28 Jun 2015

NZ told to fund more transgender operations

9:14 pm on 28 June 2015

Labour MP Louisa Wall says New Zealand needs to fund more transgender operations.

Louisa Wall.

Louisa Wall. Photo: LABOUR PARTY

Ms Wall, who introduced the legislation that legalised same-sex marriage, said the transgender community needed more support than it was currently getting from the Government.

She said more than 60 people were on the waiting list for sex reassignment surgeries and action needed to be taken.

"These are people who are wanting access to what is a medical procedure, who can't in New Zealand because we don't have the surgeons."

Ms Wall said the Government was supposed to fund three male-to-female operations and one female-to-male operation every two years, but none had been done for three years.

She said New Zealand needed to recognise discrimination on gender identity in its human rights legislation.

Ms Wall said the only legal barriers still facing New Zealand's gay community targeted the transgender and intersex people.

Ms Wall said under the current Human Rights Act it was illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation but gender identity should be added.

"The Crown's position is that it's already in legislation under the definition of sex, but for the community they actually want to see definitions that they think describe them in our legislation."

Ms Wall said New Zealand still had a long way to go to meet the needs of the transgender and intersex community.