Uplifting Takatāpui and Rainbow Elder Voices

Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi.

“Unfortunately some people still exhibit biases toward Takatāpui people. It is up to us, society and the communities we work and live in to support change to happen.” Māori lesbian Takatāpui person, 65-69 years

This project heard from:

  • 424 Takatāpui and Rainbow elders via online survey
  • 17 Māori, Pasifika and ethnic people via six focus groups
  • 11 Takatāpui and Rainbow elders via in person interviews

These voices are shared in a report, three factsheets, and sixteen podcasts. Recommendations focus on central and local government, services for older people, family and whanāu, and Takatāpui and Rainbow community groups.

“I find it difficult to join in with groups due to anxiety. Most of my life was religiously based and it is hard to discuss things with others as I have not had the exposure to other rainbow groups as I only came out a few years ago.”Māori gay man, 65-69 years

We set out to find out what life is like for Takatāpui and Rainbow elders.

Underneath this broad question sat two desires – to advocate for meaningful inclusion of the needs of Takatāpui and Rainbow older people in strategies, policies and services for older people in Aotearoa, and identify any specific risks of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

“No one who lives here in my home town knows anything about my life or should I say my personal or private life.”Pasifika bisexual woman, 75-79 years

Woven throughout is the specific, generational contexts our elders have lived through – rampant discrimination and exclusion, including the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s; a more narrow focus than the significant diversity recognised now inside Takatāpui and Rainbow communities; and fierce resistance, pride and celebration that has literally changed our world.

“Ending up in a rest home with transphobic staff who won’t recognise me as being a woman.” NZ European/Pākehā trans woman, 65-69 years


See below for the full report, available in the form of a downloadable PDF.


See below for easy-to-read research snapshots in the form of a downloadable 3-page PDF.

Sixteen Episode Podcast

Eleven Takatāpui and Rainbow elders took part in our interviews, and consented to share their voices in sixteen interview podcasts. Each podcast features multiple voices, sharing very different lived experiences. The podcasts include:

  • Ageing – freedom, changes and ageism
  • Belonging, acceptance and surviving discrimination
  • Community hopes and dreams

…And more!

We are grateful to the many organisations who helped us reach elders, all over Aotearoa, and all the Takatāpui and Rainbow elders who took part.

“Between 1986 and 1998 I lost 44 NZ age peer friends – incl my partner of 22 years – and 38 died of HIV-AIDS related illnesses.”Another ethnicity, gay man, 75-79 years

“I yearn to meet with people like me but don’t know where to find them.” NZ European/Pākehā non-binary person, 65-69 years