Rainbow Teachers

Rainbow paint brush 

PPTA's Rainbow Taskforce for Safe Schools has been operating for about 14 years. Its job is to help make secondary schools safe and welcoming places for  lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students, family/whanau members and teachers.

Link to PPTA webpage Contact Rainbow taskforce members

pdf icon Affirming diversity of sexualities and gender identities in the school community: guidelines (2012)

Link to PPTA webpage Resources for LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) students, teachers, and families/whanau

PPTA maintains an email network for members interested in being kept informed about issues for LGBTI teachers and students and about the work of the Rainbow Taskforce.  You don't have to be LGBTI yourself, just interested in the issues and keen to support PPTA's work in this area.  The network receives an average of one email per term with news, links to interesting articles, and so on.  If you would like to join this network, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ask to be added to the list.


Safer classrooms for all. Anti-homophobia workshops in schools

The New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce update on their "Safe classrooms for all" anti-homophobia workshops in schools (March 2016).Speaking out - antihomophobia workshops article graphic

PPTA anti-homophobia workshops

After a very successful trial in 2012 of its ‘Safer Classrooms for All’ workshops for school staff, PPTA has continued to offer these sessions to schools each year since then. 

The sessions address the issue of bullying of students and other members of the wider school community who are perceived to be different because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

There are a number of different aspects to the sessions, and while the presenter generally touches on all of them, they have the ability to respond to a school’s needs by focusing on particular aspects, such as
•    General awareness of the range of sexual orientations and gender identities including appropriate language;
•    The regulatory framework that requires schools to be proactive in this area;
•    Data about the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in New Zealand secondary schools (from the Auckland University Youth 2000 series of surveys);
•    Strategies that teachers can use to promote a safe environment for all students.

PPTA will deliver the workshop at the request of a principal, and this ensures that the session and the work that will need to follow have the support of the school’s senior leadership.  It is important, if the session is to have a positive impact in a school, that all teaching staff are expected to attend, and that the senior leadership team of the school are active participants in the session too. 

The PLD is provided at no cost to the school, and PPTA encourages schools in more isolated areas whose access to PLD is often limited to request a workshop. 


Inside Out videos - a new diversity resource

InsideOutAtParliamentLaunchA new video resource aimed at teaching acceptance of gender and sexual diversity has been launched throughout the country. PPTA Rainbow Taskforce member Jerome Cargill gets the inside scoop on Inside Out.

Inside Out is a new video-based learning resource to help increase understanding and support the teaching and acceptance of gender and sexuality diversity.

With funding from the Ministry of Social Development, the resource has been a collaborative project between RainbowYOUTH, Core Education, University of Auckland and Curative. The videos feature a wide range of New Zealanders with diverse genders and sexualities.

Nationwide launch

The resource has been launched across New Zealand in the past few months with events being hosted in Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington, Nelson, Hamilton and Whangarei, with more to come. Alongside these launch events, professional development workshops have been offered targeting teachers that might use the resource in their classrooms.

The resource is aligned with the objectives of the health curriculum including fostering healthy communities, sexual health, sexuality education and interpersonal skills and attitudes. It will help teachers and schools in implementing the new Sexuality Education Guidelines released earlier this year.


Rainbow taskforce 2016

Contact names for the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) Rainbow taskforce representatives. The Rainbow taskforce meets regularly and is happy to hear from members.   


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Newlands College
Jerome is in his fifth year of teaching, and has shown leadership on LGBTI issues in his own school including establishing, with the help of his colleagues, a support group for LGBTI students.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Avondale College
Kia ora. As a senior specialist teacher of Biology and in my role as the Specialist Classroom Teacher at Avcol, I have the good fortune to work with both staff and students toward creating safe, inclusive and engaging learning environments in which all students can be who they are and strive achieve at the highest levels. Serving as a part of the leadership team for PB4L at my school has assisted me in developing whole school strategies to combat the issues of bullying and exclusion; from the school yard to classrooms, playing fields and the gymnasium where I coach the school volleyball teams. As the current Rainbow Taskforce Convener I have been involved on the steering committee for Pink Shirt Day, participated in the development of the Inside Out teaching and learning resources in collaboration with Rainbow youth and Core Education, and facilitated PPTA Safer Schools for All professional development sessions for schools, university teacher trainees and the Auckland School Nurses Group. I look forward to continuing this PLD and collaborating with other teachers passionate about making a difference or gender and sexually diverse students across Aotearoa.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Central Regional Health School

