Georgina Beyer - significant legislation

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[00:00:00] This program is brought to you by pride indeed.com. [00:00:05] Right, my name is Georgina buyer. And in the mid to late 1970s, through to the early 1980s. Prostitution was part of her into my income. Amongst other things. prostitution in those days was a dangerous game, mainly practiced, of course, by women working out of massage parlors, as they were called, there weren't very many girls that ply their trade on the street, that was normally the preserve of the drag queens seen. The street Walker seen occasionally there was some straight girls, and that would be around there. And of course, the ship girls, and that could either be straight girls or queens actually, who would also service the carnal needs of sex laws, you know, shipping fishing vessels, merchant navy missiles and stuff like that, that would come into the port from Wilmington at the time. [00:01:10] It was [00:01:13] it was a [00:01:15] hard and dangerous and pretty unsavory kind of vocation to be involved with, at that time, always open to a lot of abuse. The onus was always on the sex worker. There was never any culpability on behalf of the client, a lot of abuse, a lot of exploitation, a lot of criminal elements, who would pimping, I'm talking about really like that, particularly for girls who were under duress as far as that was concerned. And money was [00:01:58] OK, I suppose. But [00:02:02] yeah, it was exploited urban somebody, especially from Western powers, and things like that will be there to clock the ticket, so to speak, from the clients that you had, there was no protection. Certainly not been a counter condoms or anything like that. This was pre the advent of HIV and AIDS I suppose. [00:02:23] And, [00:02:24] and like I say, there was a lot of abuse that could go on clients on six workers, six weeks amongst each other, the camps and the minders, and a lot of exploitation in that regard. And there was no way you could go to get any kind of support or justice or whatever, because it was, of course, considered morally corrupt. And it was illegal. prostitution, per se, was not illegal, but soliciting was. So you could say it Pamela be found with extraordinary amount. So you know, especially in the 80s, and 90s, even, you know, great suppliers of condoms and suggestions that there might be more than just message going on, and a massage parlor. And, and that sometimes could be an excuse for the police to arrest you and take you away and process you. [00:03:26] Yeah, those sorts of things. That was very unfair. [00:03:29] And then fast forward to the early 2000s. And you find yourself in Parliament. And this bowl comes before parliament, which is the prostitution reform bill. [00:03:41] The prostitution Reform Act as that as now but bill was was there was a member's bill promoted by Tim Bennett, who was a Labour MP and the Helen Clark labor lead government. And so it was a private member's bill, not for Government Bill. And essentially, it was seeking to address the in justices that exists within the six industry. And for the six workers, it was also a huge health and safety issue. Because, you know, the oldest profession on the world. STI is STDs, HIV, all of those kinds of things were, you know, very prominent as far as being health issues, occupational health and safety was a major force behind [00:04:38] behind that, and also, [00:04:40] the bill promulgated the idea that instead of being punitive, which is where you would think people would Monique manly go, that we should perhaps look at differently to address the issue and provide a fairness and equity and some rights for the six working industry. And there it is, sort of a nutshell as what the prostitution Reform Act was about, because it was hugely controversial. You know, the manly conservative New Zealand was not ready to be confronted with this kind of liberalisation, the criminalization of sex work, I mean, but it was really a matter of the public looking in the mirror and saying, well, it's been brushed under the carpet essentially. And legal since for so long. It hasn't addressed the issues of abuse, the issues of health and safety within the sector, for anyone who comes in contact with that, or accesses the services of that industry. And it's also important for the clients, as well as for the six worker, that would be a safe functioning environment. And I'd have to say that at that time, we had no, New Zealand had no effect some figures that were reliable, on how this industry worked, and, or being able to monitor how it was working. And that, you know, people's needs and things were sort of being properly and will formally addressed. So that was part of the reasons for us. I mean, so the bill was introduced some day, or drawn from the balance, you know, which was always a bit of a lottery empowerment. And, and that came up for us first reading, gosh, four year 2000 2001. can't quite remember when it came out for its first reading. And of course, by this time, I'd been elected into parliament in 1999. And when I got up to make my first reading speech