the Department of Internal Affairs or Immigration NZ and
  3. migrants on temporary visas should be able to get some form of New Zealand ID as well. 

What did the Select Committee recommend?

Rainbow Path was really glad to see this first recommendation in the Select Committee’s report:

  • “That the Government commit to pursuing a solution that would allow overseas-born New Zealanders to register a nominated sex, and to carrying out further consultation with relevant individuals and groups to this end.”

Does this recommendation include asylum seekers or refugees?

It is very unclear to Rainbow Path whether this recommendation includes all overseas-born New Zealanders, specifically asylum seekers and refugees and migrants who are here on temporary or time-bound visas. 

We are very concerned that this may exclude asylum seekers and refugees at the point when they are most vulnerable to discrimination and struggle to open a bank account, find accommodation or get work without a usable identity document.

Our concerns are because:

  • There is no mention of asylum seekers and refugees in the Select Committee’s report and
  • in the Department of Internal Affairs’ report to the Select Committee its advice around the Select Committee’s first recommendation was focused solely on New Zealand citizens and permanent residents born overseas. 

What did the Department of Internal Affairs advise the Select Committee about asylum seekers and refugees?

The Department’s report specifically notes that “expanding access to documentation beyond citizens and permanent residents is beyond the scope of the Act”. It does note, however, that:

  • “Work is already underway with Immigration New Zealand at an operational level to address how best to assist transgender asylum seekers (who are on timebound visas) with gender recognition documentation while they await confirmation of refugee status (and thereafter permanent residency).”

Rainbow Path is aware of that work because it has resulted from our continued advocacy for nearly three years, and has required multiple letters to Ministers and departmental officials. Now is a vital opportunity for the government to signal a commitment to addressing these concerns within the same time frame as the regulations being developed to support this Bill.

This will require thinking outside the restrictions of current policy settings or interpretations. Legal gender recognition should be available to any trans or intersex person in Aotearoa, whatever their immigration status. That is the international human rights obligation set out in the Yogyakarta Principle 31 and the practical step needed to ensure all trans or intersex people here can navigate everyday life with safety, dignity and respect.

Why this is even more important due to COVID-19

Trans asylum seekers and refugees without accurate identity documents are one of the groups struggling to obtain a Vaccine Pass that they can safely use. This highlights yet again why trans and intersex people born overseas need a New Zealand identity document with their correct name, photo and gender marker.

Rainbow Path has recommended that trans and intersex asylum seekers and Convention refugees should be able to self-identity their name and gender on Certificates of Identity and Refugee Travel documents. This is an important interim step, as these may be the only NZ photo IDs that some asylum seekers and refugees can obtain.

However, there is very limited recognition of these documents in Aotearoa, even though they are official NZ travel documents. For example, they aren’t included as documents you can use to sign up for My COVID record.  If they are not listed as accepted forms of official IDs there, it’s even less likely that they will be accepted by venues and service providers.

Rainbow Path has asked the Government to:

  • clarify that the work signalled in the first recommendation in the Select Committee’s report covers any trans or intersex person born overseas who is living in Aotearoa and
  • commit to introducing legal gender recognition solutions for trans and intersex asylum seekers, refugees and migrants between now and when amendments to the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995 commence in 2023.

Rainbow Path members will be glued to our screens when the Bill returns to Parliament this week. We hope that this will be a moment that all of our trans and intersex communities can celebrate. Rainbow Path welcomes any opportunities to work meaningfully with Ministers, government officials and other trans and intersex community organisations to achieve legal gender recognition for us all.

The Select Committee report covers other issues raised by submitters too. Gender Minorities Aotearoa has written this blog analysing the Select Committee’s responses to the key points made in their submission.

Three images of a Vaccine Pass
Vaccine pass images from covid19.govt.nz

Support Rainbow Path’s submission on the BDMRR Bill

Midnight this Tuesday 14 September is the closing date for submissions on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) Bill.

Rainbow Path supports this Bill. It is a huge step forward for trans and non-binary people born In Aotearoa. However, it excludes most trans, non-binary and intersex asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Together we can push for legal gender recognition for ALL of our communities.

