Forum for Rainbow issues
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.
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.