on the prostitute, I and I had to sort of obviously turn and see it all, it's going to be great to have me around to support the bill. And I on the face of support at some tensions. And when I my first reading speech, I couldn't remember saying was the speaker, I guess I'm the only member in this house that's ever worked in the six industry. Nobody denied that, and was able to speak from a position of experience about and that, you know, we could write the wrongs. I think, here that really, we needed to address this issue and I sensible and intelligent way as a country and all bit that it will be difficult, and people will be going, taking huge, you know, gulps of, you know, good god, what are we doing here? kind of thing. But, you know, it's not turned out to be as horrible and as bad as some elements saw that now that need to be addressed again. [00:08:02] At that time, were there any other countries in the world that had either decriminalized six week, or legalized [00:08:13] that that legalized so much some one or two other Scandinavian countries, I think we're headed a slightly more liberal outlook on it, but there was still some punitive effects of it. But to criminalize someone for being a sex worker, and for clients to have gotten off scot free was just really quite intolerable when it came to the law because it does take two consenting adults and this financial transaction that occurs regarding six. And that's essentially what it was. The difficulty is that a lot of a lot of transmissible sexual diseases can occur and the kind of clientele that accesses the services of six workers, not your place to make burgers, they are ordinary, meaning woman who, you know, so the husband might have a flotation somewhere overseas or with a New Zealand or water. It could pass on anything unwittingly to a spouse or a partner. And with HIV being particularly highlighted is somewhere safe sex was the message we're putting out? Well, you know, how can you guarantee the general get safe sex of your exes and sexual services of a prostitute? And no, health metals are being considered, ie wearing condoms, etc, or having non partnership seeks or whatever it might be, just as one aspect of it. So no, there weren't any other countries around the world at the time that we're looking at approaching the issue of prostitution, the way that this bill was, I'm [00:10:02] going to address it. [00:10:04] What was the debate like in Parliament? Oh, it was painful. It was difficult. It was and not just to Parliament, but I mean, throughout the country, it was sensational. around the country and a hugely diverse diversity. [00:10:22] And extraordinary amount of work on lobbying and [00:10:28] debate and discussion occurred. I think, the campaigners for prostitution reform, Catherine Healy, and kind of prostitutes collective at the women's organizations, even the National Council of Women, if I remember, rightly, were supportive of it, some of them wanted to have caveats around that. But it was, you know, it was just about really a matter of all or nothing, you know, you just can't sort of cherry pick pieces office. And I think, eventually, the public because we've actually been through the country in the world, I get some been through very, [00:11:06] very [00:11:08] comprehensive debates around things like HIV and AIDS. And finally getting that right, it was not a gay disease. You know, I mean, there were so many people around the world, that it just belongs to them. And that would never affect us. It's not true, of course. But I think because in the New Zealand context, when you're able to get through those debates and handle it very well, actually, at the end of the day, when it came to addressing these kinds of issues, will probably a little more prepared for a robust debate, no doubt, you know, over something like prostitution or form where common sense being the day, I think one out, it was, politically, it was a nightmare, I think, to try and pull together, particularly, to try and pull together enough support because it was going to be a conscience vote, not a party vote and the parliament. So each individual MP will make up his or her mind as to whether or not they would vote in favor of it. And so that required a huge amount of lobbying. And I'm curious, and I suppose one of a better term from a term and his team to persuade other members of parliament to not make such a political decision. Because it's easy, you know, because every electorate was probably around saying don't do vote on Fiverr event bill, you know, and so many MPs put their political lives on the line, I think, and voting in favor of it, I was one of them. Of course, I was an MP for a rural conservative electorate, and they sure as hell didn't want me to be supporting prostitution reform. And so I took the political risk to vote with my conscience, not for what was politically expedient for me at the time. And that's not the only bill I voted on must admit, but it passed its first reading, I can't remember what the ratio of votes was, but it was probably very slim. But at past its first reason, which is probably the easiest thing for an MP