Is banning conversion therapy enough?

Aotearoa New Zealand and access to gender affirming healthcare


  • Maddie Little The University of Auckland



, conversion therapy, gender affirming, healthcare access


The practice of conversion therapy and lack of access to gender-affirming healthcare is a significant health issue in Aotearoa New Zealand. Recently introduced legislation has sparked media coverage of the need for a ban of conversion therapy, with the current Labour government acknowledging that it causes harm and is linked to serious mental health issues. A literature search was conducted to understand what information is available in Aotearoa New Zealand, and internationally, regarding conversion therapy and access to gender-affirming healthcare. The findings reported here exemplify that, despite this practice presenting a significant health issue for transgender and non-binary people, the topic is significantly under- researched in Aotearoa New Zealand, particularly in the social work field. The following article considers the health, political, legal, and religious aspects of conversion therapy and access to gender affirming healthcare in existing literature, making recommendations for future social work research investment to better advocate for and support transgender and non-binary people.

Author Biography

Maddie Little, The University of Auckland

Social Worker at the Kari Centre.


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How to Cite

Little, M. (2022). Is banning conversion therapy enough? Aotearoa New Zealand and access to gender affirming healthcare. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 34(1), 132–138.