The New Zealand Green Party today celebrated the Government’s decision to change its policy regarding transgender prisoners’ rights.

Earlier today the Minister of Corrections announced that the New Zealand Cabinet is to change the corrections rules in order to allow prisoners to be placed in a prison which matches the gender they identify with, rather than their birth gender.

Green Party spokesperson Jan Logie said: “This change will only affect a few people, but it will affect them deeply and keep them safe from the risk of sexual assault and rape,

“I have been pushing the Minister on this issue for some time and was so pleased to hear today that she has made the right call.

“I congratulate the Minister and the Government for taking another step towards making sure transsexual and transgendered people have the rights they deserve.”

She continued: “The state has a duty of care to people in prison and there is still more that needs to be done for trans people, but this is one step in the right direction.

“We still need to ensure that trans people in prison have access to the right medical treatment.

“Everyone has the right to live safe from violence and discrimination.”

Last month the country’s  first same-sex weddings took place, eight months after the country ended the ban on gay couples marrying.

When the New Zealand Parliament passed same-sex marriage into law, politicians and those in the public gallery burst into song.