to agree to be able to do that. Because if you get up to a select committee, then you get the whole public debate feeding into the select committee process. And so and let that's democracy working. And so that was good that we got over that hurdle and to, you know, to the select committee. the select committee process went on for a long time, I did not sit on the Select Committee, so I wasn't really present for I think I might have set on once or twice to fill in for another MP. on that committee to hear submissions, again, was robust, difficult debate that occurred, the select committee process counter conclusion, the committee report back to the house, it came up for a second reason, in that period of time. I think tank called the maxim Institute, an Auckland had recruited and are a conservative think tank, with a bit of a religious conviction about them, [00:14:31] they had recruited a [00:14:35] doctor from the United States and Dr. Melissa family, to come over to New Zealand and conduct a some research under the six industry in New Zealand, she only had a very short period of time to do it. And, and she, she had done some work and come up with some very suspect, calculations and, and analyze, you know, analysis. Because like, as have mentioned, before, there was very little factual data on how the six industry was operating in New Zealand anyhow. And it has she documented family, lobbied parliament, of course, lobbied all the MPs around parliament, and she went on a bit of a crusade. And she did come and talk to me at one point, and put up some quite compelling arguments and debate which gave me pause to think about my support for the bill. And we were coming up to the second reading debate in the house. And she had just turned that I mean, not the same week, I think should come up. And I was interesting over and I can't remember the details of what she told me, but she drawn some feathers on my face. And and, and I was sort of taken aback by them, and she, you know, reputable doctor, so on and so forth. So I took her Rachel word, etc. and the word was getting out that I was starting to waver on my support for the second reading, and Tim was very concerned. And so as Catherine Healy, and various others were very concerned that I might not vote that I would vote down the second reading. And if that happened, then what message would that seems not only to the rest of the politicians in the house, but to all the anti prostitution reform people out there will be a huge victory for them. Peter DUNS, United future party had quite a number of MPs in Parliament at that time, Larry Bulldog, Mary Smith, and various others, but I just remember them particularly because they sat next to me in Parliament. And the word was scuttlebutt was going about the parliament that Georgina Baya might be voting down the second reading. And I remember united future got very excited, because I haven't did against the bill. And we're getting very excited. They all rushed to the chamber when it came to second grade. And we're waiting with bated breath for my speech to torpedo the entire bill by getting up and saying I wouldn't vote in favor of it. But because Tim and Catherine had heard that I was being persuaded by Dr. Melissa Farley that perhaps I shouldn't support the second reading of the bill, they got a person to come and visit me who had been agreed to be part of Melissa Farley's research team when she got to New Zealand. And that person had spent not much more than a day or two working with her before she decided that this woman had no idea what she was doing, and that what she was doing was skewing, and quite an accurate on what was she was getting together and stopped doing the work. So I sent this person whose name escapes me to visit me and tell me what her experience was with Melissa fatty while she'd been around during her her very quick research on prostitution and New Zealand. And, and, and he had been very misleading and some of the figures that should come out. So I get to get up to do my speech. And the second reason, and I started out sounding very grim and door and that I don't know whether it was and then eventually I sort of eventually, I turned around and much to the shock, horror united future in particular, I absolutely slammed and in fact, if I hadn't had the protection of Parliament, ie and the chamber, saying what I said, I could have been considered to have been defaming Melissa family. And of course, I voted in favor of the second reason, held second reading and went through the Committee stage without going through all the boring process of how Parliament works, but that bill came and I think he managed to correct this but I'm sure it was either. that's frustrating happened either 2000 or 2001. But it didn't pass into law until 2003. And so it transcended an election we had an election again in 2002. And prosecution of one didn't get a second third ravens third and final reason until after that, at its third and final reading. [00:19:28] Oh God, the the atmosphere in parliament was absolutely electric. The the chamber was packed to capacity, upstairs in the gallery and everything and it