OUT@PSA is the network for PSA members who identify as non-binary, gay, lesbian, intersex, transgender, takataapui, fa'afafine or bisexual. We aim to promote respectful, diverse and inclusive workplaces and public services.
OUT@PSA has an active presence in a number of Rainbow/Queer activities every year, these include but are not limited to Big Gay Out, Auckland Pride March, Wellington International Pride Parade and Out In The City. Participants include OUT@PSA network members, allied PSA members, PSA staff and supporters.
Other initiatives and activities have included ILGA conferences, the NZ Council of Trade Unions’ Out@Work conferences, training in the Out@Work Resource for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Picnic at Parliament, Parliamentary submissions and representation on the Standards NZ committee to formulate the first government Rainbow standard in the world.
We spoke last week on Zoom presenting to two parliamentary Select Committees with a unified and passionate voice to protect our Tamariki, Mokopuna, and Rainbow Whanau. Allowing them to identify and to express their gender markers in a modern way that is efficient for the public service as well as the people using our services.
The changes these pieces of legislation would enact, with the recommendations we have suggested with the guidance from our communities, will improve the outcomes of many working in the public service, and the experience of many more who are accessing these same services.
I am a non-binary person and am currently the convener of the Out@PSA Network. As a member of the PSA, I (with the support of the collective voices of 80,000 members across the wider public service) push for policies and action that improve public services and the working conditions of those who deliver them.
The Out Network was created specifically to improve the well-being of Rainbow public service workers and to ensure our voices are heard. Therefore, we take a particular interest in the welfare of our rainbow members at work and issues impacting our communities more widely.
We want workplaces where our members can bring their whole selves to work safely, and with dignity, free from risk and prejudice.
I was able to present powerful oral submissions to two parliamentary Select Committees on the Births, Deaths, Marriages, and Relationships Registration Bill and the Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill.
Presenting to well respected Wāhine Toa, kaitiaki in the Rainbow Spaces, and other Members of Parliament was an anxious moment for someone who finds public speaking a hard thing to do. With powerful, factual, and emboldened statements that highlighted historical and progressive parts of the Rainbow and wider progressive movement, our submissions drew great praise from these Committees.
However, it highlighted gross inadequacies in our society still today and the toll it takes on our Rainbow communities. It also highlighted how it affects more than them, like their whānau and loved ones – and where our government is needed to step in and make progressive change to protect our elders and future elders for all our mokopuna and their mokopuna.
This frank conversation was needed, and these changes and opinions had to be heard, as in 2021 these practices are archaic, confusing, limiting, and burdensome for the Rainbow Community. If allowed to continue to status quo, it meant a commitment to an unfair and multitiered society for some of the most vulnerable communities here in Aotearoa. Tamariki deserve the right to choose their own destinies and their full potential without coercion or to be excluded for expressing their best facets of their identity.
To close off this memo to our Union, the following are actions Unions must support and be involved with:
We are not broken, and we do not need to be fixed.
We need our government to uplift the voices of every Rainbow person, in social policy and certainly in human rights.
We need a government that dares stands up to discrimination and fights back.
When we support each other there is no longer the need to compete and compare ourselves with others to see if we’re good enough.
But instead, it enables us to complement others with the strengths we each have.
Our whanau is better when we support the strengths and successes of each member. The next generation of Tamariki will look at today in awe that we as New Zealanders have said enough is enough: we all deserve to be safe and valued in Aotearoa, especially in 2021
Our communities are stronger. Our regions and cities are stronger. Our nation of Aotearoa New Zealand, and the team of 5 million is stronger.
When we are stronger together; we will succeed together.
We are the protectors and nurturers of the next generation.
It is our responsibility to ensure these tamariki and mokopuna are fully geared up to live good, proud, and safe lives.
He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people
Yours in solidarity,
Nga Mihi nui.
National Office Delegate for Oranga Tamariki and Convener of the Out@PSA Network,
Nicholas (Nico) Haustein, They/Them
Where to watch these submissions:
Inquiry into Supplementary Order Paper 59 on the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill – PSA presents from 20 minutes from the start - hearing of evidence (22 September 2021, part I)
Conversion Practices Prohibition Legislation Bill, this bill is an omnibus bill to prohibit conversion practices that seek to change or suppress a person's sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. – PSA presents from the start of the video – Hearing of Evidence (24 September 2021)
OUT@PSA has had a presence at many Pride events for years, to support our rainbow whanau while increasing our engagement with existing and prospective PSA members, as well as many others from our wider rainbow communities.
The decision to participate in any particular event is made by the OUT@PSA committee, which is comprised of a number of PSA members representing our diverse rainbow membership.
