NZ Herald 29 October 2013
The Labour Party conference in Christchurch this weekend looks set to approve a remit that will require its list to “fairly represent” gays and lesbians among candidates.
At present, the constitution says there shall be no barriers to nominees on the grounds of sexual orientation or marital status. But a remit proposed by the party’s ruling New Zealand Council would require the list-ranking committee to pro-actively ensure that its list fairly represents “sexual orientations”, as well as tangata whenua, gender, ethnic groups, people with disabilities, age and youth.
The New Zealand Council is also proposing a Maori-only list ranking committee to rank its Maori candidates for the next election.
Under another remit, Labour’s list-ranking committee decisions will also have to aim for a caucus of at least 45 per cent of women next year and at least 50 per cent in 2017. That target was foreshadowed earlier this year when former leader David Shearer ditched the controversial so-called “man-ban” remit, which would have allowed for women-only selections in some electorates.