was absolutely all we had no idea of what was going to pass. The Pound was utterly divided on it, you could just couldn't tell where it was going to go. And we get down to the final a third reading. The third reading of a bill in Parliament usually consists of 1210 minutes speeches. So only 12 people can, can speak. And I had known to I had not intended to speak and net read and but Tom came to me said you've got to get up and speak. And I said well, I can't the slots have already been allocated. And you know, as a note, someone's prepared to to share five minutes, you know, five minutes of their time, so that you can at least give a five minute speech. So I was unprepared. I hadn't prepared for a speech or anything like that. But some I agreed and somebody was very nervous. I can remember another transgender figure knocking for the material is Strickland who's passed away now sadly. And mama Terry had also been recruited by the Maximus, the children Auckland to and she was against prostitution reform, she was sort of put up in my view to counter me and pound and who was fourth. And I can remember mama Terry is sitting in the chamber that day, sort of directly opposite upstairs in the gallery from where I was sitting or you know, looking at people daggers, you know, and all that sort of thing. I was shocked that she was against prostitution reform because she was up for six weeks herself. And she worked amongst the six industry in South Auckland, and particular up and on an Auckland. And so I was shocked that she was not in favor of it and couldn't see the merits of what we were trying to do with the spill. My five minutes speech came along. And I had no idea what I was going to say. And I got up and I just asked the rhetorical question aloud. And I said, Why do I support this bill and I just went off into this probably three and a half minutes of the most fabulous parliamentary theater that you've seen, I support the spillover. All the prostitutes I've ever known who would did before the age of 20 support this bill because I cannot stand looking at the hypocrisy of a country that cannot look itself. In honor honor on I went on this powerful, considered straight from the hat. When I finished my speech, and I sat down and there was absolute silence on the chamber, you gotta hit 100 as everyone sort of took a breath, and then the unders ovation, absolutely thunderous ovation. The most people in the gallery rose to the feta, it was the most incredible sort of ovation, you know, that, you know, deals in the head, you know, and that sort of sense. And it was sort of quite remarkable. But there were a few more speeches to go, mine was just one of them. Long story short, my speech and the speech by our Pacific Island woman, MP when they live and now when they of course, you know, achieve ended up voting, and she brought up a very good argument in her third and final reading speech, my speech and when a speech, change the minds of two, possibly three in peace sitting in the chamber that day, that particular moment, and change the minds to vote in favor of it. And with that support, and one abstention from Ashraf Sheldrake, one of the scenes from the prostitution Reform Act passed on an abstention that, that you couldn't get any more slum other than that. So it was victory for the prostitution Reform Act, and it passed into law. [00:23:43] Well, you know, of course, the world was going to fall in, you know, God, this is the end, you know, what, you know, become the six capital of the world and the data that and what, of course, with 10 years down the track, and nothing of the sort has happened. One of the areas of prostitution reform, that unfortunately, we did a once over likely, during the select committee process and did not address at all well as the matters of street prostitution, which has still been a major issue, particularly for handles corner and South Auckland. And until the earthquakes, also a difficult issue for a Manchester Street and Christchurch. But I think there needs to be some amendment around that. And I think the 600 streets sector has had ample time to tidy that up and meet society halfway about the street prostitution, then because they haven't been able to clean it up, I think. I think it's disgusting and disgraceful the way the street workers are behaving and South Auckland, it's not necessary to be like that, and these more liberal and safer times. So it is a choice that I have had that it's just a bit of, you know, sort of anti social. Well, you know, you either use the liberalisation and the generosity of has given to that industry, or you lose it. And if they don't watch out that'll it'll become more punitive. I mean, part of the of what the prosecution of format has done has empowered local authorities, that is a night where six week can occur, not that can't, which was many local authorities wanted to just burn up completely wake up in the real world, it does not go away simply because you say so they don't call it the oldest profession in the world for nothing. So better that you have a grip on it, that there is some regulation around that, that you are able to