A Rainbow Path poster saying welcome in many languages, with details about Rainbow Path's website (rainbowpathnz.com) and email (rainbowpath@protonmail.com )
Rainbow Path poster with contact details

What’s wrong with the Bill

The Bill will make the process for changing sex details on a NZ birth certificate much simpler, based on a person’s self-defined identity. However, it:

  • fails to introduce any form of legal gender recognition for asylum seekers and refugees on temporary visas and
  • removes existing rights for quota refugees and migrants who have permanent residence.

What you can do

The Select Committee is asking people to make submissions on the final proposed changes to the BDMRR Bill. Those changes are contained in Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) 59. One of the examples mentioned explicitly on the Select Committee’s website explains how the SOP affects people born overseas. That proposed change says:

  • “that the self-identification provisions cannot be used to change the individual’s birth records from another country”.

This means that legal gender recognition issues for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are part of the Select Committee’s Inquiry.

In our last blog, Rainbow Path explained the different issues each of these groups may face. Now that we have the wording of the SOP, we have developed some specific recommendations for the Select Committee.

Rainbow Path is asking for your support for these three issues and recommendations

Step 1: Read Rainbow Path’s key points and recommendations

Below is a summary of Rainbow Path’s submission. People are very welcome to say you support our submission.

  1. The SOP and the Bill remove permanent residents’ existing right to legal gender recognition
  • Permanent residents born overseas will no longer be able to go the Family Court to get a Declaration as to Sex that has their correct sex recorded, based on their gender. This removes two existing rights:
    • Permanent residents who were born in other countries that have a gender recognition law (e.g. the UK), used that Declaration as to Sex from the NZ Family Court as evidence to change their birth certificate overseas. They will no longer be able to do that.
    • Permanent residents could use this Declaration as to Sex in Aotearoa as proof of their correct sex / gender. This is especially important for people whose overseas passport has their old name and/or sex marker.
  • This is a backward step for permanent residents, including quota refugees (who arrive here as permanent residents)

Recommendation 1:

  • That the NZ government ensures permanent residents retain their right to obtain official documents with their correct gender and name, through an administrative process based on self-determination (self-identification) so that it is consistent with the changes the Bill is making for other trans, non-binary and intersex people in Aotearoa.

2. The SOP and Bill provide no options for asylum seekers and Convention refugees on temporary visas

The current legal situation

Asylum seekers and Convention refugees on temporary visas cannot change their name in Aotearoa or go to the Family Court to get a Declaration as to Sex. The SOP and Bill will continue to explicitly exclude them because they were born overseas.

  • When an asylum seeker is recognised as a Convention refugee, New Zealand accepts that it is unsafe for this person to return to their country of origin and that they have nowhere else to go. Aotearoa is their home, and yet they cannot obtain an official document with their correct name and sex / gender marker.

What Rainbow Path has been lobbying for

Rainbow Path members have been lobbying since 2018 for asylum seekers and Convention refugees to be able to obtain official documentation with their correct name and sex / gender marker. Without such documents, they face immense barriers trying to access basic fundamental services, and potential danger every time they use outdated ID from their country of nationality.

  • This official document must not include the trans person’s original name or sex marker or in any other way disclose that they are trans. Doing so would pose significant safety risks for those fleeing persecution for being transgender, including for partners or family members overseas. This is why a document like a name change certificate is not a suitable option for transgender refugees and asylum seekers to use on its own to verify their identity.
  • A certificate of identity with the correct name and gender is potentially one solution, as it is a document that both the Department of Internal Affairs and Immigration NZ can issue for some asylum seekers people in Aotearoa on temporary visas. A refugee travel document from the Department of Internal Affairs can be issued to someone after their refugee status has been confirmed.

Recommendation 2:

  • That the NZ government issues trans, non-binary and intersex asylum seekers and Convention refugees on temporary visas with an official document with their correct name and gender e.g. a certificate of identity issued by the Department of Internal Affairs and/or Immigration NZ.

