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Robertson voted in as Labour deputy leader

Tue 13 Dec 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News View at NDHA

Labour Deputy leader Grant Robertson 11.20am: Grant Robertson has emerged from this morning's Labour caucus meeting as deputy leader of the Labour Party. The caucus vote makes Robertson the first openly gay person to ever head up the parliamentary wing of a New Zealand political party. David Shearer has been voted leader. Robertson, the MP for Wellington Central since 2008, was born in Palmerston North and has lived in Dunedin and Hastings. He became involved in student politics where he rose to become President of the New Zealand University Students Association and of the Otago University Students Association. He worked as a New Zealand diplomat at the United Nations in New York representing NZ views on the environment, economic development, population, overseas aid and South Pacific issues. He was the Vice President of the Board of the UN Development Programme and UN Population Fund. Robertson later managed NZ Overseas Aid Programme to Samoa. An avid rugby fan, Robertson met his partner Alf, a bus driver, when they were playing for a gay rugby team. "I spend too much time watching sport – particularly rugby, cricket, still play a bit of indoor netball, squash, etc.," he says. He also enjoys "cooking, movies, listening to New Zealand music and reading New Zealand literature." From 2005-2008 Robertson was a member of the Trust Board of the NZ AIDS Foundation and subsequently rose to an influential but low profile position as one of the closest advisers to then Prime Minister Helen Clark. As an MP he has been Labour spokesperson for Health and Labour, and Associate Arts, Culture spokesperson. He was deputy Chair of the Health Select Committee and convenor of the Rainbow Caucus. You can discuss this New Zealand gay community news story in the Forum.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 13th December 2011 - 11:22am

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