monitor, and ensure that people who are either working in the industry or access services are getting fair. And you know, justice, I guess, you know, as you know, comes to personally but I think the rest of the world, I think finds if they ever come across these debates and their own countries often now look toward the New Zealand legislation that was world leading, at the time, scary. And I think we've proven in our country, that it has not turned out to be the horror that people the naysayers took for granted was going to be now we are some islands down at the bottom of the world. Geographically, our situation was different to that of somebody like Europe, I think even Sweden's gone more punitive, as opposed to more liberal on prostitution reform. And their country. I remember going to Copenhagen to speak at a university conference, I was asked to go and talk about our experience of prostitution reform. And was quite [00:26:49] surprised to [00:26:50] hear that something like Sweden was going to criminalize clients as opposed to become more liberal about us. The situation on something like Europe is different. They've got the Economic Union and the United the and euro and, and all of that, and they've got borders that people can easily cross. So the matter of sex trafficking and all of that sort of thing as a very major issue. It's not quite so I mean, I think we met some amendments to immigration eight here, that just does not allow people just flooding just because you know, you can go and be a six week or New Zealand and No, it's okay. They'd be many of the naysayers out there. That's exactly what's happened. Just look at Auckland, and look up all the Asian prostitutes and things out there like that. [00:27:33] Now, people, you know, felt fulfill, you cannot, [00:27:37] you know, get residency and everything here just because you want to be a six week or sorry, it doesn't work like that. And we did put measures around that and the Immigration Act, you know, through amendments so that you [00:27:47] can come to New Zealand, just like that. [00:27:48] I think we've got a working population and is the love around 6000 hips who are in the six industry. And the six industry is more than just prostitution, of course, as distasteful as it may be too many people, I think that the way New Zealand has handled sex work and prostitution as an intelligent and common sense by approach, which, you know, is not being ignored by a cat laws have passed, that there is protection there for all involved. And that there are and that with with liberalisation comes a huge amount of responsibility to and so you know, the orders, you know, a lot of people still ask me now, do you still stand by your support for prostitution reform? And my answer is yes, of course, I'd be a bit of a bloody hypocrite if I turn around at all. No, I don't think I should have supported that. Now. Of course I do. You know, I hated prostitution myself. I hated working in it. I, you know, I don't like it. But you know, for myself and some of the experiences that I had as a prostitute. I hope that people who work in the sex industry these days never have to endure what I and many of my generation and those have gone before us had to endure. [00:29:16] with nowhere to go for help or safety. [00:29:18] And [00:29:23] within the space of a year also, we also had the civil union bone Come on. And I know it's a bit of a long jump to go from prostitution to civil union. But I mean, that was another [00:29:36] it's not such a long jump, because we don't feel that, you know, that particular government dealt with to issue again, civil union became a Government Bill, but it started out as Timbaland's member's bill. And, [00:29:50] and it wasn't [00:29:51] necessarily had to be civil union, that's just that will be debated around you know what to go for, as opposed to marriage, etc, meaning the marriage act and so on. So we didn't have that debate during that civil union, and all of it, but they were great, you know, a lot of people would say, as social engineering, [00:30:07] and, you know, whether it be prostitution [00:30:09] reform and, [00:30:12] and, and in kind of civil unions, and they were both venal and diverse of debates that occurred at the time. And I don't think that the gay community in New Zealand and certainly the gay friendly community, and New Zealand, ever thought that we would see the kind of debate again, that we had endured through homosexual law reform and the eighth and the 1980s. But sure enough, you know, our detractors of the day, had just [00:30:43] crept away [00:30:44] somewhere, like came out full force when civil union came along. People, you know, wanted to play real politics, but the civil union thing, and of course, have had the emergence of outfits like the destiny church, Brian Tamaki, and all the Christian conservative right wing fundamentalists, [00:31:05] who found a platform [00:31:06] by which they could jump on. And, you know, to further liberalize already, you know, somewhat liberalize gay [00:31:15] related methods [00:31:18] was just beyond the pile for the inside of pushing, talking about family values, and