Our research

Hohou Te Rongo Kahukura believes in the power of community voice, and hearing from everyone in Takatāpui and Rainbow communities.  We believe our many different lived experiences are best served by listening to each other, especially to those who do not always get to speak. Our research focuses on asking how we build Takatāpui and Rainbow communities without violence in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Uplifting Takatāpui and Rainbow Elder Voices:
Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi
We set out to find out what life is like for Takatāpui and Rainbow elders, in collaboration with Rainbow Hub Waikato.

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.

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

Read more about the research, or check out the report, factsheets, or listen to the sixteen podcasts. Recommendations focus on central and local government, services for older people, family and whanāu, and Takatāpui and Rainbow community groups.

In 2021, we explored the needs of Takatāpui and Rainbow young people with Rainbow Hub Waikato. Together, we held focus groups and ran a national survey to find out what young people in our communities want and need from healthy relationships and consent education.


“Education must tell us that there is no space where rainbow people/relationships don’t belong.”
Focus group participant, November 2020

Healthy Relationships and Consent Education: Through the lens of Rainbow identifying youth has recommendations for schools, healthy relationships and consent education facilitators, and everyone interested in supporting Takatāpui and Rainbow young people.

Our first research in 2015/16 gave us lots of information about the rates and kinds of violence in Takatāpui and Rainbow communities, what the impact of sexual and partner violence is, and how people are asking for help.

“Having easy access to a service that is obviously queer-friendly. Being able to find out information about that service easily, and being able to choose whether I contact them online or in person.”
Survey respondent, 2015

The information is available in several formats. There is a main report,  Building Rainbow Communities Free of Partner and Sexual Violence 2016, based on all responses from Rainbow community members.  There are also three targeted reports, written with feedback from people from these groups in the Rainbow community.  Please note, these reports may be distressing to read:

“It took me 7 years after I first experienced abuse to seek help. The barriers for me included worrying that orgs would be homo/biphobic and make assumptions that I am queer because of being abused.”
Survey respondent, 2015

There are also summary factsheets from our survey results:

“Knowing organisations that completely get the nuance of violence of all kinds that happen within our relationships. Not thinking that I’m gonna have to educate a support worker about how my relationship works based on diverse sexualities or genders.  Knowing that there are places which are kaupapa Māori who can do this as well.”
Survey respondent, 2015

Research to support specialist agencies to support Rainbow people
Our research has also contributed to shifting thinking and practice in family and sexual violence, to become safer for people from Rainbow communities asking for help.  Sandra wrote the Good Practice Guidelines for the sexual violence sector to support Rainbow survivors.

The Family Violence Workforce Capability Framework from the Ministry of Justice draws on recommendations from our research.  In particular, the Framework asks family violence agencies to:

  • build relationships with local Rainbow community groups
  • avoid pathologising Rainbow identities as causing or being the consequence of abuse
  • recognise that breaking sexuality and gender norms may make Rainbow people a target for family and sexual violence, including violence towards children inside families

Action Station’s call for increased funding for the sexual violence sector asks explicitly that Rainbow community needs be included in any increased funding.