Jacinda Ardern used her visit to the Big Gay Out in Auckland to announce a research project into HIV and STI services and give details of a $1 million endowment fund established after the expunging in 2017 of historic homosexual crimes.

The Prime Minister said $300,000 will be committed to research HIV and STI prevention services in New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health-funded research will include study into testing, sexual behaviour, condom use and the use of drugs to prevent HIV.

The results of the study are expected to help ministry decisions on the purchase, targeting, delivery and evaluation of HIV and STI prevention services.


"There is much talk about inclusion of the rainbow community but part of that is ensuring there is no disadvantage in terms of healthcare," Ardern said.

"This will help make that a reality."

Ardern also gave details on establishment of the Rainbow Wellbeing Legacy that was announced in June last year.

She said the $1 million fund would be managed by the Rule Foundation – as recommended by rainbow organisations.

The inaugural application round would open in June and will provide up to $100,000 to rainbow organisations working to improve mental health, particularly for young people.

Notes on the Rule Foundation supplied by the Prime Minister's office said Finance Minister Grant Robertson met rainbow organisations in September last year, who proposed that the Rule Foundation run the fund. That had been accepted by the cabinet in December.

The notes also said the foundation was dedicated to improving mental health in rainbow communities and honouring the legacy of Peter Rule.

"Peter Rule was a celebrated member of the New Zealand Air Force whose career was cut short after intelligence services 'observed him fraternising too closely with a man in Korea' in the 1970s.

"He turned to a career in arts administration promoting New Zealand craft (pottery, weaving and carving) and Māori renaissance art.

"However, after suffering from depression for many years Peter Rule committed suicide in 1987 and left his estate to be used for the benefit of gay people."

Simon Bridges speaking at the Big Gay Out with MPs behind him. Photo / Twitter
Simon Bridges speaking at the Big Gay Out with MPs behind him. Photo / Twitter

National Party leader Simon Bridges spoke earlier at the Big Gay Out supported by a group of National MPs and his wife, Natalie.

He promised to fund an extra $1 million in funding to the Aids Foundation in a bid to end new HIV transmissions by 2025.