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Out at PSA

PSA member David Do speaks at parliamentary select committee on marriage equality

An Asian New Zealander who found it easier to discuss his sexuality with MPs than his parents says legalising same-sex marriage would send a strong message of support to ethnic New Zealanders who felt trapped within traditional families.


David Do, who is New Zealand-born and of Chinese-Vietnamese descent, told a parliamentary select committee it was widely - and falsely - assumed that European New Zealanders supported gay marriage while Asian and Pacific communities opposed it.  Read more over at the Herald.

Research project update

Our study aims to explore the work experiences of gay, lesbian, intersex, transgender, takataapui, fa'afafine or bisexual (GLITTFAB) employees in the state and publicly funded sectors. The aim is to foster equal opportunities and inclusive workplaces. We have already carried out Phase 1 focus group research. The Phase 2 interviews explore workplace experiences of participants’ working lives in depth.


There is very little recent academic or other New Zealand research that addresses GLITTFAB issues in the workplace. This project is a collaboration between PSA and Victoria University Industrial Relations Centre, and uses a participatory model. A PSA steering committee is part of the research team, along with Dr Deborah Jones from Victoria (Principal researcher). Dionne Steven is presently conducting interviews on their behalf. The team is mostly made up of members of Out@PSA.


The aim of the interviews is to share and discuss the positives and difficulties of workplace experiences; considering how they have changed and what still needs to change; and exploring the roles of PSA, managers, HR practitioners, and colleagues in creating positive change. Where practically possible participants have been chosen to reflect a range of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, type of workplace, ethnicity, region and sector across the interviews.


The project has a strong practitioner focus, emphasising options for positive change, and addressing the role of human resources practitioners and union organisers. We also think GLITTFAB storIes are historically important, and participants have the option of agreeing to have their interview files stored in the Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa after the project is completed. These are owned by a Trust and housed in the Alexander Turnbull Library of the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington.


Growing our network

Colleen Smith; Dept of Conservation Golden Bay Area Office;; 03-525-7047


David Do; Tertiary Education Commission Wellington;; 04-462-5178


Gurv Singh; Auckland Council Takapuna Office;; 09-484-6278


Madeleine Drew, Co-convener; NZ Transport Agency Wellington;; 04-910-2550


Matt Keen, Co-convener; MidCentral DHB Palmerston North Hospital;; 06-350-8160/350-8176 


Sarah Cole; Parliamentary Service Wellington Executive Secretaries;; 04-817-6764/472-6003 


Out@PSA Organiser:
Art Daniel; PSA National Office Wellington;; 0508-367-772 or 027-454-6407.


Meet the member

Quick Facts about Madeleine Drew

*  Works as a Official Correspondence Coordinator for the NZ Transport Agency’s Wellington Regional Office
*  Been an Out@PSA delegate since 2012
*  Born in Palmerston North, lives in Ōtaki

*  Lived on a yacht for five years.

What do you do on an average day at work? 
I coordinate the response to Official Information Act requests, Ministerial letters and letters to the Board, so a lot of research and talking to people.


What was a highlight at work for you in the past month?
Highlights in the last month include attending a PSA workshop and the Out@PSA Select Committee submission on the ERA.

What bought you to join the PSA and the Out@PSA network?
Becoming a public servant got me to join the PSA; I was previously working in the not-for-profit sector.

Name one thing you like about Out@PSA network
Raising issues and representing queer workers

What is your vision for the Out@PSA network?
More of the above.

How about when you aren't at work?  What else do you like to do with your time?
Football, cycling, gardening, reading, scuba diving

What are your three favourite foods?
Mee Goreng, dark chocolate, black liquorice

What are your three loves?
Nature, networking, politics

What are your three pet peeves?
Politics, rubbish and bad drivers

What music are you listening to?

What book are you reading?
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

What advice would you give your 18year old self?
Come out already! Oh, and compound interest is a good thing.

Anything else you would like to add?
Not that I can think of.

Transitioning our son to a daughter

Maddi and her family
Seven-year-old schoolgirl Maddi loves dancing, the colour pink and wearing dresses. But only a year ago Maddi was known to her friends and family as ‘Maddokk’. She was born a boy.  Find a link below to an amazing story of courage, compassion, and understanding, written by Maddi’s father, Roland.  This article was first published on the Australian SBS network webpage, click here to read the whole story.


