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Street's been a "great and inspiring" MP

Mon 22 Sep 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback View at NDHA

Maryan Street Rainbow Wellington is paying tribute to one of its Vice Patron Maryan Street who, based on provisional Election results, has not been re-elected to Parliament. Without special votes counted, Labour has not secured enough party vote to bring Street back in via its list. The openly-lesbian Nelson resident was an MP for nine years, during which she was an outspoken advocate for lgbti New Zealanders. “Maryan has been a great strength to the lgbti community,” Rainbow Wellington Chair Rawa Karetai says. “I've had the privilege to have worked with Maryan on a number of great causes from trying to prevent the damage of Voluntary Student Membership and community representation on University and Polytechnic Councils. “Marriage equality was a fantastic campaign and Maryan's advice and support to lgbti community activists has been incredible. “She will be remembered fondly among us and I doubt this will be the last we hear from Maryan. She is such a great and inspiring woman who would've touched a lot of hearts as an MP. We wish her all the best.” Rawa Karetai Karetai says while the election result isn’t personally what he wanted, he is happy Wellington now has three MPs. “Rainbow Wellington works right across the political spectrum and will continue to do so,” he says. “I'm happy to see James Shaw get in as an MP for the Green Party. James Shaw is someone who I think unreservedly deserves to be an MP and one to watch.” Karetai says National list MP Paul Foster-Bell is supportive of Rainbow Wellington’s efforts especially in the areas of Adoption Law Reform. “We will continue to work alongside Paul to find other supportive National MPs for our causes.” “And, Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP for Labour will certainly have an interesting three years ahead of him. The next few weeks we'll find out if there is a leadership challenge and if there is, I suspect Grant will try again for leadership.” Karetai says he delighted the Conservative Party failed to get into parliament. “As a community we can never be too complacent with the rights that we've gained over the last 30 years. Looking overseas you can easily see the rights of the lgbti community can go backwards. Something I think we have avoided this time round with the failing result of the Conservative Party.” Rainbow Wellington Secretary Tony Reed says he was personally “annoyed” watching the Election results come in “as Labour held electorates where National had a huge Party vote lead, and gained others, in some cases because of split votes or tactical voting in the FPP electorate situation.” He continues “I feel that people like Maryan, who were prepared to fight in seats they were unlikely to win, and instead relied on the party vote to get in as List MPs, have been treated very poorly. “Labour cannot win on Electorates alone, but needs to attract good List MPs as well, and then work hard to get them elected as well. I remember that in 2008, despite losing power, Helen [Clark] ensured that new blood came into Parliament.” His personal opinion is that Labour needs a lesson in MMP. “National, on the other hand, played the system rather well, emphasising the party vote towards the end of the campaign, and making deals where they wanted, and not when they didn't … and thank goodness the Conservatives are not there at least.” Reed is also happy Peters is not in a position to dictate any terms, “as that always seems to go badly for our communities when he can”. He echoes Karetai’s comments that Rainbow Wellington will continue to lobby any Government on lgbti issues. “We hope that National will be responsive to such lobbying, and we note that the three small support parties it is continuing to call on are ones with a reasonable track record on many of our issues.”    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 22nd September 2014 - 1:08pm

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