3. The Bill provides no options for other migrants in NZ on temporary visas

The current legal situation

  • The existing Family Court process, the SOP and the Bill all exclude migrants living in New Zealand who are on temporary visas. Some may have lived in New Zealand for a long time.
  • Trans and non-binary people born overseas, particularly people of colour, are regularly asked to show their passport to prove their immigration status, including their ability to work or study here. They face significant challenges when they have no New Zealand documentation with a name and gender / sex marker that matches their affirmed gender.
  • Rainbow Path supports the need for a legal gender recognition process for these migrants too based on self-identification, for example through a statutory declaration process.
  • There is a growing number of countries overseas that allow migrants on temporary visas to change their name and/or sex details after living in the country for a minimum number of months or a year.

Recommendation 3:

  • That the NZ government explores options for migrants on temporary visas to be able to obtain an official document with their correct name and gender through a simple, administrative, self-declaration process.

Step 2: Explain why these issues are important to you

It is really important to not just copy and paste our blog post. Use your own words to describe why these issues are important.

Share your personal experiences, and your hopes that the government will ensure any trans, non-binary or intersex person living in Aotearoa can have an official document with their correct name and sex marker.

If you don’t know a lot about the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees, there are still things you can say. Here are just two examples.

  • Most trans or non-binary people born in Aotearoa also know what it’s like not having a birth certificate with your correct details. Many have been able to change your NZ passport and use that as an ID, because that process is already based on a simple self-declaration form. Imagine what it’s like for someone who can’t change their name or sex details details on an overseas passport (or birth certificate) and isn’t eligible for a NZ passport because they are not a NZ citizen.
  • Migrants who aren’t trans will know how often people ask you to prove your immigration status in Aotearoa. Imagine what that’s like when none of your documents have a name, sex marker or photo that sounds or looks like you.

Step 3: Make a submission online

Gender Minorities Aotearoa:

Send your submission to the Select Committee before midnight this Tuesday 14 September.

  • You can write your submission directly into the online form on the Select Committee’s website, or upload a file there.

Thanks a lot for your support – together we can do this!

All trans and non-binary people in Aotearoa need legal gender recognition

Rainbow Path has been lobbying for almost three years for legal gender recognition, so that trans and non-binary asylum seekers and refugees can obtain official documentation confirming their name and gender.

Refugees and asylum seekers are continually asked to show our identity documents to prove who we are and that we are legally able to stay in Aotearoa NZ. Yet most trans and non-binary asylum seekers and refugees have to use ID documents that have the wrong name and/or gender marker. Most have us arrived from a country where it is not possible to change our name and/or gender marker – and Aotearoa NZ doesn’t allow anyone to change their name till they are a permanent resident here. This creates huge barriers including trying to open a bank account so we can get an emergency benefit, or convincing an employer that the work visa we are showing them was issued to us.

Rainbow Path supports the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration (BDMRR) Bill that will make it simpler for people born in Aotearoa NZ to amend their birth certificate. We have lobbied against the Bill’s proposal that legal gender recognition is limited to people born here. Permanent residents must retain the right to obtain a formal NZ document confirming their correct name and gender.

On its own, the Bill is not enough. There are also changes needed to other laws and policies, so that every trans and non-binary person living in Aotearoa has access to legal gender recognition – including asylum seekers and refugees and migrants on temporary visas. Rainbow Path has been lobbying on these specific issues for almost three years.

Rainbow Path recently helped Gender Minorities Aotearoa update its submission guide on the BDMRR Bill highlighting some of these remaining gaps. When the final Bill comes out this month, we are asking others to raise these issues too.

It is also important that submissions do not conflate the experiences of all people born overseas; for example, by making generalised statements about “trans migrants, refugees and asylum seekers”. There are differences between the experiences and legal barriers faced by each of these groups. Some are based on whether a trans or non-binary person is on a temporary or permanent visa or is a NZ citizen, and whether they are able to achieve any form of legal gender recognition in their country of birth or nationality. Listen to the diverse experiences of those who are directly affected by gaps in current laws and policies, and their recommendations.

Read more in Gender Minority Aotearoa’s submission guide – under the three separate sections about legal gender recognition issues faced by:

  • asylum seekers and Convention refugees on temporary visas
  • migrants on temporary visas and
  • permanent residents born overseas.
Trans person sitting at a desk writing a submission with posters on the wall behind her supporting the BDMRR Bill
Source: Counting Ourselves report. Artist: Huriana Kopeke-Te Aho

Rainbow Path’s panel is back on!

