Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) | Te Puranga Takatapui o Aotearoa

Visit the Archives
Board of Trustees
Friends of LAGANZ
Make a Bequest
Digital Archive Project
Oral History



Background to the Trust

The Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand | Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa Trust (LAGANZ) was formed in 1992. Its Board of Trustees own, on behalf of the LGBTTIFQ+ communities, the growing number of collections which now make up the Archives.

The trust has a number of objects that define its purpose and activities. We updated our constitution in 2009 and for us LGBTTIFQ+ means lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, fa'afafine, intersex or queer and includes any same-sex attracted, transgender or intersex members of any indigenous community of the Pacific. In 2005 the Board formally adopted a te reo Māori name for LAGANZ - Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa - that was proposed by David Jones and Lee Smith.

The initial core of the collections goes back to an initiative of the National Gay Rights Coalition in 1977. It developed into a research library and archives known as the Lesbian and Gay Rights Resource Centre which was placed in the care of a trust in 1984.

In 1988, to ensure the collections a secure home, the trustees made an agreement with the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington for their permanent accommodation. The collections remain under the ownership of the Trust, and are open to researchers on the same basis as other research heritage collections. This agreement secures their safe storage and assures that access to them is supervised.

Currently the Archives attracts up to 200 visitors and fields around 90 research enquiries a year.

For more details of the origins of LAGANZ read Out of the Ashes - an article by Chris Parkin and Phil Parkinson which includes an account of the dramatic events surrounding the November 1986 arson attack on the archives.

Name Change Process

Update from LAGANZ Chair, Kevin Haunui - 7 November 2023

Tena koe,

Thank you to our Friends and everyone from our communities who responded to our survey about changing the name of LAGANZ (Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa) to more fully reflect our diverse communities and collections.

We had a fantastic response, and all comments and perspectives were taken into account during our kōrero over the past few weeks. We want to thank you for your wonderful feedback. We received 371 submissions to our survey and 80% of those were in favour of a name change. There was also support for the name to be in te reo Māori. This was with the proviso that the name reflect the kaupapa of our unique Rainbow communities in Aotearoa, rather than simply being a literal translation of the English name. 

On 4 November LAGANZ had a wānanga to discuss our future name and the direction of our organisation. The meeting was co-facilitated by Kevin Haunui (Chair) and Elizabeth Kerekere, with the full board of trustees, our curator, and one of our volunteers present. Elizabeth introduced her Te Whare Takatāpui framework for health and well-being, which sparked our imaginations. With this new name we acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Aotearoa, the whenua on which our communities live, and takatāpui leadership. 

Our new name is Kawe Mahara Queer Archives Aotearoa

Kawe means "to carry, convey, bear" and mahara means "memory, recollection, knowledge". Kawe Mahara means we will carry the memories of our queer communities from the past, present and into the future.

As we socialise our new name with our communities and stakeholders, we agreed that we will explicitly honour the whakapapa of past activists who established LAGANZ, who fought to keep it community owned and led.

There are some formalities to go through to register our name change and we will be updating our trust deed, collection policy, website and email over the next few months.

In the meantime we are preparing a design brief to commission a new logo and we welcome expressions of interest from community members at board@laganz.org.nz.

Once again, thank you for your contribution to honour, acknowledge, and preserve the memories of our diverse queer communities, past, present and future. If you would like to keep in touch with our work and have not already, please join our Friends and Volunteers email group and help us get the word out about:

Kawe Mahara Queer Archives Aotearoa.

Ngā mihi nui,

Kevin Haunui
Chair, LAGANZ Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa 

Board Members: Elizabeth Kerekere, Roger Swanson, Donal Raethel, Gavin Hamilton, Will Hansen, Fiona Clark, Clare O'Leary and Mani Mitchell. Also present were Curator Linda Evans and volunteer Reuben Love.

Board of Trustees

There is provision for ten trustees.  The trustees appoint one or more curators to care for the collections, to supervise access to them, and to assist those wishing to consult them in their research.

The current trustees are:

  • Dr Elizabeth Kerekere (Chair)
  • Roger Swanson (Secretary)
  • Gavin Hamilton (Treasurer)
  • Donal Raethel
  • Will Hansen
  • Clare O'Leary
  • Fiona Clark
  • Mani Mitchell
  • Rauhina Scott-Fyfe

People Connected to the Trust

  • Linda Evans
  • Reuben Love
    Newsletter editor.




Last updated: 25 Apr 2024

Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) | Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa
PO Box 11-695, Manners St, Wellington 6142
Alexander Turnbull Library, 70 Molesworth St, Wellington 6011

Curator Tel: +64 4 462 3972 | Trust Secretary Mob: +64 27 444 3961

curators@laganz.org.nz | facebook.com/lgarchivesnz | instagram.com/kawemahara