Police staff are invited to take part in New Zealand’s first National Rainbow Conference, led by Police and the Department of Corrections.
The conference aims to underline the public sector’s commitment to diversity and build trust and confidence among Rainbow communities and the wider population.
It is being held at Unitec Institute of Technology, Mt Albert, Auckland, on 8 and 9 November.
The conference will involve staff from public-facing agencies including Police, Corrections, the Human Rights Commission, Fire, Ambulance and Customs.
Inspector Tracy Phillips, Rainbow Connections Diversity Liaison Officer in Tāmaki Makaurau, says the conference was born from recognition of a gap in training, development and networking among public sector agencies on Rainbow matters.
It was also clear non-government agencies and support networks had no forum to network or engage with regulatory and government agencies.
“Diversity conferences and events traditionally focused on empowering women in the workplace and have not looked at Rainbow inclusion,” says Tracy.
“This conference shows a serious commitment to diversity in the workplace and also in dealing with Rainbow communities.
“This is an opportunity for our staff to help break down barriers and stereotypes to support friends, colleagues, whānau, and community.”
The conference will also be an opportunity to link with non-government organisations which specialise in Rainbow matters.
It is anticipated most of those attending will be those working directly with LGBTIQ+ communities, with capacity for chief executives to attend to learn more and support their people.
“We want to provide staff with tools, contacts, networks and knowledge to better understand and work with Rainbow communities to reduce harm and increase trust and confidence,” says Tracy.
“Secondly, we need to increase and demonstrate a genuine commitment to working better with Rainbow communities.
“It is very much about moving from tolerance to inclusion and sharing the work being done so it is genuine, sustainable and visible.
“This conference provides a visible platform to increase knowledge and understanding, share what works and challenge ourselves to think differently for different results.”
For more information go to the NZ Police LinkedIn page.