When our government was passing legislation to ban conversion practices in Aotearoa, I heard gruelling stories about the discrimination many rangatahi faced growing up. I want to help change that.

Education empowers us to reach our full potential, so we must accelerate the work with schools and teachers to promote safe and inclusive environments – school should be a place that protects children. But any progress made in this area recently is now at risk.

The new Government signed a deal agreeing to the removal and replacement of the gender, sexuality, and relationship-based education guidelines. These resources were created to answer the call of teachers and communities for more action against bullying, violence and child abuse. Taking the axe to them will be incredibly damaging for years to come.


Hundreds of New Zealanders have signed petitions to save the guidelines, and this week the Mental Health Foundation called on the government to reconsider their plans.
It’s more important than ever that we support and nurture our rainbow youth, and a key report on the use of puberty blockers is due out shortly and may have an impact on gender diverse rangitahi.

While I’m confident that Te Whatua Ora will work through a thorough and careful process, and the use of puberty blocker medication will continue to be prescribed safely by clinicians, it’s really important our rangatahi are protected and respected if a debate arises in the media.

People need to be supported in their decisions around any medication, and maintaining access to support for patients and whanau is incredibly important.

I’m always here to talk if you’d like to have a conversation about what this might mean for you or a child in your life.

Article | Labour MP Shanan Halbert. Funded by Parliamentary Service.
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