Tigers and bears

Caption this

Out@PSA members spent a great day together at Auckland Zoo the weekend of the Big Gay Out.


From left to right are pictured Colleen Smith, Art Daniel, & Gene Saunders.

Employment Relations Act submissions

The PSA has led the way in the fight against the Government’s proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act with 7495 form submissions and 345 personal submissions to the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee.  One of those personal submissions was submitted by Out@PSA and a representative group of our network spoke to the select committee on the submission including Madeleine Drew, Gene Saunders, Kirsten Windelov, and Art Daniel.  Click here to read our full submission.


Out@Work Kamp

Out@PSA was well represented by a dozen network members at the CTU’s Out@Work biennial Kamp held at Paekakariki in May. Highlights of the two day Kamp included presentation of the new Diversity Training Manual for Union Staff and Delegates and various panel discussions including a diverse group of politicians, intersex, and transgender folk. Out@PSA delegate, Sarah Cole, did an outstanding job putting together the programme. Many said it was the best Kamp ever and participants left empowered to make a positive change for the rainbow community in their workplaces! Out@Work is the rainbow network of union members affiliated with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions.



Gender and sexual diversity resource

Delegates to the New Zealand Council of Trade Union’s Biennial Conference, held on 9 & 10 October, unanimously voted to support the introduction of a training programme on the implementation in all CTU affiliated unions of the Out@Work Gender and Sexual Diversity Resource. Out@Work is the rainbow network of CTU affiliated union members.


After several years’ of development this Out@Work resource will soon be released to provide training for union delegates and organisers. The resource was developed by Eleanor Butterworth and Mani Mitchell.


PSA seconded the motion to adopt the resource at the Biennial Conference and Out@PSA Organiser, Art Daniel, spoke to the motion. Please see the text below:


PSA supports this remit and is committed to rolling out the Gender and Sexual Diversity Resource in PSA itself and in our workplaces. We advocate for inclusive workplace cultures where everyone’s integrity is supported and where workers are treated, and treat others, with respect. We want workplaces where members are supported, valued as individuals and able to contribute. If individuals are on the “outside” then both they and the workplace lose out. This interactive resource is a valuable and practical tool designed to achieve these outcomes for Rainbow workers. At CTU’s Out@Work Kamp this year we trialed the resource. It’s adaptable, motivating, and builds understanding. It’s an awesome, inexpensive resource. PSA urges passage of this remit.


Marriage Equality

Full equal marriage rights are now in force for all regardless of gender or sexual orientation! The PSA is proud to have been part of the impressive effort by so many groups and individuals to make this a reality.


At the request of the Executive Board the Out@PSA network was surveyed regarding their opinions on the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill. Our network was overwhelmingly in support. Consequently the Executive Board supported a formal submission to the parliamentary select committee.


Brenda Pilot, PSA National Secretary, expertly led the delegation, including organisers Nick Kelly and Art Daniel, to Parliament, as one of the first groups scheduled to speak. The PSA was commended by Chairperson, Ruth Dyson, for an excellent submission. Click here the full submission.


Marriage equality: a personal story

Kia ora Koutou


I’m taking a moment to acknowledge the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill….. te pai kē!


For me it’s not so much about wanting to marry my partner of 31 years. Even if I was in a straight relationship I wouldn’t want to ‘marry’. Everything about our lives together symbolizes what people strive for in a marriage.. and we’ve had the good the bad the ugly and stood the test of time, we are married, bar the ceremony. For those who want to celebrate with their darlings in wed, enjoy! Life is good.


What sent a flutter to my heart was the fact that I can now be ‘legally’ recognised as a parent. My partner and I have raised her son and a nephew as our own. They are both now wonderful young men with children of their own.. which makes us Grannies. We have 3 beautiful darling moko. Our relationship hasn’t been an issue in our whanau so did not become an issue for our boys and so it will continue through their children and their children’s’ children.


Something as simple as attitude is all it takes to make a difference to generations.


Kia pai tenei ra mou!’


Glenda Harris, 
Out@PSA network member


Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act Questions and Answers

How has the law changed?
The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Act enables couples to marry regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. The new statutory definition of marriage in the Marriage Act defines marriage as "the union of two people, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity."



