Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Minister's slot on Ellen still not sorted

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson, whose speech on the marriage equality legislation made him an unlikely hero to gay rights advocates around the world, still hopes to appear on US comedian Ellen Degeneres' talk show.

Mr Williamson received an invitation to appear on the show which has three million viewers, after its openly gay host Degeneres tweeted her approval of Mr Williamson's "big gay rainbow" speech. However, that was two weeks ago and the appearance has not yet been confirmed.

A spokesman for Mr Williamson yesterday confirmed talks with the show's producers were still continuing.

"They've got to schedule shows and all that stuff so we've got to wait and see what they come back with whether they say come over or not."

Mr Williamson originally turned down the invitation as he believed it would breach ministerial rules because the trip would be paid for by the show's producers. But Prime Minister John Key gave his approval conditional on any appearance fee going to charity.

Mr Williamson's spokesman said his initial refusal was not an issue for the show's producers.

- NZ Herald

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