Green MP Marama Davidson used a harrowing example of the impact on her family of homophobia, remembering a young gay man who was killed by Davidson's uncle in the 1980s.
Her voice breaking, Marama spoke of the man during Parliament's formal apology to the men convicted for consensual acts at a time homosexuality was illegal.
"I want to acknowledge in particular a young man who was murdered for being gay when I was a young girl ... I think about what he lost in his life.
"Maybe he might have chosen to be a father with a lover, with a husband. Maybe he might have been an amazing uncle. Maybe he might have been a grandfather. Who knows, because he lost his life.
"I send my love to his family because the person who stole his life was my family."
She later explained that when she was a child in the 80s, her uncle had reacted badly when propositioned by a gay man. A fight started, and the man ended up in the water on Wellington's waterfront and died.
Her uncle was charged and convicted of manslaughter - and was himself killed in a fire in jail some years later.
She said she spoke of her personal experience because it highlighted the impact homophobia had on people's lives.
"I was just remembering the guy who's life was taken because my uncle didn't want to be seen as gay, so he acted violently to a guy who was gay. It was about remembering the life that young man missed out on.
"That was top of my stomach when I stood to speak, what the trauma and homophobia had done to our family and the young man, and what he missed out on and what his family missed out on.
"It is one story of thousands that today is starting to try to address, that homophobia was upheld by law."
The motion of apology by Parliament was passed unanimously. It was delivered with the first reading of a law change to allow about 1000 men with convictions to apply for a pardon, or for their families to do so on their behalf.
That bill has been referred to Select Committee for public submissions.