How Does Stats NZ Define ‘Gender Diverse’?

Earlier this week Statistics NZ released their new standard for collecting information on gender. I’ve already pointed out some problems in the standard, but more information has arisen.

The government-sponsored Encyclopedia of New Zealand, Te Ara, has a definition for ‘gender diverse’. It’s not good.

Te Ara lists as examples of gender diverse people:

  • transsexual people, a term most of the trans community does not identify with – and specifically transsexual people who are medically and/or surgically transitioning,
  • cross-dressers, who are cis and not trans,
  • intersex people, for most of whom intersex is not a gender identity,
  • Māori and Pacific gender identities, the one good thing about this list,
  • and drag kings and queens, usually cis people who are valued more highly than actual trans people.

If this is the standard for which ‘gender diverse’ in New Zealand is referenced back to, then Statistics NZ’s decision is even more harmful. We thought the standard would collect data on non-binary people but make it difficult for other trans people to identify themselves, but this list excludes massive swathes of the community, many of whom have it worst off. If this is what Statistics NZ means by ‘gender diverse’ then they are not going to collect data that accurately represents our experiences and our needs.

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