Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Anti-equality MP shuns Masterton debate

Tue 18 Sep 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

John Hayes during the debate on the bill's first reading Masterton’s Town Hall will host a debate on marriage equality tonight, where the local MP will be conspicuous by his absence. Marriage equality bill author Louisa Wall told those gathered for the opening of Hamilton Pride that it’s “quite a hilarious situation.” She said Wairarapa MP John Hayes who “apparently was consulting with his electorate,” got up and made what she terms “a ridiculous speech” in the first reading debate, but is refusing to attend tonight’s event and listen to the public. In the debate a bowtie-clad Hayes said he was voting against the Bill based on the “majority view in my electorate”. He described it as “a sideshow”, said marriage is not defined by love, but by pro-creation, that it would be “legalisation by stealth” of gay parents adopting, would lead to polygamous and incestuous marriages - and continued talking after the final bell rang indicating his time was up. The Speaker told him to take his seat and he said “So they want me to vote against the bill,” and he sat down. The local branch of the Labour Party is organising tonight’s debate and says John Hayes has been invited, through phone and email, but has not replied. Wairarapa Labour Chairman Kieran McAnulty says he is concerned at how this makes Wairarapa look. “As one of the few to speak against the Bill Mr Hayes has been reported widely. The entire country now thinks that Wairarapa fears 'the extension of marriage to include relationships we do not as a society currently condone: polygamous and incestuous relationships,” he says. “Wairarapa elected the world’s first transgender MP – do we really link same-sex marriage to polygamy and incest or are Hayes’ own muddled views being portrayed as those of his constituents?” He adds: “The time for hiding is over, it is time for Hayes to front up to his constituents.” However Hayes has told the Wairarapa Times-Age: "I'm not interested. I've got much more important things to do.” Wall says his community want to have a discussion and Hayes doesn’t want to attend, “but Kevin [Hague] and I will be there, with Colin Craig, so it’s going to be an interesting event.” Craig and local Baptist minister Reverend Scott Lelievre will argue against the motion: “That the Marriage Amendment Bill is in the best interests of our country, and deserves the support of our Parliament.” Wall and Hague will debate for it. Former Masterton Mayor Bob Francis will chair and a Q  

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Tuesday, 18th September 2012 - 9:56am

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us