New Zealand’s First Transgender MP Joins Mana Party to Fight Polls

By @diplomatist10 on
New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde in a performance
New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde performs at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California April 12, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

The New Zealand polls became more intense with Georgina Beyer, world's first transgender MP joining the Mana Party, reports ODT. Beyer was a former MP with the Labour Party.  Beyer made news in 1995 when she won the Carterton mayor election with a huge margin.

In the polls, Georgina Beyer will fight for the Mana Party in the constituency of Te Tai Tonga. According to Beyer, by joining Mana Party, she is getting an opportunity to atone for the support she lent to the Foreshore and Seabed Act in 2004 while she was in the Labour Party.

As an MP Beyer is credited with many achievements. She fought for reforms and laws including de-criminalisation of prostitution and setting up of civil unions. Mana leader Hone Harawira welcomed Georgina on board. 

Beyer started her campaign and said things are in full steam and she likes the new challenge. Though Beyer suffers from health problems she said it would not come in the way of her campaign.

Save Maori language

The Mana Party has been fighting to make Maori language compulsory in all schools. It also demands more funding for the promotion of the language. The John Key government's Maori Language Strategy is under fire. The Mana wants the legislation to be vetted by the Waitangi Tribunal to make sure it does not breach the Treaty of Waitangi.

Maori Language Commission

Mana wants the Maori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te reo Maori, to prevail as the sole agency for that language with an authority to oversee its enforcement and compliance.

The bill championed by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples seeks to create a new entity to rejuvenate the Maori Language. Mana Party's leader Sykes said the bill contravenes the Treaty and is an effort to take the Maori Language protection out of the purview of the Parliament. He wants the Bill to be referred to the Waitangi Tribunal for detailed consideration.

But Sharples' strategy has many takers. Tribes like, Ngapuhi and Waikato-Tainui have supported it. According to Te Arataura Rahui Papa chairman of Waikato-Tainui the new strategy gives the opportunity to lead revitalisation efforts in the language.