Mary in the Media

Farmers investigating in-store transphobia by Auckland Transgender Personality

Rooms are going gender neutral thanks to Auckland Transgender Personality

Transgender Personality Mary Haddock-Staniland, who was humiliated in Farmers Botany Downs late last month, has met with the New Zealand Retailer and assisted in their investigations.

Mary is confident that they are taking this matter seriously.

“In the initial days after this became public I was upset and angry, but after talking with Farmers I’m feeling better about the situation,” she says. She confirms she has lodged a complaint with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and expects to hear the outcome of their investigation in the next month.

Farmers took the opportunity to remind their staff of their obligations to treat all customers with respect, reiterate their fitting room policy and are currently reviewing their signage to ensure that this reflects their position. They say that the latter will take some time to complete.

The support Mary has received has been overwhelming,including from friend and employer of a large retail team, Kiwi Fashion Designer Annah Stretton.

“Becoming informed re trans people means that retailers will operate with understanding, rather than bigoted misunderstanding that leads to this type of behaviour,” says Stretton.

“It takes courage for a transgender person to shop in these spaces, but they have the same requirements as any other shopper, so I would suggest that we all get on and do the job we are paid to do and provide customers with service.”

Mary has also been approached by a number of corporate organisations interested in having her talk about the Diversity and Equal Opportunities framework.

Photo by Katie Wilson Photography.

To interview Mary, please contact
Miranda Likeman, Panic PR, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 027 296 2124

Click here to read the press release.

The transition of Caitlyn Jenner may have received global support and thrown the spotlight on discrimination towards the trans community – but it doesn’t seem to have filtered down to New Zealand retail.

Whilst shopping with best friend Mitchell Harvey at Farmers Botany today, Kiwi transgender personality Mary Haddock-Staniland was asked by staff in the women’s fashion department if she was a man or woman; then described within earshot to other shoppers as ‘half woman’.

“It just proves large companies like Farmers aren’t adequately training their staff in LGBIT issues,” says Mary.
“As a trans person, mild humiliation is sadly par for the course when shopping; I use the women’s changing rooms and ask if my best friend can come in with me, a reasonable request and one I’m sure they get all the time,” she says.

“But this was on another level. I am a customer like any other, there to shop, not to be laughed at, not served and described loudly to other customers as in a derogatory way.”

“I have never been in a situation like that, with Mary or otherwise,” says Harvey, who is in customer service as a job. “I was gobsmacked that such a thing could happen.”

Haddock-Staniland doesn’t usually discuss such experiences publicly but with an extensive background in Human Recourses wants to use this incident as an opportunity to ask New Zealand businesses to take a look at their diversity training practices.

“No person of any kind should be treated this way,” says Mary. “But let’s use this is a chance to make a change in our society.”

To interview Mary, please contact Miranda Likeman, Panic PR, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 027 296 2124

For immediate release– 25 April 2015

One of the biggest interviews of all time is going to air in America at the moment on ABC’s 20/20 programme. Diane Sawyer interviews the former international athlete Bruce Jenner, talking publicly for the first time about his decision to change his gender. Our very own openly transgender New Zealander Mary Haddock-Staniland is right behind him.

"Bruce should be entitled to be who he wants to be, regardless of what people say!" says the social media personality. Mary, who was born a male, lives life as a woman and has done for the last nine years. Talking exclusively to NZ New Idea Magazine recently about her identical twin brother, Mary discussed Bruce Jenner’s decision. “If he wants to get his jaw chiselled or get breasts, just leave it alone. It’s your own personal beliefs about the body you’re in.”

Mary has been monitoring social media this afternoon and says the hashtag #BruceJennerInterview is trending. "The comments I've seen online are mostly in support of Bruce Jenner's decision to do this. I think making this a public forum is incredibly brave of him. Making the choice to live his life true and authentic is the best thing he can do. Let's not forget gender dysphoria exists,” says Mary. 

Also a talented MC and entertaining key note speaker, Mary has become quite the transgender advocate talking to various corporate organisations about what she has experienced in the business world. A Director of an Employee Assistance Programme business, Mary knows first-hand that people who are considering a gender reassignment operation are dealt with differently in the workplace. "Why should anyone be treated differently because they aren't happy being the gender they were born with? It makes no sense,” she says. 

“If people have a problem with seeing Bruce Jenner in a dress, I think they have a serious problem in general. Live and let live, I wish him the best of luck. I hope Bruce will finally be happy, she says. 

-The end-

For an interview with Mary or images please contact Miranda Likeman, Panic PR, +64 27 296 2124 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Click on the link below, which will take you to the JOYFM website, where you can hear Mary’s interview with Leo on Friday Morning Drive Show.

Mary's passion for fashion and fabulous in this edition of Eye Magazine.


For immediate release

New Zealand personality Mary Haddock-Staniland has opened up for the first time about why she rarely discusses rumours that she and best friend Mitchell Harvey are not having an affair. 

Occasionally, particularly after speculation from internet trolls, I would make it clear on my social media channels that Mitchell and I are like brother and sister. But usually I don’t entertain gossip about us because it’s disrespectful to our respective partners,” she says.

Mary is happily married to her partner of eight years, and Mitchell has been in a committed relationship for three. Mary and Mitchell are social creatures who are regularly on Auckland’s social scene, while their partners don’t court the public eye by choice.

Both Mitchell and I are openly affectionate, and why shouldn’t we be? We are great, supportive influences in each other’s lives that enjoy being out and about,” she says. “Anyone who spreads lies that we have a sexual relationship obviously doesn’t know what it is like to have such a friendship in their lives, so they try to cast aspersions on mine.”

Mary admits that in the past there may have been plenty of scandal to uncover, but recently opened up to 3rdDegree about the truth behind everything that has served as fuel for tabloid rumours.

 “I didn’t discuss Mitchell in the interview because there is nothing to tell, and tawdry, anonymous speculation about our relationship breaks no new ground and is bullying and journalism at its most base.”

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



A personal & intimate interview, telling us about her colourful past, what she’s up to now and plans for the future.

Reporter: Paula Penfold
Producer: Eugene Bingham
Camera: George Murahidy/Daniel Grade
Editor: Toby Longbottom

Dressed by: Annah Stretton Fashion
Hair by: Zoe at Dry & Tea
Make up by: Phoenix Renata at Phoenix Cosmetics
Shoes by: Willow Shoes



More on Mary’s involvement in the It’s not OK campaign, and how to find out more about information in the Express Magazine...