Look OUT for us at the following events this year:
|Event and City||Date||Information|
|Big Gay Out
Point Chevalier, Auckland
|14 February 2021||Registration is required in order to receive a free ticket (due to Covid 19 restrictions).
This community event is a part of Auckland Pride Month, February 2021.
See Facebook for more details.
|Auckland Pride March
Albert Park, CBD
|27 February 2021||
PSA member and delegate Elisabeth Laird will be the contact person for PSA members attending this event. Please contact Elisabeth directly to indicate your attendance and request an OUT@PSA network T-Shirt:
|Pride Picnic Outing
|21 March 2021||
Taking place at Victoria Park, 123 Percival Street, Rangiora.
Hosted by North Canterbury Pride.
|Out In The City Wellington||27 March 2021||Public opening time is 10am.
This community event is a part of Wellington Pride Festival, 21 February – 8 March 2021, at the Michael Fowler Centre.
See Facebook for more details.
|Pride Hikoi Wellington||27 March 2021||
Safety briefing at 9:45am
|Auckland Rainbow Pride Parade
Ponsonby Road, Auckland
Unfortunately, due to conflicting events, OUT@PSA will not formally be a part of this event in 2021. We look forward to participating in 2022.
|27 March 2021
6:00 - 7:00
This is a walking parade. If you plan to attend, why not walk with PSA?
Phone: 027 277 8146
|10 April||See Facebook for more details, or try www.WIPP.nz|
|Whanganui Pride Walk 2021
River Traders Market
|Saturday 24 April||
This is a family friendly event for all.
ASB Pride in the Park
|Friday 3 September||
This event is a part of Winter Pride, which runs from August 27 to September 5.
The pride pledge is an initiative which aims to raise visibility for safe space in our communities. The focus is to raise awareness of the values of safety, inclusiveness and health for all LGBTTQ+ (rainbow) people.
All people can participate in this: whether you are a rainbow person or not, as we all can make our support of the "rainbow" community visible in our workplaces, social spaces and any place where we connect with others.
The PSA recently held it’s bi-annual Congress with four OUT@PSA committee members in attendance. Read on for Nico, Theresa, Caleb and Tatiana's collective experiences of what it was like to be a-part of Congress 2020.
Convener for OUT@PSA
To be attending Congress during one of the most economical and politically challenging years in modern history was extremely daunting for a quiet and introverted individual, however the adrenaline rush that would course through my body when I stood up as the convener for our proud network put any nervousness to rest and allowed my passionate and heart felt questions, demands to be heard and raised to those that hold the power in our union, being the delegates and the Executive Board .
I wanted to show that the OUT@PSA stood for collective change and holding the executive to account; pushing more action to be done especially surrounding protections for our diverse rainbow community, especially those in the trans community that often bear the brunt of the discrimination in the work force. I had the honour along with Theresa to speak with Workplace Relations Minster, Michael Wood, who has warmly invited the committee to have a sit down meeting in 2021 to engage with the rainbow community on how we build in protections for Trans and Rainbow communities in the workforce; as we have a grand opportunity to capitalise on the most diverse and inclusive government in the world as of the 2020 General Election in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
I challenged all Presidential candidates that were asking for our votes, to truly represent all members of the union, but, to also show solidarity for us in the rainbow community that are normally excluded from many conversations had in unions and government have and that there is still a strong sense of fear about being truly open and ourselves in the workplace. I raised that there were many of us unfortunately even in 2020 that must shield our true identities to ensure that we can remain in our employment, not to be excluded or bullied for being ourselves and that this needs to change!
There is lots more to say in regards to Congress 2020, but this could span several pages; but, what I got out of this experience was a greater understanding of the Union and a strong new direction for the Committee in 2021, this is also a great opportunity to show to our membership and the wider PSA that this Network isn’t solely focused on Pride and the events surrounding this, but that the committee for the other 11 months is actively bargaining for greater support and representation for the rainbow community in the PSA and workplaces.
It was great- I’m really glad I went, even though three days out of the office this time of year was a stretch. I feel I learned a whole lot more about how the PSA operates and what influence we can have; it has also piqued my interest to be more involved within the PSA and the Committee.
I was struck by the passion of all the delegates and that opinions could be voiced, Te Rūnanga o Ngā Toa Āwhinawould sometimes tautoko or disparage by waiata.
I did sense that there is a bit of the ‘old guard’ who may be a bit resistant to change and allowing others to have more of a voice- especially on the board or in governance. Overall, it was a welcoming and vibrant congress and I feel privileged to have attended.
