Thankfully no one was inside at the time of the fire.

Tauranga’s LGBTQ+ community has been left devastated as police investigate a suspicious fire that has destroyed the city’s Rainbow Youth building.

The building is also shared by Gender Dynamix, an organisation that caters to gender-diverse people in the region.


Tauranga City Council said no one was in the building at the time of the fire, which occurred around 12.30 am this morning.

“Fire crews were quickly at the scene and prevented the fire from spreading to any other buildings in the village,” a council spokesperson said.

“Police have been on-site overnight and will carry out an investigation into the cause of the fire now it’s light.”

Police have said they are treating the fire as ‘suspicious’.

Rainbow Youth executive director Pooja Subramanian told RNZ they were devastated by the news but would begin work shortly to rebuild a new space.

“Not just for ourselves, but our wider community in Tauranga, it really just feels quite shocking.”

“We will do everything we can to set up a space for rangatahi as soon as possible”, Subramanian told RNZ.

A Givealittle has been started in response to the fire.

The fundraiser has already raised nearly $17,000 as of 4 pm on Thursday, 16 June.