look, this country's, you know, going down the tubes, you know, got prostitution reform, and now they want the gays to be able to get married and have civil unions, it was a very veiled debate at the time, I can remember during civil unions right from the get go. parts first racing onwards, every day, during the debate on civil unions, a little group of exclusive brethren would come in set and the gallery at Parliament, and they would go and rotors, you know, say have, you know, four or five or fewer of them, half a dozen of them sitting up in the gallery [00:31:58] just suddenly passed, certainly, [00:32:00] but their presence on the way they dress, she knew that they were exclusive breather. And, and it was just a passive protest, I guess. This, this is a church organization that apparently doesn't get involved in politics, but felt some emboldened that they must get involved this time around, and who was now what they were going to do in 2005. But [00:32:22] the backup found out by the greens, and But anyhow, they weren't [00:32:26] every day, they came into the chamber, you know, the afternoon [00:32:31] sessions in the evening sessions of Parliament, and I'd sometimes walk into the chamber to go and do my leg and the house or whatever, and had see them up there. And just to sort of, you know, push them off, relax, just wave at them. [00:32:43] Hi, I'm here. [00:32:47] And on some occasions, I'd actually go up into the gallery [00:32:50] and sit down and welcome them to Parliament. Hello, nice to have you here. Enjoying the debates [00:32:55] getting but boring, isn't it, you know, and then just about sort of, [00:32:59] you know, recoil and horror of some I was within the body space, you know, that was sort of the [00:33:06] feeling that I got sometimes, but is now every day, [00:33:10] they would turn up until the bill passed, I can remember when the civil union bill hits third reading. And again, the chamber was absolutely packed to capacity. And when the final vote count, Ghana was a conscience vote, the parliament I cannot remember I think might have might have passed, it was a slum, you know, maybe no more than team votes. Maybe I need to go back and check the facts on that. But it was a slum passage for civil union on a conscience vote and when it passed, and I can remember when the results of the vote were announced, and the chamber, the chamber erupted. And everyone up in the gallery who was supporters of the bill, fruit live feed, and suddenly there were these little pictures, a couple of people who are against the bill. And I suddenly felt completely overwhelmed [00:34:05] by the amount of [00:34:06] people in the chamber that day that were in favor of it was another great moment. And another great move forward. And, [00:34:13] you know, for, you know, the common sense, really, [00:34:20] you know, yes, in the gay community, this, obviously we're now you know, we're in the midst of the debate over the marriage equality legislation that there was a wall was got before Parliament at the moment. And I know that there's been, you know, obviously, you've hit the bottom across screens, and [00:34:42] you know, and others, golf McVicker and people like that have spoken out [00:34:46] against marriage equality, but I do not since the same degree of moral outrage throughout the country over marriage equality, as they also have a civil union. And although you on the gay community, the there's a preference for marriage rather than civil union. That we have not had civil union wouldn't have provided the leverage that marriage equality is just going to it's going to be a doddle. I'm sure it's going to pass [00:35:17] pretty easily, [00:35:19] and comparison to what civil unions in comparison to homosexual law reform, you know, so incrementally over time, these things change. But I don't give you this warning. [00:35:32] In some respects, Laura's easy to change. [00:35:34] Attitude takes generations. And that complacency can never be allowed to provide once you think you've got something like that. It only takes a change of government and a vote, by simple majority to repeal these things. So don't think that once [00:35:56] these things pass, they just they've ever don't get complacent about this attitude. Well, I [00:36:04] congratulate New Zealand for the attitude regarding marriage and and civil unions and such things as being something not to be afraid of anymore that the fabric of society is not going to unravel the summit want you to believe simply because you provide equality for all its citizens, not exclusivity for some of us citizens. [00:36:30] Did you ever sit on any of the slip committee hearings? First? One, I said one step [00:36:36] down in Christ Church I filled in for a couple of justice and electoral Select Committee, I think saw the civil union bill through And it so happened that Tom Barnard chaired the Justice intellectual Select Committee, as well as he was the senior government work both at the time to it was worth at least in here. And I went to Christ you one day to fall on facility committee hearings down there, as being at the table five minutes before I was