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New MP will work both sides of House

Sun 9 Nov 2008 In: New Zealand Daily News

One of the two new gay MPs heading for Parliament after yesterday's general election says he is looking forward to finding ways to work with MPs on both sides of the house to achieve goals important to glbt people. New Green MP Kevin Hague Kevin Hague, a Greens list candidate, says he believes the glbt vote was a contributor to the Greens bucking the election trend towards politically conservative parties. He will attend his first Greens caucus tomorrow morning. "That will be our first opportunity to think about what we can achieve from the situation we are in," he says, referring to the Greens' now being part of the opposition rather allied with a governing party. "It's disappointing not to be in a position to be in the government," he says, "we'll just have to be creative in working towards our goals." Hague says his goals as a Green MP and as a gay MP are entirely compatible. "The issues we face as glbt communities are at the heart of the Green party philosophy, there's a good tie in there." But he is reluctant to name any specific goals he has other than  to say that he wants to address the "practises of government" and the ways laws and government policies are carried out. "It's too soon to call what will be achievable," he says. Hague will be leaving his job as West Coast District Health Board chief executive, from which he has taken leave without pay during the election campaign. He says his departure will be facilitated by an employment agreement which covers what would have happened with his job whatever the outcome of his political campaign. Hague says he is looking forward to meeting up with his fellow gay and lesbian MPs, most of whom he already knows "quite well." He says he has only met the only openly gay MP on the government side of the house, but is looking forward to getting to know Chris Finlayson better. As for being based in Wellington while Parliament is sitting, Hague says he is looking forward to having regular access to such Wellington pleasures as the Unity Bookshop. But he admits that his heart remains "in the bush and outdoors" and says his home will continue to be "near Greymouth."    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 9th November 2008 - 4:56pm

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