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Policy and Advocacy Committee

PATHA’s Policy and Advocacy Committee was established to support one of the organisation’s key purposes, to “advocate for institutional, policy, and legislative reform to advance transgender people’s health using our collective knowledge and expertise”. The Committee also aims to support a second purpose, to “promote healthcare based on transgender community partnerships and leadership, Māori and Pasifika models, and human rights perspectives which emphasise informed consent and depathologisation of transgender people.”

Dr Zoe Kristensen (she/her) is a Pākehā, juxera, able bodied mental health doctor working in the Auckland Region. She is particularly interested in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, in Neurodiversity and in the Mental Health of Gender Diverse Individuals. She has been involved in policy and advocacy as a trans activist for over a decade and more recently through working directly with and within healthcare organisations. She is passionate about promoting the rights of transgender people, in ensuring equitable and prompt access to gender affirming care and mental health supports, and in ensuring transgender competence in mental health and the health sector more broadly.

Jack Byrne (he/him) is a Pākehā trans man who works as a human rights researcher, focusing mainly on trans health and on legal gender recognition. He is the Senior Research Officer and Co-investigator for Counting Ourselves, based at the Trans Health Research Lab. Previously, Jack was a senior policy analyst at the Human Rights Commission for nine years, project managing its Transgender Inquiry. He works closely with trans advocates internationally on depathologisation and related legal and policy reforms, has facilitated regional dialogues on trans health and human rights, and co-authored trans health publications in Aotearoa and covering Asia and the Pacific. He has a passion for community-led research that empowers people to push for change, and for demystifying policy processes so that trans and non-binary people can influence decisions that directly affect our lives.

Jove (Joe) Horton (he/him) works as the Transgender Health Key Worker at Auckland Sexual Health Service, working within Hauora Tāhine which is the collective name for a number of secondary services that provide gender affirming healthcare within the Auckland metro DHBs. He joined the Policy and Advocacy Committee as he wished to be involved in creating lasting, positive change, with truly sustainable solutions rather than temporary fixes. He envisions a society in which all trans and non-binary people not only survive but thrive, with accepting families and communities and full self-determination over themselves, free from disrespect and discrimination.

Taine Polkinghorne (he/him) is the New Zealand Human Rights Commission's advisor on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC). He is also the consumer representative on the Transgender Northern Region Clinical Governance Group and a lifetime member of RainbowYOUTH.

Moira Clunie (they/them) (Te Rarawa) is project lead for Te Ngākau Kahukura (a national initiative to build rainbow competency), co-chairs the Board of OutLine, and has worked in a range of public health policy roles for mental health, disability and rainbow NGOs. They feel that improving access to quality, non-pathologised, rights-informed healthcare for trans and non-binary people is key to enabling individual self-determination and improving population wellbeing.

Further details to be added:

Dr Karen Benattar


The Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA) is an interdisciplinary professional organisation working to promote the health, wellbeing, and rights of transgender people. We are a group of professionals who have experience working for transgender health in clinical, academic, community, legal and other settings.


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