Written on 15 March 2019 by Peter Hughes

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It’s great to see so many Rainbow diversity events being celebrated at the moment.  

In a month full of stand-out events and initiatives in Wellington, a new staff support network was launched this week for public servants in New Zealand’s intelligence community.  

I want to congratulate, in particular, the Public Service leaders involved in setting up the Standing Out LGBTQI+ network. These kinds of initiatives recognise and celebrate the different experiences people bring to our workplaces – a crucial component for fostering creativity and increasing staff engagement.  

As part of the network’s launch, we saw the Rainbow flag hoisted next to the New Zealand flag flying above the NZSIS and GCSB headquarters in Wellington. Rainbow colours will remain flying for the rest of this month.  

Congratulations too, to the New Zealand Defence Force, which has just started a year of celebrating Pride 25, marking 25 years since LGBT+ personnel were welcomed to serve openly.  

Another event in full swing right now is Wellington Pride Festival, which runs until 24 March. It coincides with the ILGA World Conference starting in Wellington next Monday. 

Diversity and inclusion are important. They’re a key system priority for Public Service chief executives who established, in 2017, a steering group for diversity and inclusion called Papa Pounamu.  

This steering group of 12 chief executives drive a collaborative programme across the Public Service to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce that better reflects the communities we serve.  

Papa Pounamu chief executives have established a sub-group focusing on LGBTQI+ matters and met for the first time in 2019 just last month. Watch this space! 

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