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Former MP’s comments ‘offensive and disgraceful’

Young Labour’s Pacific Rep calls former MP’s comments ‘offensive and disgraceful’

Sunday 25 November, 2012
Press Release: Young Labour

Amidst an article in the Sunday Star Times this morning titled “Gay Labour has lost its way says Field” has sent angered shock waves through the ranks of the Labour Party with Pacific Island Representative on Young Labour’s Executive, Kieran Meredith calling his comments “offensive and disgraceful.”

Taito Phillip Field, a former Cabinet Minister and MP for Mangere, was jailed for six years after he was found guilty of bribery and corruption with 15 counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

“His comments are quite frankly offensive, especially to those who have worked incredibly hard in Labour to develop a policy platform that has and will continue to serve our Pacific Island community as a whole.”

In the article, Taito Phillip Field says “He would be representing the wider Pacific community but they wouldn't be coming out as strongly.” This claim is what angers Meredith the most, with Pacific leaders already coming out saying they represent the “majority” of the Pacific community on the issue of Marriage Equality when no community or nationwide-wide canvass was carried out as such.

“His comments are not actually widely-held amongst the Pacific community, whether it is in just South Auckland or New Zealand as a whole. The reality is, the New Zealand born-Pacific demographic is around 60% with youth making up a solid 35% of that demographic.”

“This represents a change in political intellect and awareness. You’ll find that our New Zealand born Pacific youth are less conservative and more progressive.”

Labour Pacific MP, Charles Chauvel, says “For every conservative person born in a Pacific Island and brought up there, and now living in New Zealand, there’s probably four or five younger New Zealand-born people who don’t see what the fuss is about.”

“We’re also politically and intellectually aware of the way in which society is changing, his view is part of a minority which is in fact holding us back from progressing as a party and as a community in general.” Says Meredith.

“Labour will continue to work hard for the Pacific vote but what Field must understand is that Labour is a progressive party who is there to serve the interests of all New Zealanders, and that includes the LGBT community.”

“Of all people, the Pacific community know full well the challenges and obstacles that we have had to overcome in terms of equality and access in areas like education, social development and health.”

“When we have had to fight for our place in society, what gives us the right to deny another community or group their rights which they are wholeheartedly entitled to?

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