The Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund was founded in 2019 through a $1 million endowment from the New Zealand Government 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. The Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 decriminalised sexual relations between men aged 16 and ove but, prior to its passage, men having consensual sex with each other were liable to prosecution and a term of imprisonment. They were the recipients of an apology issued by the Minister of Justice in 2017.

After the Fund was announced, it was agreed that it would be held and administered by The Rule Foundation, given the alignment with the Foundation’s kaupapa and focus.


The intention for the Fund is to support projects, activities and organisations to improve mental health outcomes for future generations of rainbow communities, particularly for young people. It was the hope of those who initially put forward the idea for the Fund that their suffering as a result of their convictions would be turned into positive outcomes for others from the LGBTI community. 


The Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund contributes grants to projects, activities and organisations within the following criteria: 

  • alignment with the Fund’s purpose and priorities
  • a transparent and obvious benefit to the mental well being of the LGBTI community in Aotearoa, especially young people
  • the ability of the applicant to deliver the proposed project
  • the availability of funds and alternative funding sources

Further criteria is still under development, will be available closer to the date of the opening of applications for this fund. We are not yet able to advise oganisation or project suitability and alignment with the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund at this time.


Applications for the inaugural Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy Fund round will open on the 1st June 2020.