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Grant Robertson

At the time of his retirement from national politics, Grant Robertson reflects on his time in Parliament. Grant began working at Parliament in 2001, before becoming a Member of Parliament in 2008. He would go on to become the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister. Grant retired from national politics in March 2024.

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Grant Robertson's retirement from his role as a Member of Parliament marks a significant moment in New Zealand's political landscape. In an intimate and reflective interview with Gareth Watkins, conducted in the Parliament buildings on 2nd April 2024, Robertson shares insights into his multifaceted career, the emotional complexities of leaving a position that has been central to his life for over two decades, and his contributions as a prominent Rainbow politician.

Beginning his journey in Parliament in 2001 and officially becoming an MP in 2008, Robertson's career saw him rise to prominent positions including Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister, before retiring in March 2024. Throughout the interview, Robertson elucidates on the mixed emotions accompanying his departure from a role that defined much of his adult life, highlighting both the excitement for future endeavors at Otago University and the sadness of leaving behind a career filled with significant achievements and personal growth.

Robertson's reflections on his entry into politics are deeply personal and grounded in a history of political engagement within his family. His narrative weaves through his early interest in politics, spurred by household discussions on current affairs and a lineage that included political involvement, to his active participation in student politics at university. This background laid the foundation for his eventual role in national politics, where he would contribute significantly to the Rainbow community and broader societal progress.

The interview delves into the transformative period of the 1980s through the 2020s, highlighting Robertson's perspectives on the monumental social changes and legislative advancements for the Rainbow community in New Zealand. His personal connection to key moments in Rainbow legislation, including his memories of the Homosexual Law Reform and his active involvement in supporting subsequent rights advancements, provides a unique lens into the evolution of social acceptance and legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in the country.

Robertson recounts his experiences with the challenges and triumphs of being a Rainbow politician, offering insights into the intersection of personal identity and public service. His discussion extends to the broader shifts in societal attitudes towards the Rainbow community, emphasizing the progress made and the continuous need for vigilance and advocacy to protect and advance these gains.

As Robertson reflects on his career, he underscores the importance of visibility, resilience, and the collective effort in achieving social change. His anticipation of taking on a new role at Otago University speaks to his ongoing commitment to contribute to society, albeit in a different capacity.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.


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Record date:2nd April 2024
Interviewer:Gareth Watkins
Location:Parliament buildings, Wellington
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