spitting outrage, some submitted come forward who spewed out this absolute venal tirade, he was absolutely horrified to be studying and having to submit [00:37:18] to the likes of me. And Tim balance serving [00:37:22] up a hill the pizza slaughter was outrageous, and just some of the horrible, horrible things. I didn't leave the room, because I would have described myself by just going right off and be most [00:37:33] insanely for a Member of Parliament to do that. [00:37:36] But I was, you know, deeply offended by this man. And he was deadly serious. He was almost shaking with rage. That, you know, [00:37:47] the people like me, particularly and term or even in our parliament, [00:37:54] even allowed to be you know, this was the kind of [00:37:57] an I thought for this [00:38:00] sort of stuff was gone. But it wasn't this one thing I'll say, and the defense was that I will defend the right even Brian Tamaki and distantly church and that horrible enough was enough match that they had through Wellington. [00:38:15] I think you know, that match. [00:38:17] That man had no idea what effect that that particular protests that distantly church head and Wellington were 8000 of them turned up to Parliament to protest against civil unions, and uphold family values. And he held the sort of evangelical you know, meeting now from front of Parliament for us to the hours protest, and the my rainbow flag standing on, you know, steps of Parliament and felt back, you were a Nuremberg rally that sort of felt like the war, first punching in the air, the black uniforms, and they were wearing and all of this kind of stuff. That was horrible. And I actually think, instead of helping their calls, he and the rest of the church helped our cause. Because when the public saw that they were offended, by the way he presented themselves, not what he was debating. I didn't agree with what he was debating, I would defend his rights to say it, and to do it and to protest. We live in a goddamn democracy. But the way they presented themselves, not only to Parliament, but obviously through media to the nation, the nation was not impressed with it. And I did not like the imagery that he presented. [00:39:33] That day, [00:39:34] I had people and LinkedIn K and officers who were emailing my office as they watched the match go through town, [00:39:42] who were absolutely [00:39:45] outraged and insulted and offended at what they were seeing. And they were in disbelief. And that was sort of, you know, emailing and the support. [00:39:54] I've heard of people who were brought [00:39:55] to tears on the street when I saw the imagery mean boys matching them Roman formation down LinkedIn key and and down toward parliament, punching the air like, you know, doing Nazi salutes, that's what sort of looked like, it's not though what our meaning even if it was black power [00:40:18] salutes, and this [00:40:21] you know, enough is enough. Enough is enough. [00:40:24] That was pretty powerful day. And when I compare that protest, and the imagery at portrayed and you know, and its intention, and I compare that to the heat coin over the foreshore, and CBS, which was born probably the largest protest that's ever gone to Parliament, angry but awesome and dignified. And you know, that was palpable that was the equal for the foreshore and seabed. I give points to the [00:40:58] E. coli. [00:40:58] assurances being over and above what Brian Tamaki and destiny church were trying to present over civil unions. [00:41:06] And again, you know, [00:41:08] the world has not fallen because we passed civil unions. And indeed, of anything that's probably slightly embarrassing or not that many people really in the scheme of things has have used the legislation for several unions, I mean, maybe a couple of thousand most 1500 maybe have used us and civil unions, of course, was not exclusive, but as inclusive as it was for anybody who wanted to have their partnership sodomized in that respect. And let's remember that marriage at the end of the day, there's a civil action as a marriage license that is civil. [00:41:48] But [00:41:50] the gay community and others, you know, want to go for marriage equality, and that's fine. I can respect that. But I'm also perfectly comfortable with civil union. I've been getting pernickety you know, after the each individual person how they feel about that, I don't have a huge amount of respect for the institution of marriage in itself. And, and why do I think that the churches should win out, because that's the connotation that marriage has, of course, marriage is not about the church, the church, part of marriage is natural. That's a ceremonial fun, it is to acknowledge that, you know, religious side of things that that's your persuasion, but marriage, technically legally, in every other way, at the end of the day, as a certificate of registration, that you are married, and the legal Solomon ization thing. And that's a civil matter, [00:42:41] civil union. [00:42:44] During both the civil unions, and also the prostitution reform, how will your labor colleagues work? I mean, was it a support of caucus? [00:42:53] No, no, not by any