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Turia bows out, shares respect for Beyer

Thu 24 Jul 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Tariana Turia's views on lgbti rights changed later in her career Tariana Turia has paid a brief tribute to friend and former Labour colleague Georgina Beyer in her valedictory speech. Beyer stood by Turia when she left Labour during the foreshore and seabed ruction, something which Turia has previously said meant a great deal to her and her family. “I have the utmost respect for Georgina Beyer, who sacrificed her political aspirations to stand alongside of me at Ratana," she said today. Turia is leaving Parliament after an 18 year career, first with Labour, then with the Maori Party - which was born from the wake of the foreshore and seabed dispute. She was initially rated ‘abysmal’ by GayNZ.com in a conservative start to her career, where she voted against civil unions and stated she was against gay couples even having next-of-kin rights to kids. However things changed as the Maori Party emerged and took a pro-lgbti view from the start - led by her gay-friendly cohort Pita Sharples. Turia went on to vote for marriage equality and to state at a forum her party was in favour of gay adoption. As Associate Health Minister, she was supportive of HIV/AIDS prevention, ending stigma and making sure Maori men were included in prevention work. In her final speech today, Turia also spoke fondly about Darren Hughes, saying she missed the high-flying young MP. He resigned from Parliament in 2011 amidst a sex complaint laid by a male university student, which was later dismissed by police due to a lack of evidence. Turia said she’d believed Hughes would be Labour leader and Prime Minister one day. Turia also acknowledged gay National MP Chris Finlayson, calling him the greatest Treaty Negotiations Minister New Zealand has ever had.     

Credit: GayNZ.com Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 24th July 2014 - 6:30pm

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