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This website aims to provide accessible information about the legal rights of rainbow* young people in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

RainbowYOUTH and YouthLaw have worked hard to research and bring together information about the various legal rights afforded to people living in Aotearoa, and how they relate to queer, intersex and gender diverse people. 

We hope that this website will act as a helpful tool to empower anyone to get information about their rights and learn how to access support if they think these rights have been breached.

About Us

Please note

This website is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for seeking legal advice.  Remember that what is written in law and how it is applied can change depending on each person’s situation.

RainbowYOUTH and YouthLaw recommend that you reach out to YouthLaw (or any of the other services referred to on this website) to seek further advice about your particular circumstances, and the potential next steps available to you.


YouthLaw is a free community law centre for children and young people nationwide.  We provide free legal services to anyone aged under 25 who are unable to access legal help elsewhere, or those acting on their behalf.  We’re a registered charity (CC10505) and we’re part of the nationwide community law centre network.  We’re the only organisation operating across NZ where children and young people can access free legal services just for them.

We provide four main services to children and young people:



RainbowYOUTH (est.1989) is a charitable organisation dedicated to helping young queer and gender diverse (LGBTIQ) people up to the ages of 27, as well as their wider communities. At RainbowYOUTH, we’re about fostering a safe, inclusive, accepting and diverse family environment. We are drug, smoke, and alcohol free.
Our motto is Know Who You Are, Be Who You Are. Tīwhanawhana Trust in Wellington have gifted us a version of our motto in te reo Maori: Whāia tō ake ngākaunui, i te pono i te mārama. Simply translated, it means: Follow your desires with truth and clarity.

Our Services:

  • Information:  resources, a queer & gender diverse library, research.
  • Advocacy: we advocate on behalf of queer & gender diverse young people wherever they face discrimination.
  • Drop-in centres: a safe space, free wifi, drug, alcohol and smoke free.
  • Peer-support groups: 7 locations around the north island, drug, alcohol and smoke free, free & friendly peer support for LGBTIQ youth.
  • Support: non-judgmental & free advice and referral pathways.
  • Consultation: we consult on policy, procedures and services that affect queer and gender diverse youth.
  • Training & youth development: providing CV references and training for our volunteers in courses such as first aid, crisis, and facilitation.


Thanks to…

We’d like to acknowledge our funders for their support of this resource: It’s Not Okay Campaign, Sir John Logan Campbell Residuary Estate, LUSH and Netsafe


A special thanks to:

  • the team at Russell McVeagh who assisted us with drafting the material for the website
  • Maddy Oldfield for producing the drawings for our site.

* Use of “Rainbow”

This website uses the word “rainbow” as an umbrella term to mean people of diverse sexualities and gender identities as well as intersex people. Terms that are commonly used to describe these identities include lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, FtM, MtF, trans man, trans woman and agender. Common terms used in cultural contexts present in Aotearoa that fall under the rainbow umbrella are takatāpui (Māori), fa'afafine (Samoa), fakaleiti (Tonga), akava’ine (Cook Islands) and vaka sa lewa lewa (Fiji).