National | Dr Elizabeth Kerekere

No rainbow specific funding embarrassing - Elizabeth Kerekere

Members of the rainbow community have expressed their "absolute disappointment"  at now new targeted funding for rainbow communities was announced in yesterday's government budget.

Auckland Pride director Max Tweedie says he would have liked to see government processes and programmes resourced to meet the need of the rainbow community.

“The government has a pretty solid legislative programme plan for this term around the rainbow community and fixing some of the rainbow legislative inequities.

“it would have been great for us to see some additional funding go in to support that programme” he said.

Rainbow spokesperson for the Greens Elizabeth Kerekere says the timing would have been perfect for an announcement on funding targeted for rainbow issues

“Monday - International day against homophobia biphobia, interphobia, transphobia and today is pink shirt day where we're looking at homophobic, transphobic that kind of bullying that goes into our schools. To see nothing in the budget for takatāpui, nothing in the budget for rainbow is incredibly disappointing.”

However, the Labour rainbow caucus chair Shanan Halbert is convinced the needs of the rainbow communities will be answered in other parts of the budget lines.

“I think if we asked our whanau in the rainbow community in Tāmaki Makaurau what their priorities are at the moment, they would have seen that in the budget for them. With the lift in benefits, that incredibly impacts on our rainbow communities.

“The investment in housing-  those are the core foundational priorities for our rainbow communities that this budget prioritises.”

Tweedie says Halbert could be right but not specifically naming the rainbow community in some of the funding streams would be detrimental.

“Sometimes what we see in that is we're made invisible through funding and we're not named as a priority enough in those general pools.”

Kerekere says she will be fighting to get takatāpui or rainbow unit included in the Māori Health Authority as a way to get better outcomes.