Rainbow List Project

Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga’s Rainbow List Project aims to improve the diversity of the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero (the List) by recognising places of significance to Aotearoa New Zealand’s LGBTTFQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, fa’afāfine, queer and intersex) communities. The project uses the umbrella term 'queer' because it incorporates the range of identities and is open to new ones. 

Carmen Rupe
Carmen Rupe at Carmen's Curios.
Image: National Library https://natlib.govt.nz/records/38002217expand/collapse

We want to hear about Aotearoa New Zealand places that tell the stories of queer lives and which are important to community members past and present. They could be associated with queer lives, events and themes of the distant or recent past, and be places that are known about through research, stories handed down through generations, or through lived experience. The places – buildings, streets, monuments, landscapes for example – must still exist and there needs to be good evidence of their queer significance. We can help with the evidential requirements. 

We will assess all your suggestions so please include as much information and evidence as possible. Some of the places might already be on the List but with list entry narratives that are silent on their queer stories. In these cases, we will determine whether the entry should be updated. If the places are not on the List, we will investigate which are good candidates for listing. We would love to get places on the List whose primary heritage significance is derived to a major (but not necessarily exclusive extent) from their association with queer histories, communities and cultures.


  • St Andrew's on the Terrace

    St Andrews on the Terrace church in Wellington supported the Homosexual Law Reform campaign in the 1980s. Head over the List Online to learn more about this and other social issues the church was involved in. Image: Andy Dodd

  • Rewi Alley House

    Social reformer and peace activist Rewi Alley’s (1897-1987) sexuality has been debated by his biographers. Head over to the List Online to read about his house in Moewatea Valley in Taranaki and the land he farmed with his friend Jack Stevens. Image: Nathan Sutherland

  • Glenarven Methodist Church, Dunedin

    Glenaven Methodist Church in Dunedin was the first church in Aotearoa New Zealand to have an openly gay minister. Head over to the List Online for more on Reverend Dr. David Bromell and the church. Image: Wikimedia Commons, Ben Hill.

  • Thistle Inn

    Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923), one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s internationally recognised writers, had relationships with men and women. She used the Thistle Inn, one of the country’s oldest pubs still in business, as the setting for a short story about an encounter between two women. Head over to the List Online to read about it. Image: Joanna Barnes-Wylie, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

  • Carmen'S Curios

    Did you know that the transgender icon Carmen Rupe (1936-2011; Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Heke-a-Wai) had an antique shop in Wellington’s Cuba Street? Head over to the List Online to find out more about it.  Image: Kerryn Pollock, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Contact us

If you would like to send us suggestions for places that tell stories of queer lives, or to learn more about the project, get in touch with the Project Lead:

Kerryn Pollock
Senior Heritage Assessment Advisor
Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga
email: rainbow@heritage.org.nz
tel: 04 494 8320.