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Green Party Pays Tribute To Former MP Keith Locke

The Green Party pays tribute to former MP and prominent activist Keith Locke who died yesterday, peacefully in hospital.

“We are saddened to learn of the death of Keith Locke, who is both a dear friend and a leading figure in the history of our party and indeed in this country’s history of activism,” say Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick in a joint statement on behalf of the Green Party caucus.

“Keith never wavered in his task of holding government and those in positions of authority to account during the four consecutive terms of Parliament that he was a sitting MP for the Green Party. From 1999 to 2011, he served our party with distinction and worked extremely hard to advance causes central to our kaupapa.

“Not only did Keith work to defend civil liberties at home, but he was vigilant in highlighting human rights crises in other countries, including the Philippines, East Timor, West Papua and in Latin America.

“We particularly acknowledge his strong and clear opposition to the Iraq War, and his commitment to an independent and principled foreign policy for Aotearoa.

“Keith always understood the importance of, and advocated for, Aotearoa New Zealand retaining its independent voice in international affairs - we must take heed of that message now more than ever.

“His mahi as a fearless defender of civil liberties was exemplified in his efforts to challenge government overreach into the privacy of citizens.

“Keith worked very hard to introduce reforms of our country’s security intelligence services. While there is much more to be done, the improvements in transparency that have occurred over the past two decades are in large part due to his advocacy and work. We will honour him by ensuring we carry on such work.

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“As a colleague and friend, Keith will be keenly missed by the Greens. He has been a shining light for the rights of people and planet. Keith Locke leaves a legacy that his family and all who knew him can be proud of.

“Moe mai ra e te rangatira,” say Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick.

Family statement:

“Keith died peacefully in the early hours of this morning after a long illness. He will be greatly missed by his partner Michele, his family, friends and colleagues. He kept up his interest and support for the causes he was passionate about to the last. He was a man of integrity, courage and kindness who lived his values in every part of his life. He touched many lives in the course of his work in politics and activism.”

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