The Trustees of the Rule Foundation and their advisors are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 inaugural round of funding from the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund. The Fund was established by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson in 2019 in recognition of the men who were convicted for consensual homosexual activities pre-1986 and focuses on projects related to the mental health and wellbeing of Aotearoa’s rainbow communities. The Minister asked the Ministry of Health to establish the Fund which is administered by the Rule Foundation.

The inaugural round, in which $100,000 in funding was available, opened on 2nd June 2020 and closed on 15th July 2020 with 54 applications totalling $1 million in funding requests.

Rule Foundation Chairperson Joy Liddicoat says that the number of applications received highlight the unmet need in the community and made the Trustees’ decision a difficult one. 

“It was exciting and inspiring to read the applications, and the trustees were faced with the challenging task of selecting projects from many high quality submissions,” Liddicoat says. “Ultimately, we selected a range of initiatives with impact areas covering digital storytelling, legacy building, youth development, takatāpui, whānau support, migrant and refugee communities and trans healthcare.” 

The seven initiatives granted funding are:

  • FAFSWAG – towards DIGITAL GAFA: Archive of Moana Oceania Queer Histories in Aotearoa
  • PATHA (Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa) – towards Transgender Health and Wellbeing: Online Training Modules for Primary Care
  • LAGANZ – towards Digitisation Initiatives, Storage and Commissioning a Digital Archive
  • Migrant Action Trust – towards research on Queer and gender diverse (rainbow) ethnic youth – Understandings and experiences of family, community and intimate partner relationships
  • Tīwhanawhana Trust – towards whānau support: making takatāpui information more accessible
  • Dunedin Pride Inc. – towards an annual programme of work including regional groups and social events for the youth rainbow community
  • Youth Sector Rainbow Collective – towards the Be There Campaign – supporting parents and whānau of rainbow rangatahi

Additionally, the trustees selected three of the applications to be funded through the Foundation’s second fund – the Peter Rule Fund. 

“Several of the applications were for small amounts, and aligned nicely to the aims of the Peter Rule Fund, so we took the opportunity to support these initiatives as well,” Liddicoat explains.

The seven successful applications of the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund are set to run their programmes over the next 12 – 18 months. 

“It’s a very exciting time and we’re looking forward to seeing the impact of each of these initiatives. They all have the potential to make meaningful change in the lives of rainbow New Zealanders,” says Liddicoat. 

The Rule Foundation Trustees and Advisors will be working with successful applicants to ensure that the projects are achievable and safe in light of the developing circumstances around COVID-19.

The 2nd round of the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund will open in 2021, with further updates expected from the Rule Foundation closer to the time. 


For interviews, please contact: 

Toni Duder, Rule Foundation Trustee:

About the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund: 

The Fund was announced in 2019 in recognition of the men who were convicted for consensual homosexual activities pre-1986. The original idea for the Fund was put forward by these men whose convictions have or are being expunged through a scheme established in 2018. At The Big Gay Out in Auckland earlier this year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced that the Rule Foundation would administer the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund on behalf of the government.

About the Rule Foundation: 

The Rule Foundation was established through a trust deed in 2008 to enable the funds left from the estate of Peter Rule to be used to fund projects and activities to advance the health, wellbeing and visibility of the LGBTI community. To date, The Peter Rule Fund has distributed over $410,000 to benefit the wellbeing and advancement of Aotearoa’s LGBTI communities. To find out more, visit the Foundation’s website: