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Thursday 10 November 2016

The AKL Council's new rainbow guidelines

Posted in: Our Communities
By - 9th September 2016

The Auckland Council’s new Rainbow Communities Engagement Guidelines will help to ensure Council staff provide LGBTI-friendly options when gathering demographic information and be inclusive when marketing to the public.

The inaugural Auckland Council Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel
Previous Co-Chair of the Auckland Council Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel, Jordon Harris has highlighted some of the key areas this set of guidelines covers and says they “are a significant and important piece of work and Auckland Council’s adoption of it will help to ensure that Auckland is the world’s most liveable city for all of us.

He says “It is a first of its kind in New Zealand and the end result would not have happened without the great minds I have had the privilege to work alongside within the Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel.

“This resource has cemented best practise for Auckland Council when dealing with our communities. These simple guidelines are steps to finding the best way for Rainbow communities to have a strong voice in Auckland and influence decision making, for our people to feel safe, welcome and included and for all council sectors and interests working together to understand, voice and act on issues and needs for our communities. This is a great thing.”

The guidelines are an internal Council document and are available to all council and council-controlled organisation staff.

Harris says “These guidelines will be reviewed by Auckland Council staff prior to engaging our communities, it helps to educate them on the diversity of our communities and ways to engage and communicate with us, so we don’t get missed or left out. It covers how to be inclusive in their marketing, choosing appropriate event venues and spaces, even providing options when gathering demographic information. These guidelines are a step closer to creating a sense of belonging and enabling investment in Auckland from Rainbow Communities.”

The Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel was established in September 2015 and the engagement guidelines were identified very early on as a key component of the panel’s work plan for the term that ended yesterday.

“The panel’s greater work plan focused on four main area’s inclusiveness and engagement health, safety and well-being, events, arts and culture and research on rainbow communities in Auckland,” says Harris. “Some of the panel’s other achievements include helping deliver the council’s pilot programme to introduce all-gender signage to the accessible toilets in staff buildings, a presence at the Love Your Condom Big Gay Out 2016 where around 400 surveys were completed, providing Auckland Council with insights into GLBTI issues, a workshop with the council’s Youth Advisory Panel to discuss future collaboration on homelessness and rainbow youth issues and a collaboration with council staff for the 30th anniversary of the passing of the Homosexual Law Reform legislation.

“The panel also helped facilitate a gathering of Local Boards at the Auckland Town Hall where all 21 Local Boards were asked to appoint a portfolio holder for rainbow communities to address issues facing rainbow communities at a local level. More than 10 Local Boards responded and created portfolio holders for rainbow communities.”

With the end of the term for the Auckland Council Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel as of yesterday, future terms of the panels will be a decision made by the incoming Mayor.

- 9th September 2016

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