There is an aphorism attributed to Otto von Bismarck, ‘to retain respect for sausages and laws, one must not watch them in the making’. This quip came to mind while at Congress. As the highest decision making body we have as a union, the business of setting the PSA’s agenda is sometime messy, uncomfortable business to watch. As always it was an energising and affirming experience for why I’m part of the union movement, but this year it was also particularly edifying. The lesson to me was we need to be doing more.
More consensus. All of us in the PSA need to be reaching out to each other with our issues, our concerns and our work. We need to be alongside each other more, offering support in all the diverse work our union undertakes. While we are reaching out within, we should be looking reach out and across to weave a stronger progressive social movement.
More visible. As a network for workers of diverse sexual orientation and gender identity and expression we need to make sure we and our work is seen. We can’t take for granted that our rainbow perspective will be appreciated and given space and support. We need to be clear and direct about why it is important we are included through being vocal, visible and valued/able.
More progressive. We need to demonstrate how we can and are building a better future, not only for our membership but for all workers and all New Zealanders. As a union we are an exceptionally strong voice and vehicle for taking progressive thinking and putting it to action.
The reason for all this more is to ensure less. Less letting inequality and inequity become entrench and exacerbated by prevailing circumstances and inaction. This is a moment of opportunity for many reasons and we need to take it and ask for more.
Attending PSA Congress was an incredible experience, and one I recommend to every member should the opportunity arise for you in future years. This year I attended with the delegation from PSA Youth, but as an Out@PSA Committee member we all made sure to touch base with our little Out caucus as much as we could.
It is one thing as a delegate or convenor to represent and stand up for your members day to day, and quite another to be at Congress and feel the full mana of the union movement around you. Every person at Congress is there not just as an individual, but a leader of people. I spoke a couple of times with questions or in support of various motions, and each time felt the weight of responsibility alongside the courage in knowing that we came with a mandate from all of you.
The most tense moment for me, and the one that will stay with me was easily when we came to the motion put forward by the Public Service Sector for all Rules to be rewritten to have gender neutral wording. Though I had faith in our comrades I am sure all my fellow gentle-theys understand that we all collectively held our breath and sighed in relief when there was not a single speaker against the motion nor even a thinly veiled question. Tidying up our Rules to reflect the growth in language and the acceptance of non-binary identity is a stride in the right direction for the PSA.
One of the things that stood out particularly for me was the presence of Sign Language interpreters for our comrades in the Deaf and Disabled network. Sitting with the other delegates from their respective networks means we had a front row seat to the combination of all official languages of Aotearoa over the three days. It was indicative to me of the strides we have taken towards inclusivity and accessibility, and the steps we still must take so we can all communicate clearly with each other.
Another highlight was in being present to witness the victories of the Pasefika Network. Whatever the arguments were against the Va Moana delegates and Pasefika having a seat at the Executive Board, no one could argue against the joy in the room when the President confirmed each motion. Being present to tautoko that joy and celebration was an honour and I was pleased to stand in solidarity with the Pasefika Network.
In conclusion, I feel that I walked away inspired, energized, and ready to keep fighting for the best for our members.
The OUT@PSA leadership committee
PSA staff supporting OUT@PSA
Network Organiser: Gene Saunders (email@example.com)
Network Organising Administrator: Sean O’Kane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rainbow Youth is an Auckland-based organisation that provides support, information, advocacy and education.
Rainbow Wellington is a group representing the interests of, and organising social functions and activities in the greater Wellington region.
We have strong links to the Council of Trade Unions' Out@Work network. Council meetings are held quarterly in Wellington. Please email us for details if you wish to attend.
Rainbow Auckland is a group representing the interests of, and organising social functions and activities in the Auckland region.
Since 1998, EI has been working for the rights of its members and is now working on formulating recommendations and policies.
The gQ Network is an informal Wellington-based network government sector employees and their friends. gQ Network stands for `government Queer Network' sign up at email@example.com
The Cross Agency Rainbow Network is a forum for collaborating and sharing information to help our member Agencies on their own rainbow network journey, and to advocate for the rainbow community internally and externally across the public sector.
ILGA World – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association - is a worldwide federation of more than 1,600 organisations from over 150 countries and territories campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex human rights.
ITANZ is a New Zealand registered charitable trust and provides information, education and training for organisations and professionals who provide services to intersex people and their families.
The New Zealand AIDS Foundation (NZAF) provides HIV tests, free counselling, HIV prevention and HIV research.
OutLine is an all-ages rainbow mental health organisation providing support to the rainbow community, their friends, whānau, and those questioning. We provide a nationwide, free and confidential 0800 support line for people who want to speak to a trained volunteer from the rainbow community.
We work across New Zealand to increase human rights standards in law, policy and practice. As New Zealand’s national human rights institution we work for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.