means. [00:42:58] The leader supported them. Of course, some so that was helpful Helen Clark. But no, there were elements of labor. Most certainly you just need to go back and look at [00:43:06] the how people voted. And the parliament over there to find out but [00:43:10] a few names that I can think of who are against john, Tommy Harry Clayton calls Grove Dover, Samuels, [00:43:18] Ross Robertson. [00:43:22] Else, probably a few other those are a few that just come off the top of my head at the mind. [00:43:26] And on a personal level, how did you deal with it? [00:43:32] while you've got to respect that, [00:43:34] these methods of conscience, it was the conscience that got a vote on obviously, some MPs made a political decision. Because, you know, whenever you hear an MP on a conscience votes, I must go and canvass my electorate first and find out what the feedback has and what they think. [00:43:53] Fair enough. [00:43:54] That's fine. But at the end of the day, should you [00:43:57] actually be swayed? Simply because you think if I don't [00:44:02] do what they want me to I might be out of my [00:44:04] seat at the next election. And then I'm sorry, is the cold hard reality of it for me the MPs there are so many No, couldn't care less about the piece of legislation may not be that important to them, they're going to go with your electorate and vote against now my electric my rapper were definitely against prostitution and reform, there were definitely against civil unions. I voted with my conscience and what I believed and I took the political risk and voted in favor of those bills. For another example, for sure, and C bead, my electric definitely wanted me to vote in favor of the foreshore and CB legislation. But I as a Molly did not want to vote in favor of the foreshore and seabed. It was not a conscience vote. It was a party whipped vote. And although I resisted, and what a relief parliament was Tatiana to do, if I'd had the same choices as she had, I couldn't end I didn't, and I had to vote in favor of it against my world. [00:45:11] I was backed into a corner over it. [00:45:13] I spent the dummy about it, I expressed my displeasure with having to vote in favor of us, and all of that, but again, I had to against my will vote in favor of it. You know, really, I suppose at the end, because it was a party vote another conscience vote and my party wanted me to vote in favor of my later on me to vote in favor of Robert. [00:45:34] But my gut feeling as our Mallory [00:45:38] know this is wrong, what we're doing is not right, there's got to be another way around this particular issue. And [00:45:47] yeah, [00:45:48] it was horrible. In fact, the foreshore and seabed was the beginning of the end of my political career. [00:45:58] And a complete change of my attitude about being a labor. And it was the issue that prevented my ever getting promoted and labor. And because I could prove that I can be disobedient, you know, and [00:46:18] not afraid to express my feeling about it. [00:46:20] And, yeah, I find for me, the foreshore on CBS was the worst thing I ever had to do. empowerment, [00:46:30] everything else prostitution reforms, civil union, all of it. [00:46:35] Not a problem. But that legislation at absolutely threw me into a [00:46:44] I was disillusioned after there's a high [00:46:46] society was terrible. And not only will forgive labor for you know, making them have to make those choices. And um, yeah. You know, what, on the foreshore on CBS, how vindicated Did you think I felt when Michael Cohen came to leave parliament of 2008 election and the week he's leaving parliament, he finally acquiesced and acknowledged that perhaps labour had got it wrong on the foreshore and seabed and I can remember hearing it on the radio and yelling out to myself at home or whatever at the time. Yes, I was right that I felt guilty all that time since then, about my my, you know, not being cooperative at that time over. And then finally to hear Alec, one of our leaders, you know, the time toward the end of his parliamentary career acknowledged that we got it wrong on foreshore and seabed. So when the newly elected national government along with the Mahdi party and others, repealed the foreshore and seabed act and replaced with the tech Time Warner marine and coastal area I mean belt which is probably about one sentence more difference than the foreshore and CD and I went to Parliament as a former member and settlement chamber that day to watch the food reading of that time one a bill go through just so because when you sit in the chamber as a former member you're right by the opposite you're sitting right there with the opposition benches Sunday with the old labour colleagues looking at them. And they were wondering why I was there because they're sitting on opposition and I'm when I came back just so that I could see that bill get a C foreshore and CB get repealed and checked out. And just for my own self satisfaction to sit there and go see you all gave me a hard time at that time. But at the end of the day, I was right [00:48:49] I was right

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