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The Life and Times of Georgina Beyer

Audio from the memorial event for Georgina Beyer (Te Āti Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Raukawa, and Ngāti Porou), held at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, on Tuesday 18 July 2023. Georgina passed away on 6 March 2023. Special thanks to the organisers and participants for allowing the memorial to be recorded and shared.

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  • 0:00:01 - Kevin Haunui, Tīwhanawhana Trust
  • 0:02:06 - Waiata, Tīwhanawhana
  • 0:08:10 - Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan, MC
  • 0:13:10 - [video excerpt from Georgie Girl not included]
  • 0:13:14 - Jacquie Grant ONZM
  • 0:24:15 - Standing ovation for Georgina Beyer
  • 0:25:22 - Brian Aitken
  • 0:39:58 - [Polly Filla performance not included]
  • 0:40:00 - [video excerpt from Georgie Girl not included]
  • 0:41:50 - Dale Williams, Deputy Mayor of Carterton District
  • 0:50:25 - [audio insert from Enough is Enough rally and Georgina Beyer*]
  • 0:55:40 - Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance
  • 1:07:00 - Message from Chris Carter read by Michael Gibbs
  • 1:17:15 - Dame Catherine Healy, Aotearoa New Zealand Sex Workers' Collective (NZPC)
  • 1:26:30 - Te Aroha, waiata
  • 1:27:40 - [Kola Gin performance not included]
  • 1:28:25 - [audio insert from Ian McKellen]
  • 1:30:20 - Grant Pittams
  • 1:38:17 - [audio insert from Rainbow Room relaunch - Georgina Beyer*, Andrew Reynolds and Sarah McBride]
  • 1:44:10 - Message from Helen Clark read by Steve Chadwick
  • 1:47:35 - Tim Barnett
  • 1:55:35 - Message from Louisa Wall read by Ramon Maniapoto
  • 1:59:00 - Ramon Maniapoto
  • 2:04:40 - [World Pride video and Polly Filla performance not included]
  • 2:06:10 - Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan
  • 2:10:00 - Helena Coolen thanks Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan
  • 2:11:30 - Karen Morris, Georgina's sister
  • 2:19:13 - Kevin Haunui, Tīwhanawhana
  • 2:22:15 - Haere Rā Hōriana, waiata for Georgina Beyer (Kevin Haunui), Tīwhanawhana [a stereo version can be heard here]
  • 2:26:05 - Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan
  • 2:26:10 - [audio insert from Georgina Beyer]
  • 2:31:23 - Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan, closing

*Audio excerpts from an interview with Georgina Beyer. Part of Rainbow Voices of Aotearoa New Zealand, released under a Creative Commons licence CC-BY 4.0. A special thank you to the Office of the Clerk/Parliamentary Service for allowing Georgina's interview to be reproduced.


This summary captures the primary essence and key contributions from the memorial event of Georgina Beyer, an inspiring figure in the LGBTQ+ community and a trailblazer in political history. The recording covers the extensive event held at Wellington's Embassy Theatre, which commemorated Beyer's life, from the 1960s through to the 2020s, celebrating Beyer's unique journey as the world’s first openly transgender mayor and member of Parliament. It featured heartfelt tributes from individuals who knew Beyer personally, including colleagues, activists, and friends.

The event underscored Beyer's undying spirit, resilience, and dedication to social justice and equality. Many speakers highlighted Beyer's ability to overcome significant challenges, including their traumatic experience in Sydney and their determination to represent marginalized groups within society. Karen Morris, Beyer's sister, shared touching insights into meeting Georgina for the first time and the familial bonds they formed thereafter. The narratives brought forth Beyer's humanity, their humor, warmth, and inclusiveness, which notably influenced not just the local people of Aotearoa New Zealand but also the global LGBTQ+ community.

The memorial included accounts of Beyer's political accomplishments and personal contributions, as well as anecdotes showcasing their quick wit and formidable presence. The recording also highlights tributes conveyed by prominent individuals such as Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and Sir Ian McKellen, who articulated Beyer’s global impact. Stories shared by Tim Barnett and Ramon Maniapoto provided insights into Beyer's parliamentary career and advocacy efforts, particularly their fight against the prejudices of radical groups and their commitment to significant legislative reforms, including the Prostitution Law Reform Bill and civil union legislation.

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:18th July 2023
Location:Embassy Theatre, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (reference number to be confirmed).