All eight political parties' youth wings have made a joint
statement in support of same-sex marriage at Parliament this
The cross-party support came ahead of the second reading of a
bill to legalise gay and transgender marriage on Wednesday.
All youth representatives said their memberships
overwhelmingly supported a change to marriage laws, though
New Zealand First's youth wing echoed its MPs in calling for
a national referendum on the issue.
Young National's vice president Shaun Wallis said the bill
represented two fundamental principles of the party - freedom
and equal opportunity for all New Zealanders.
He said Young Nats had the biggest task out of any youth wing
in convincing its MPs to pledge or maintain support for the
Half of the National caucus supported the legislation at the
first reading, and half opposed.
Young Greens spokeswoman Izzy Lomax said the unified youth
support showed that gay and transgender marriage was
something all that young people wanted in New Zealand.
She said her organisation supported the bill because it ended
institutional discrimination against people from rainbow
New Zealand First Youth spokesman Curwen Rolinson said there
was a large, but not unanimous proportion of his group who
would vote in support of the bill.
But he felt that it was important that such a progressive
change came with the direct backing of the population, and he
called for a referendum.
New Zealand First MPs voted against the bill at first
- Isaac Davison