Soon after Prime Minister Jacinda Arden's landslide victory on October 18, 12 LGBTQ members are all set to be a part of the country's 120-seat parliament. New Zealand will now have the highest proportion of LGBT+ MPs in the world.
The UK has the highest number of openly queer MPs, with 45 across 650 seats, but it is equal to only 7 per cent representation.
"Numbers do matter," the lesbian Labour MP Louisa Wall said. "We have a critical mass with high visibility and we're seen as valid. If we do end up being the most LGBTQI representative parliament in the world, that would be simply great."
Apart from Wall, the country's labour party's queer MPs include Grant Robertson, Meka Whaitiri, Tamati Coffey, Kiri Allan, Ayesha Verrall, Glen Bennett and Shanan Halbert.
LGBT+ representation in the new parliament will be proportionate to that of the general population by the Kinsey Report's figures, but significantly higher than New Zealand's 2018 general social survey, which was 3.5 per cent.
Paul Spoonley, professor at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of Massey University in Palmerston North, said that the new parliament represents an important generational change.
"A number of longstanding MPs – older, white, male – have left but they have been replaced by a much more diverse new intake – Maori, Pasifika, other ethnicities and the Rainbow community," he said.
"Half of the Labour caucus are women. The Labour party and the Greens represent the contemporary face of New Zealand in parliament," he added.
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