Building a more inclusive New Zealand

We believe everyone should be free to be themselves – and today, we’ve taken the next step to make this a reality for more New Zealanders. We've just passed legislation to protect the rights of our LGBTQIA+ whānau, by prohibiting harmful conversion practices.

It’s a great day for our Rainbow communities, and a proud day for all New Zealand. With this, and other initiatives, we’re continuing Labour’s long history of standing with our Rainbow communities in the fight for justice and equality.  

Conversion practices are based on the false idea that people are wrong or broken because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Such practices and ideas have no place in a modern, inclusive country like Aotearoa.

We promised to ban conversion practices in our 2020 election manifesto, and now we’re delivering on that promise.

The just-passed Conversion Practices Prohibition Bill outlaws practices that are intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

This is a major step toward upholding the rights and dignity of LGBTQIA+ and takatāpui New Zealanders, and preventing the damage caused by these practices.

Under the new law, it will be an offence to perform conversion practices on anyone under 18 or with impaired decision-making, and to perform such practices on anyone where doing so causes serious harm.

This new legislation isn’t about criminalising open and respectful conversations about sexuality and gender. It’s been carefully designed to make sure that general expressions of religious beliefs or principles – as well as health practitioners or other people providing legitimate care and advice – won’t be penalised.

The new law also creates a pathway for people to raise complaints about conversion practices with the Human Rights Commission and Human Rights Review Tribunal, because prosecution won’t always be the best way to deal with conversion practices.

The Commission will also play an important role in providing education about conversion practices, and making sure survivors know how to access the support they need.

Labour has long been relentlessly proud, standing with our Rainbow communities, and we’re continuing that legacy. With this legislation, we’re sending a clear message that everyone deserves to be able to live freely, just as they are.

It’s just one of the ways we’re looking out for the LGBTQIA+ and takatāpui communities of Aotearoa.

From boosting mental health support to making it easier for gender-diverse people to change the sex on their birth certificates, we’re working hard to build a more inclusive New Zealand – one in which all people are safe and respected, no matter how they identify or who they love.

See more on our work to support our Rainbow communities here. Stay in the loop by signing up to our mailing list and following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.