The Professional Association for Transgender Health (PATHA) welcomes the news this week that Statistics New Zealand will move beyond a binary (male or female only) gender question in the Household Economic Survey. The organisation also supports Statistics New Zealand’s decision to include a question about sex assigned at birth, to be able to count the transgender population.
“This is long overdue”, said Dr Jaimie Veale, PATHA President and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Waikato. “Transgender people have been telling Statistics New Zealand for a long time that they need to see themselves represented in our population data. These questions reflect international standards for best practice, and the data we collect using these questions will be crucial for us to understand the size of the transgender population, demand for services, as well as the health social inequities that transgender people face. Accurate data is necessary for us to inform policy and law changes”, she said.
“My understanding is Stats NZ is still working out what might be the best and most effective ways of collecting information about rainbow populations, including population measures for intersex and transgender people, and we welcome their progress towards robust data about and for our communities”, said Joey Macdonald, PATHA Secretary.
PATHA was formed at a meeting of over 70 health professionals and people working to promote transgender people’s health at the Aotearoa New Zealand Trans Health Symposium on May 4th 2019, to provide networking, education, and advocacy for this group.