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Growth through disruption: Uplifting Māori and Pasifika Rainbow+ voices

“Love us the same, hold us the same” is the powerful message of Nevertheless – a Māori, Pasifika and Takatāpui Rainbow+ mental health non-profit organisation.

Le Va was privileged to receive Rainbow Competency Training from Nevertheless this month, giving our staff an invaluable opportunity to grow as allies.

Nevertheless Rainbow Competency Training with Le Va

Nevertheless Rainbow Competency Training with Le Va


Shaqaila Uelese and Maia Wati-Cooper, co-founders of Nevertheless, led an invigorating talanoa on topics such as navigating religion and sexuality, a history of Rainbow+ communities in Aotearoa, MVPFAFF+/Takatāpui terminology and gender-inclusive language.

They were joined by panellists Alieta Uelese, Usufonoimanu Peseta Betty Sio and Danae Malo, who generously shared their stories of parenting and being members of the Rainbow+ community.

Nevertheless, based in Te Matau-a-Māui Hawkes Bay, was set up to support the holistic wellbeing of individuals, whānau and aiga who are Takatāpui or Pasifika Rainbow+ communities.

Their mission is to create safe spaces for Māori and Pasifika Rainbow+ peoples to be free to be heard, seen and be their full authentic selves without denying any part of their holistic identity out of shame or stigma.

Nevertheless also established the Manioro Festival, a three-day festival for Takatāpui, Pasifika Rainbow+, MVPFAFF+ and LGBTQIA+ peoples and whānau including communities, organisations and churches.

‘Manioro’ means to make a noise, to create a disturbance. As Shaqaila said during the training session, ‘Disruption provides opportunity for growth.’

At Le Va, we are committed to identifying and addressing inequities to serve our diverse communities in an equitable way.

Taking part in this essential training from Nevertheless represents a step towards fulfilling our purpose of igniting our communities and creating positive change, through better understanding of how to support our MVPFAFF+, Takatāpui, and Rainbow+ communities.


Visit neverthelessnz.com to learn more about their important work, and check out our Rainbow Pasifika page for a list of support services.

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Covid-19 Update

Face-to-face workshops will not continue while New Zealand is at Level 4. We will be in contact with all participants soon.