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Fairfield College
Kia ora koutou. I am a school guidance counsellor at Fairfield College and the PPTA Executive member for Waikato. I have been on the Taskforce since 2010 and have been privileged in working with committed colleagues. My passion is social justice for all. " Be kind and treat people the way you want to be treated". He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata". No reira tena koutou katoa. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - John Paul College

Michael Tarry - Hato Petera College


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - PPTA National Office


Notes from the Rainbow Taskforce meeting of 31 July 2014

rainbow paint brushNotes from the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce meeting 31 July 2014

New members
Youth 2012 reports
Pink Shirt Day 2014
Day of Silence 2014
Core Education video teaching resources
PB4L Bullying guidelines
Rainbow Network


Notes from the Rainbow Taskforce meeting of 4 October 2013

Notes from the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce meeting 4 October 2013.

Pink Shirt Day
Changes in youth groups
Safer schools for all workshops
Youth 2012 research
CTU Out @ Work
Membership of the Taskforce
Next meeting

Pink Shirt Day

We talked about our experience of working with the Mental Health Foundation who now organise Pink Shirt Day. Shawn Cooper, who is based in Auckland, will join the Pink Shirt Day committee along with Judie Alison, and he may be able to get to some of the meetings in person.  His school, Avondale College, had a lot of activity on Pink Shirt Day 2013.

Pink Shirt Day in 2014 is Friday May 23 – put it in your calendars.  


Notes from the Rainbow Taskforce meeting 1 Mar 2013

Notes from the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) Rainbow Taskforce meeting 1 March 2013.

Transgender students
Out @ Work Kamp
Rainbow Network
Pink Shirt Day
Report Back on LGBTTI Symposium
Safer Schools for All workshops
Changes in taskforce membership
PPTA President's comments

Next meeting is Friday 4 October 2013

Transgender students
We discussed what advice we should be giving to schools about processes when they enrol a student who is transgender.  The Massachusetts material recently received is very helpful, but the legal framework here may be a little different.  There appears to be no best practice across government, and being transgender tends to be problematised instead of normalised.  We agreed to seek advice on this from the Human Rights Commission and to work towards producing some material for schools ourselves.

Link to pdf on external website Guidance for Massachusetts Public Schools Creating a Safe and Supportive School Environment: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity

Out @ Work Kamp
This is in the holidays this time, and we decided to send four members of the Taskforce to the Kamp to represent PPTA.

Link to external website More information about the CTU Out@Work Network

Rainbow Network
The Taskforce was worried that nowhere near all our GLBTI members knew about this email network, even though an invitation to join the list the Network is on our website.  We agreed to try to find more ways to get members to sign up to it.   We also decided to email a summary of each Taskforce meeting to the network so they would be more aware of our work, and put this on the PPTA website.  

Link to PPTA webpage Login to sign up for Rainbow Taskforce e-newsletters

Pink Shirt Day
This is on May 17th this year and is being coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation.  PPTA has not been contacted by them, and we decided to make contact and remind them of our importance to getting things happening in secondary schools on Pink Shirt Day.

Link to external website Pink Shirt Day - Where's the power?

Report Back on LGBTTI Symposium
Lex Davis had attended on PPTA's behalf a symposium in Auckland titled  "˜LGBTTI Wellness and Suicide: What do we need to change?' organised by a range of organisations.  It was a really good day.  The key presentations to the symposium can be seen on video.

Link to external website Videos from LGBTTI Wellness and Suicide: What do we need to change?