Intersex Aotearoa is the operational arm of Intersex Trust Aotearoa NZ (ITANZ), a registered charitable trust and a non-profit organisation. IA/ITANZ is the peak body for intersex-led advocacy in Aotearoa, committed to providing affirmation and referral for people with intersex variations/ira tangata. By intersex people, for intersex people.
IA is the only intersex-led and national-reaching organisation in Aotearoa. IA lobbies for systemic change within education, healthcare institutions and social environments to make Aotearoa a safe and affirming place for intersex people to thrive within.
This organisation stems from the foundational strength and tireless activism provided by Mani Bruce Mitchell for the last 25 years. Through Mani’s work, ITANZ was able to act as a key member organisation within international intersex movements, and to contribute to historical achievements such as the Malta Declaration in 2013 and the Darlington Statements in 2017.
Our advocacy at IA means working alongside peer organisations, lobbying for change through Government and other legislative bodies, working alongside and with academic researchers, and aligning with healthcare professionals to create the change we want to see for ira tāngata/intersex/ those with variations of sex characteristics.
We do this independently and through collaboration with community, LGBTQIA+ organisations, stakeholder groups and all activists and advocates who are invested in the lives of intersex people.
We centre Te Titiri o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa, and this informs our strategic aims when seeking sovereignty and bodily autonomy for everyone in Aotearoa, especially tangata whenua and ira tangata.
Communications and Community Manager
Dr Rogena Sterling, Co-Chair
Intersex Aotearoa Board (ITANZ)
Dr. Rogena Sterling (Co-chair)
Ngāti Maeatae, Stirlingshire (Scottish descent)
Dr Rogena Sterling has been through various teaching, management, and research positions over the years. More recently I have joined a number of Boards including Intersex Aotearoa. Late last year, they received a ministerial appointment to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
Dr Sterling has a passion for human rights, a key focus of my PhD. Human rights is at the centre of much of the teach and research that they do at the moment. Ensuring human rights is more important today more than ever, and I bring this passion to Intersex Aotearoa. Dr. Sterling was the first open intersex person to receive a PhD in New Zealand.
Dr Sterling is currently a lecturer and researcher at the University of Waikato. Their focus is on human rights; well-being; biopolitics of data and statistics; customary law; (inter)sex/gender issues. Current research involves Indigenous research engagement and Indigenous data sovereignty and Intellectual Property and Intersex issues. They have taught in areas of law, social policy and gender & sexuality studies. As part of their career, they have guest lectured, presented at conferences, and published widely.
Tu Chapman, Co- Chair
Intersex Aotearoa Board (ITANZ)
Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Taranaki whānui
Kei aku nui,kei aku rahi, e rau rangatira mā, tēnā tātou katoa
Tu is an advocate for change and a proven thought leader on issues relating to applied indigenous approaches in te āo Māori, Tikanga Māori, Social Justice and Wellbeing & development. Tu is passionate about enacting and informing better processes that allow hāpori Māori to grow and thrive. Tu identifies as Ira Tangata (Intersex) and she has spent nearly her entire lifetime fighting to understand what it means to belong, and the importance that whakapapa Māori has on identity. Tu is a passionate advocate for Ira Tangata (Intersex) nationwide.
Tu has a strong professional background in Strategic, Operational and Senior Advisory roles as well as a stable history on Governance Advisory Boards at National and Regional level. She brings a wealth of skill and experience to the Board of Governance and to the organisation.