Register for this 15 July event

Rainbow Path logo of 6 silhouettes in Rainbow colours, the Proud Centre logo and the title of this event "So Far to Go: the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.

Rainbow Path’s Auckland Pride 2021 event is back on – and the timing is even better!

The night before our February Pride event, Auckland went into lockdown. It took a while to find a new time that worked for all our amazing speakers. Listen to our great panel and learn how you support current campaigns to end the detention of asylum seekers and ensure asylum seekers, refugees and migrants can change their name and gender marker on IDs too.

So Far To Go: The Rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugees
When: Thursday 15 July, 7 – 9pm.
Where: Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place, Auckland Central
Cost: FREE
Register: here
This venue has an accessible toilet and is wheelchair friendly.

Our expert panel includes:
* The Green Party’s Refugee Spokesperson, MP Golriz Ghahraman
* Rainbow refugees and asylum seekers
* The Asylum Seekers’ Support Trust
* Refugee lawyer Stewart Dalley
* A member of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal.

“So far to go” depicts both the distance Rainbow refugees and asylum seekers have travelled to Aotearoa NZ and the huge gaps in our immigration laws and policies that leave refugees and asylum seekers isolated with inadequate support, sometimes held in detention. Find out more about the changes needed to fully respect the rights of all refugees and asylum seekers in Aotearoa NZ – including additional challenges faced by those who are members of our Rainbow communities.

COVID-19 has exposed the lack of support for asylum seekers and refugees in Aotearoa New Zealand, particularly those on temporary visas. It has also seen an increase in xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiments. How can Rainbow communities better support refugees and asylum seekers, including through advocating for changes to immigration policies?

So Far to Go panel postponed – stay in touch online for updates

Rainbow Path’s So Far to Go panel on refugees’ and asylum seekers’ rights was scheduled for tonight, Monday 15 February, as part of the Auckland Pride festival. We regret that it has had to be postponed because Auckland is in Alert level 3.

This panel is really important for us. So Rainbow Path will definitely still be holding the panel discussion – probably in March at the Ellen Melville Centre. It will be a great opportunity to find out more about the changes needed to fully respect the rights of all refugees and asylum seekers in Aotearoa NZ – including additional challenges faced by those who are members of our Rainbow communities.

Rainbow Path is really glad that we were still able to have our stall at the Big Gay Out yesterday. A huge thanks to Refugees as Survivors NZ for booking the space and sharing it with us. We were an awesome team together.

Rainbow Path reached out to our panel speakers last night and we hope to confirm a new date soon. We will also send everyone who registered for the panel discussion an email with the new event date.

Follow us on our Facebook page, as we will also post updates there. Please help us promote our website too, so it comes up in online searches when people are urgently looking for support.


Rainbow Path warmly invites you to our Auckland Pride panel: So Far To Go

We would love to see you at our Auckland Pride 2021 event: So Far To Go: The Rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

When: Monday 15 February, 7 – 9pm.
Where: Ellen Melville Centre, 2 Freyberg Place, Auckland Central
Cost: FREE
Register: click here
This venue has an accessible toilet and is wheelchair friendly.

“So far to go” depicts both the distance Rainbow refugees and asylum seekers have travelled to Aotearoa NZ and the huge gaps in our immigration laws and policies that leave refugees and asylum seekers isolated with inadequate support, sometimes held in detention. Our expert panel includes the Green Party’s Refugee Spokesperson, MP Golriz Ghahraman, Rainbow refugees and asylum seekers, refugee lawyers, and community advocates. Find out more about the changes needed to fully respect the rights of all refugees and asylum seekers in Aotearoa NZ – including additional challenges faced by those who are members of our Rainbow communities.

COVID-19 has exposed the lack of support for asylum seekers and refugees in Aotearoa New Zealand, particularly those on temporary visas. It has also seen an increase in xenophobia and anti-immigration sentiments. How can Rainbow communities better support refugees and asylum seekers, including through advocating for changes to immigration policies?