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Have your say in 2023 census and supporting rainbow young people

The census is a nationwide five yearly survey that provides an official snapshot of life, people, and communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Census data is used by lots of different groups to help work out where funds and services are needed for people and communities. To best represent who we are, our communities, and groups in the population we are part of, it is important that all of us complete the census and feel comfortable doing that.

The next census is happening on 7 March 2023. For the first time, the census is asking questions about gender, sexual identity and variations of sex characteristics (Intersex).

We’re getting ready for it and have some key information below! We’re also sharing about Zeal Wellington Rainbow group and how they’re supporting young people within the Rainbow community.


Prepare for the March Census

Every community has its own unique footprint and needs, and the collection of information about Rainbow communities in Aotearoa New Zealand will enable Rainbow groups and individuals to advocate for their needs on the same footing as other New Zealanders.

Why data helps rainbow rangatahi

Why including rainbow inclusive questions is important


  • It’s important that everyone fills in the census so that the census represents all the people of New Zealand, and that people can see themselves reflected in the data.

  • People’s sense of their gender and sexual identity is really important to them and can impact their lives and experiences

  • We know that some members of the Rainbow community have different outcomes in the areas of work, health, income, etc than other populations

  • The census only comes around every five years and includes everyone in New Zealand! It is the main way in which accurate information can be produced for small population groups

  • It’s important we complete the census so we are represented and the country has a true reflection of Rainbow communities.

  • Census data is kept safe and secure and no private or personal details are ever released about any individual.

Looking for a safe space to chat about the census?

Check out Zeal Wellington Rainbow group

Rainbow Hangs happens every Thursday from 3.30 – 5.30 for high school aged young people. Here rainbow and takatapui youth have a  space to belong, build stronger connections, be their authentic selves and have  Zeal youth workers to support them. Held at Te Pokapū Hapori and supported by The Y and InsideOut Kaora, Zeal’s Rainbow Hangs is currently the only queer exclusive space in Wellington and has welcomed close to 50 young people since kicking off in June 2022.

Zeal Youth Workers ensure a good vibe is happening, whether that’s having deep chats, playing games, watching some early 2000s Disney cartoons or having a dance party.  Youth Workers help bridge young people who attend Rainbow Hangs to other forms of local support and help them  navigate different challenges they might have.

Zeal Wellington’s Rainbow Hangs is a place where young people who might not feel safe at home, or school can come be their authentic selves and make new friends  Regardless if young people have it figured out when they walk through the doors of Zeal Wellington Rainbow Hangs,  they’ll be greeted by one of the team and brought into a warm and supportive space.

“One of my favourite moments was at our Rainbow Camp. 12 young people and 4 youth workers went away to Castlepoint for a full weekend in October. This felt like the culmination of months of growing as a wee whānau, connecting at a deeper level and celebrating everything the young people had brought to the project.
On our last night at Castlepoint we held a fancy but fun dinner – we put up decorations and everyone could dress up smart. We then sat at our bunkhouse table and ate fish n chips together! Listening to the young people chat about life, I realised how powerful these friendships were and could see the massive potential in all of them. I knew that both together and individually they were going to do amazing things and change the world for the better. It’s humbling to be alongside such special people.”

Euan MacLaren – Zeal youth worker

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Special thanks

Inside out, Zeal Wellington, New Zealand Census and all rainbow communities partaking in completing the upcoming 2023 census. We’re so inspired by your mahi and the future for Aotearoa rainbow rangatahi and communities.