New rainbow representation a positive step.

Two of the most important remits passed by Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union annual conference last week added dedicated rainbow and takatāpui representation to our union’s council, to the Industrial and Professional Committee and to the National Women's Committee.

From 2026, Council, NWC and IPC will each have a Tangata Tiriti and a Tangata Māori rainbow representative. The remits were passed with overwhelming support from the conference floor.

Kaspar Middendorf, a member of the TEU’s Te Kahurangi/Rainbow Network welcomed the decision. “This is a move we have long advocated for. It’s partly about making the union a safer place for queer workers, but it’s also about bringing new ways of thinking, different ways of looking at problems, to the decision-making table.”

“I’m delighted that soon we will be loud and proud at all levels of our union, not hidden away in networks.”

Another member of the network, Andy Fey, said “this sends a message to our rainbow members, and to everyone else as well, that we are a valued part of our union and that our voice is future proofed – not reliant on rainbow members getting elected to other positions with other mandates, and then doing two jobs at once.”

“I look forward to seeing these new roles in action and the positive influence they will have in making our union a safer space for all and a powerful advocate for the rights of all workers.”