When is the first day a same sex couple can get married?
The first day a same sex couple can get married is the day the Marriage Amendment Act comes into force. The Act will fully come into force on 19 August 2013. Regulations providing new forms for couples to use to give notice of their intended marriage came into force on 16 August 2013. The new notification of intention of marriage forms have been available from 12 August in preparation for 19 August. A couple needs to complete the appropriate form and one of the couple needs to appear in person at a Registry Office to sign the statutory declaration. This can happen no earlier than Friday 16 August. The marriage licence and associated documents will be ready for collection on Monday 19 August. The marriage is then able to take place. Couples coming from overseas please refer to If I live in another country, what do I have to do to get married in New Zealand? (see below).



If I have a civil union, then want to get married to my partner, what is involved?
As a couple in a civil union who wish to continue in a relationship with each other, you may change the form of your relationship to a marriage without having to formally dissolve your civil union. You will be required to produce evidence of your current civil union when you complete a ‘Notice of Intended Marriage, change of relationship from civil union’ form and pay the fee.



If I live in another country, what do I have to do to get married in New Zealand?
If you are applying for the marriage licence from outside of New Zealand, the only difference is in regards to the form you complete (i.e. BDM 58: ‘Notice of Intended Marriage where both parties ordinarily resident outside New Zealand.’ A new, updated version of this form will be available on 12 August, 2013).


If you are overseas, the statutory declaration may be signed by a Commonwealth Representative, and then sent to the Registry Office in New Zealand closest to where you will be married. This notice should arrive at least a week before you intend to get married. If it is convenient, you can have the declaration witnessed by a Commonwealth Representative at our London or Sydney office. Alternatively, you can complete everything on the form except the declaration and send it (with payment) to the Registry Office in New Zealand closest to where you will be married. When you arrive in New Zealand, you then need to visit that office, sign the declaration and collect the marriage licence. Or, you can travel to New Zealand, pay the fee and fill out the form here in front of a local Registrar and then three days later a marriage licence and associated documentation would be ready for collection and a marriage can take place. Please note that the recognition of your New Zealand marriage is subject to the laws of your home country.


What will a marriage licence cost?
The fee for a marriage licence or to give notice of a change of relationship is the same - $122.60 if using an approved marriage celebrant, or $173.70 if having a Registry Office ceremony.



Will you still be able to choose ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ on marriage forms?
Yes, ‘bride’ and ‘bridegroom’ remain as terms on the marriage forms. Alternatively, individuals may choose to refer to themselves as ‘partners’ should they wish. The terms that the couple choose will appear on marriage certificates issued after the marriage is registered.


Can a celebrant or church minister refuse to marry a same sex couple?
The Marriage Act authorises but does not oblige any marriage celebrant to solemnise a marriage. This is unchanged by the Marriage Amendment Act. However this is further reinforced by the Amendment Act which states that no religious or organisational celebrant is obliged to solemnise a marriage that would contravene religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of a religious body or approved organisation.



If someone has the license to officiate at civil unions, will they automatically be able to perform marriages?
No. Marriages and civil unions are administered under different Acts. To 'solemnise' or conduct marriages, a person must be approved in accordance with the Marriage Act 1955 and have their name published as a Marriage Celebrant in the New Zealand Gazette. There are three types of marriage celebrant: independent; Ministers of religious bodies; and organisational:

*  Independent Marriage Celebrants - persons appointed by the Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages as marriage celebrants and who operate independent of churches and organisations. Only those persons appointed by the Registrar-General as Marriage Celebrants and whose names appear in the List of Marriage Celebrants in the New Zealand Gazette and at have the authority to solemnise marriages in New Zealand.

*  Ministers of religious bodies (as specified in Schedule 1 of the Marriage Act 1955) – each of these religious bodies nominates its ministers, and the ministers’ names are published in the New Zealand Gazette and on

*  Organisational celebrants – approval is granted to certain organisations that have as one of their principal objects the upholding or promotion of religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions; these organisations then nominate their designated celebrants and the names are published in the New Zealand Gazette and on


To 'solemnise' or conduct civil unions, a person must be approved by the Registrar-General in accordance with the Civil Union Act 2004 and have their name published as a Civil Union Celebrant in the New Zealand Gazette and at 




Isn’t There a “B” in LGBT? A Look at Biphobia.

Follow the link for a thought provoking commentary on Biphobia from