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Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA)


Professional associations for transgender health exist around the world, creating networks of people who are working to improve the health for trans people.

In 2009, ANZPATH (Australia & New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health) was formed at a World Professional Association for Transgender Health conference, after input from a few New Zealand attendees to an Australian group that was intending to set up ANZPATH. Since then, while ANZPATH’s Australian membership has blossomed to around 200 members, there has been a very small New Zealand membership of ANZPATH, with ten members from Aotearoa registered with ANZPATH in 2018. However, there is a wider group of people working professionally on trans health in New Zealand, whether in clinical, academic, community or policy settings. Some members of this larger group have not joined ANZPATH but have participated in ANZPATH conferences or training workshops. For example, about thirty people from Aotearoa attended the biennial ANZPATH conference in Sydney in 2017.

While there are strong contacts between people working on trans health in Australia and Aotearoa, the legal, policy and cultural frameworks for that work differ significantly between the two countries. Currently, there are potential opportunities to improve access to gender affirming care and broader health outcomes for trans people in Aotearoa. A local professional organisation would be well-placed to play a leading advisory role in relation to that work.

In 2018, those involved in organising the Aotearoa Trans Health Symposium started to talk more concretely about the idea of creating a Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA). We saw the Trans Health Symposium as a unique opportunity to progress this idea further. The process has moved more quickly than initially intended because ANZPATH was already reviewing its constitution and website and has suggested changing its name to AusPATH in April 2019. We hope that there will continue to be strong collaboration between people working in Australia and Aotearoa on trans health, including through joint conferences, and co-branding of events or resources. A contribution of $5,000 has been gifted from ANZPATH to the organisers of the Trans Health Symposium on 4th May 2019, to support the establishment of a New Zealand-based organisation.


We are proposing the establishment of an incorporated society of people working professionally on transgender health, in clinical, academic, community, legal and/or other settings, the Professional Association for Transgender Health Aotearoa (PATHA). This will be interdisciplinary professional organisation, which works to promote the health, wellbeing, and rights of trans people.

We are proposing the following purposes for PATHA:

  1. Educate professionals and to develop and promote research, knowledge exchange and high-quality evidence-based healthcare for trans people
  2. Promote networking, communication and collaboration, and create supportive environments for professionals working with and for trans people
  3. Promote healthcare based on trans community partnerships and leadership, Māori and Pasifika models, and human rights perspectives which emphasise informed consent and depathologisation of trans people
  4. Advocate for institutional, policy, and legislative reform to advance trans people’s health using our collective knowledge and expertise

The proposal is that people attending the PATHA meeting on the 4th May 2019 (either in person or remotely) will make decisions about:

  • whether to establish a PATHA; and if so
  • electing an inaugural Board to hold office until the first AGM of the organisation.

The inaugural Board would be tasked with:

  • registering the legal entity;
  • setting membership, accepting applications for membership and building a membership register;
  • defining the key streams of work for the Association;
  • working to build relationships with key stakeholders (DHBs, the Ministry of Health, trans community organisations, other health professional associations, etc); and
  • holding the inaugural AGM for PATHA, in line with the rules of the organisation.

A proposed logo has been developed (see right).

A core tenant of PATHA is that trans people participate in all levels of the organisation, and that membership is open to anyone working professionally on trans health, including in clinical, academic, community, and policy settings.

As part of the process for clarifying the needs of potential PATHA members, counsellor Tommy Hamilton (re.frame project collaborator) has created an initial 10 minute survey that can be found online here: People are invited to complete the survey, so that a brief anonymised overview of the findings can be fed into the 4 May PATHA meeting discussion.

Information about PATHA will continue to be distributed:

  • through the NZ Trans Health Google Group;
  • to all people registered for the Trans Health Symposium in May 2019; and
  • to anyone who registers to join the 4 May PATHA meeting remotely.

Nominations for inaugural Executive Committee

Nominations for people to hold the roles on the inaugural Executive Committee should be received by 10pm on Wednesday 1st May. To nominate someone (including yourself!) use the online form:

Draft society rules for PATHA

A draft set of rules (able to be discussed and amended as needed) has been proposed. Click here to download. These rules has been adapted from the example rules on the website and the New Zealand Sexual Health Society Inc, and it has been reviewed by Wellington Community Law. There will be an opportunity to discuss these rules further and propose changes at the 4 May meeting. Please provide feedback in advance by completing this form: by Wednesday 1 May 2019.

Meeting at 5pm on May 4th

If you cannot attend in person, you can Join from PC, Mac, iOS or Android, by going to: and following the install prompts. Alternatively, you can join by phoning 09 801 1188 or 04 831 8959 and entering the Meeting ID: 816 388 589

The draft agenda for the meeting held 5pm on the 4th May will be:

Attendance at the Trans Health Symposium is not a requirement to participate in this meeting.