Transsexual MP Georgina Beyer has drafted legislation she hopes will stop discrimination on the grounds of the gender a person identifies with.
Her bill provides for "gender identity" to be included as one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination in section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993.
Under the Act, people are not allowed to discriminate on grounds such as race or sex.
"Transgendered people are not referred to in section 21 and thus appear not to be protected by the anti-discrimination provisions of the Human Rights Act 1993," notes to Ms Beyer's bill said.
While most people identified with the gender with which they were born, some did not.
"People whose identification with a gender different from that with which they are born, often known as transgendered people, are subjected to discrimination in employment, housing and in some matters covered by the law."
The Human Rights (Gender Identity) Amendment Bill would offer protection from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity.
It had never been tested in court whether sex or sexual orientation provisions in the Human Rights Act covered transgendered people.
It could be argued the "sex" provision might do so but it was unlikely the "sexual orientation" provision would because gender identity was not a sexual orientation.
"Much discrimination occurs at a day-to-day level making a test case through litigation highly unlikely or impractical.
"Explicit reference to transgendered people, in terms of the words gender identity, is necessary to put the issue beyond doubt.
"Explicit reference to gender identity provides transgendered people with the ability to point to a clear statement of law indicating that discrimination against them is prohibited, thereby increasing the chances of preventing such discrimination from ever taking place."
The bill describes gender identity as "the identification by a person with a gender that is different from the birth gender of that person or the gender assigned to that person at birth".
This included "intersex" people -- those who were of "indeterminate" gender at birth but who were assigned a gender they later did not identify with.
The definition to be included in section 21 of the Act stated gender identity could include people who called themselves "transsexual, transvestite, transgender, cross-dresser or other description".
Members' bills are drawn from a ballot to be debated every second Wednesday when Parliament is sitting.