Chloe Swarbrick does not have a coming out story – that's because she never did come out, per se.

Instead, the Green MP and former Auckland Mayoral candidate has followed the lead of British MP Mhairi Black who, when asked about her decision to come out, said she had "never been in".

"I guess it's the same with me," Swarbrick said.

"I was never in the closet," she said, adding that she "liked people" when asked about her sexual preference.


The MP, who was snapped up by the Green Party as a candidate soon after coming in third in the 2016 Auckland mayoral election, said she had spoken to Black about this issue in the past.

"We were chatting about that and it's something that I quite agree with – that she never came out of the closet because she was never in it."

Swarbrick said she was in a relationship.

Meet the Backbenchers: Kieran McAnulty, Chris Bishop, Chlöe Swarbrick, Darroch Ball, Barbara Kuriger, Deborah Russell.

Her sexuality has not been an issue widely broached in the media since she entered Parliament – something she is pleased about.

"I actually think that's one of the strong points in New Zealand media that we do, to a certain extent, just accept that people's lives are their lives when they go home from politics."

She said that in today's political climate, "liking people", as she put it, is not really a big deal.

Although she said New Zealand had come a long way in terms of the acceptance of different sexual orientations, there are still things that needed to be worked on.

"The debate we are currently having around transgender rights, in particular, gets pretty uncomfortable and the advocacy and the campaigning by former Green MPs like Kevin Hague, and also present MPs like Jan Logie, have always been really inspiring for me in that space.


This interview is an excerpt from our Meet the Backbencher series which Swarbrick was a part of.