Grant Robertson, Jacinda Adern and ouisa Wall
Grant Robertson, Jacinda Adern and ouisa Wall

The New Zealand Labour Party have declared their goal to end HIV in the country by 2025 at the launch of their 2017 Rainbow Policy this evening in Auckland.

The HIV declaration is a feature of the policy which they will take into the next election to be held on 23 September.

Speaking at the launch, Grant Roberston, who is the Member for Wellington Central and spokesperson for Finance, Employment, Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage said that Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating for rainbow issues.

“The essential Labour position is that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and human rights. Every New Zealander must have the same basic rights, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics.

“Labour has reaffirmed its commitment to the rainbow community in New Zealand, and the next Labour Government will strive to empower people and ensure formal equality under the law, especially for trans* and intersex New Zealanders,” says Grant Robertson.

The launch of the Rainbow Policy follows on from a week where Andrew Little stood down as Labour leader and the party united behind Member for Mt Albert and friend of the rainbow community Jacinda Ardern.

Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern at the 2017 Big Gay Out in Auckland

Also speaking at the launch, Louisa Wall, who is the Member for Manurewa and spokesperson for Youth Affairs said the rainbow policy presents a strong focus on equality under the law, support for rainbow youth, positive aging, improved access to important services and healthcare, and the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025.

“We can end HIV in New Zealand by increasing access to sexual health services, testing, and early treatment; funding access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP); and supporting education, research, and community groups.

“Importantly, Labour will undertake an assessment of the need for gender reassignment surgery as an elective health service. This is a mental health and a suicide prevention initiative, especially for young trans New Zealanders.

“I’m proud of Labour’s advocacy and proud I could play a leading role in delivering marriage equality to all New Zealanders. Labour’s rainbow policy demonstrates our commitment to such a diverse, wonderful and important community in New Zealand,” says Louisa Wall.