AUCKLAND, New Zealand, June 6, 2014 (  Residents in Auckland, New Zealand are questioning their council’s decision to subsidize a one-day conference exploring “queer polyamory” relationships.

The Auckland Council, which serves New Zealand’s largest population, recently gave grants to various homosexual organizations, but it is the conference on polyamory that is causing a stir.

Entitled “Poly Panel, Discussions around Queer Polyamory” is described on GayNZ as “a one day event exploring a framework of ethical, healthy polyamory relationships.”


An advertisement for the event states: “Along with questioning heteronormativity, many LGBTI people question monogamous marriages and relationships.”

According to the advertisement, the event aims to “break down some of the isolation and misunderstanding that sometimes surrounds non-monogamous (and polyamorous) relationships.”

Councillor Cathy Casey, chair of Auckland Council’s Community Development and Safety Committee, stated in a media release earlier this year that the committee wanted “to support a framework” that would “help turn Auckland into the world’s most liveable city for our rainbow communities.”

That media release pointed out that ‘Rainbow communities’ “is a term that covers the diversity of sexual orientations and gender/sex identities.”  

The Taxpayer Union has stated on their blog that they “think it is questionable for Auckland Council to fund community groups based on the sexual preferences of their members.” 

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“Conferences such as these should be funded by the interest groups themselves, not from money meant for roads and core services,’ the group stated.

Bob McCoskrie, national director of Family First, agrees.  “Councils should stay out of the ‘culture war’ and stick to providing core services which the majority of ratepayers clearly expect them to spend their time doing,” he said.

Other groups also received funding from the Auckland Council through what GayNZ refers to as the “Rainbow Door Fund.”  Some of these groups included:

  • Gender Diversity Info and Advocacy Pack;
  • Tamaki Makaurau Lesbian Newsletter Outreach Project;
  • Silent Gays – a service for those LGBT people “hidden and suffering in the church and religious systems”;
  • Trans Support Group for trans women 35 plus;
  • Intersex Workshop.

This is not the first time the Auckland Council has subsidized gay events and projects.  They were partners with the Auckland Pride Festival that ran through February this year.  Part of the festival was the annual Big Gay Out, for which the council was silver sponsors.

A 2012 report on GLBTI communities in Auckland also shows that the Auckland Council gave over $21,000 to Rainbow Youth and $20,000 to Outline NZ.