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Tangi Utikere

In this podcast Tangi Utikere from the Labour Party talks to Regis Perez about what it's like to be a Member of Parliament.

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This abstract summarizes a podcast recording titled "Tangi Utikere - Rainbow Politicians," held at the Parliament Buildings in Wellington, New Zealand. Tangi Utikere from the Labour Party is interviewed by Regis Perez, discussing the experiences and perspectives of being a Member of Parliament (MP) from the 1990s to the 2020s.

Tangi Utikere's political involvement began in school, where participation in the student council and school board eventually led to a decade-long tenure on the Palmerston North City Council, including a stint as Deputy Mayor. In 2020, Utikere was elected to Parliament. Describing the Parliament as a place of significant change, Utikere notes the shift from a body once dominated by older white men to a more diverse assembly reflective of the community.

Utikere expresses pride in the government's progress toward LGBTQ+ equality, citing legislative changes and growing representation within Parliament. Aotearoa New Zealand's Parliament is lauded for having the highest number of rainbow members globally, indicating positive trends. An active member of the Labour Party, Utikere aligns with values of equality and social justice, drawing parallels between the struggles for acceptance faced by Pacific communities and the rainbow community.

The conversation touches on the importance of supporting queer politicians and being engaged with the community. Utikere emphasizes ongoing dialogue, understanding, and the significance of support from local organizations like Marlborough Association for Gay and Lesbian Rights.

Regarding the educational needs of queer youth, Utikere, an educator by profession, advocates for inclusivity in schools and curriculum. The responsibility for understanding and supporting identity development is shared by the community, schools, and government, highlighting that everyone's journey is personal and unique.

For individuals grappling with identity, Utikere advises seeking support and discussing their experiences, as nobody should have to struggle alone. Parents and caregivers of queer youth are urged to embrace their children's identities with love and openness, recognizing that support is crucial to a healthy identity journey.

Wrapping up the conversation, Utikere recalls a personal anecdote where coming out to their own family at age 20 presented challenges due to a religious upbringing. Despite potential initial struggle, Utikere underscores the importance of being true to oneself and moving past others' judgments. In Parliament, Utikere has found a supportive and respectful environment and looks forward to contributing to future projects for the rainbow community, including legislation and participation in Pride events.

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.

Record date:22nd November 2022
Interviewer:Regis Perez
Location:Parliament buildings, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004696).