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Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people

There is little information available about gay, lesbian, bisexual, fa’afafine, takatāpui, intersex, transgender and transsexual people in New Zealand, or the size of this group of people in relation to the total population.

Some information about same-sex couples who share a residence has been collected in censuses since 1996. The 2006 Census recorded just over 12,300 adults living with a partner of the same sex, making up 0.7 percent of all adults living in couples. This is an increase from the 10,000 recorded in the 2001 Census when they made up 0.6 percent of all couples and the 6,500 recorded in the 1996 Census when they made up 0.4 percent of all couples. However, it is difficult to know whether the change in numbers represents a real increase in the number of same-sex couples living together, or a greater willingness on their part to report living arrangements and partnership status. According to Statistics New Zealand, it is likely that the figures understate the actual number of same-sex couples because of the inconsistent way people responded to the census question.