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Place made for LGBTQI

Greater Wellington Regional Council voted on Thursday to give LGBTQI+ people a seat at the Public Transport Advisory Group’s table.

The council’s agenda recommended the change because the minority group had not been included in the initial terms of reference for the committee.

The agenda asked the council to agree that an LGBTQIA+ perspective would help the advisory group provide a broad representation of perspectives and community needs.

It also asked the council to adopt the updated terms of reference for the public transport advisory group, to provide for up to 30 members and an LGBTQIA+ perspective.

LGBTQI+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, queer or questioning, asexual, and the “plus” encompasses anyone else who may come under a similar umbrella.

The LGBTQI+ community is often referred to as the “rainbow community”.

“Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are more likely to experience inequitable access to public transport and experience safety concerns,” the agenda said.

The terms of reference before the change included members from groups, including peak time transport users, rural, disability, tertiary students, the business and retail sector, and mana whenua Maori.

The council previously determined a daily meeting fee for the advisory group of $235 per member, scheduled to meet quarterly.

The related costs of increasing the membership from 20 to 30 will be covered within Metlink’s budget, the agenda said.

Wairarapa representative Adrienne Staples was also concerned that Wairarapa and Kapiti rural people could be conflated with Wellington’s rural public transport users living in areas like Makara, and they would miss out on representation on the committee.

“It doesn’t worry if it’s the active mode user is from Kapiti and the disability is from Wairarapa, so long as we have those regional voices,” she said.

Staples was assured by a council staffer that there was a provision in terms of reference for the geographic spread of members.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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