Most Bay MPs against gay marriage (+poll)

By Kiri Gillespie


Same-sex marriage in New Zealand?

Not if most political heads in the Bay of Plenty region have their way.

Nearly all locally based MPs will vote against the controversial Marriage Equality Bill, which will be heard for the third time in Parliament tomorrow.

Only Maori Party Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell will vote in support of the bill, as he had already done at its first two readings. The Waiariki electorate includes the Western Bay.

"The basis of it is really just a human rights issue," he said. "The ability of people to formalise a relationship and to not impinge on anyone else with that, it's okay by me."

But other MPs said most New Zealanders did not agree and their votes would represent that view. National Tauranga MP Simon Bridges said he voted against the bill in all stages and would do so again this week based on conscience issues with his electorate's wishes.

"It is clear from feedback that a majority are against the bill. In addition, I believe marriage is a historical, religious and cultural institution between a man and a woman," Mr Bridges said.

National Bay of Plenty MP Tony Ryall would do likewise.

"I voted against the bill last time, and will vote against it next time. It is a very strong view of the electorate as a whole."

Independent MP Brendan Horan was against the bill, saying a referendum was appropriate. "I believe in democracy."

The bill by Labour MP Louisa Wall passed its second reading in March 77-44, a support drop of three votes from the first reading.


- National Bay of Plenty MP Tony Ryall

- National Tauranga MP Simon Bridges

- Independent Tauranga MP Brendan Horan


- Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell

Are you a same-sex couple living locally and preparing to marry if the Marriage Equality Bill goes through? Get in touch with us! Call the newsroom on 0800 253 253 or email your details to:

Have your say. Vote in the poll, email your reaction to or leave a comment below. Please note: Responses may be published.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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