Fo­rum for Rain­bow is­sues

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The pro­posed Rain­bow Com­mu­nity Ad­vi­sory Panel for Auck­land Coun­cil passed the first step to be­com­ing a re­al­ity late last month. Auck­land’s Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment and Safety Com­mit­tee sup­ported its for­ma­tion on March 18.

The cost of es­tab­lish­ing a panel is es­ti­mated at $35,000 for re­cruit­ment and al­most $117,000 an­nu­ally for on­go­ing costs. If for­mally ap­proved by coun­cil on April 30, it will pro­vide a plat­form to ad­dress the is­sues of Auck­land’s gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual, trans­gen­der and in­ter­sex com­mu­nity.

A re­port pre­sented to the com­mit­tee ex­plained that peo­ple of rain­bow com­mu­ni­ties, and in par­tic­u­lar peo­ple of di­verse gen­der iden­tity, still face legal and so­cial ob­sta­cles that im­pede their abil­ity to lead their lives fully.

Coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey says the panel is a log­i­cal and nec­es­sary evo­lu­tion of the Rain­bow Door Ref­er­ence Group es­tab­lished in 2010.

‘‘The Rain­bow Door Group has pro­vided an in­valu­able ser­vice by of­fer­ing an in­for­mal fo­rum for both rain­bow and main­stream ser­vice providers to meet with the coun­cil to dis­cuss con­cerns, is­sues and op­por­tu­ni­ties. But it’s time to take that to the next level,’’ she said.

Auck­land’s rain­bow com­mu­nity has been ask­ing for for­mal rep­re­sen­ta­tion for many years from suc­ces­sive coun­cils, Casey says. The ad­vi­sory panel pro­vides strate­gic ad­vice to the coun­cil on im­por­tant is­sues and howit should en­gage with that com­mu­nity and its stake­hold­ers.

A Se­niors Ad­vi­sory Panel was re­cently cre­ated to rep­re­sent the in­ter­ests of older Auck­lan­ders.

Pho­tos: BREN­DAN KITTO

Top street artists will trans­form a se­lec­tion of Karanga­hape Rd’s blank walls as part of the an­nual All Fresco Art Fes­ti­val from April 10 to 12.

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