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Office of the Speaker

23 September 2008
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Rose Hart
Communications Adviser to the Speaker
Office of the Speaker
Parliament House
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Rainbow Room formally dedicated at Parliament

23 September 2008

One of Parliament’s select committee rooms has been dedicated the Rainbow Room to recognise gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender New Zealanders and their contribution to society and Parliament.

The designation of the room at Parliament last night was supported by members of all parties represented in the Parliament.

The Speaker, Hon Margaret Wilson, said the work of select committees was arguably the most influential and intensive work conducted by Members of Parliament.

‘It is appropriate that it is with select committee rooms that we recognise all members of our society and the paths they have taken to full citizenship with equal rights,’ she said.

This journey to full citizenship was recognised for other New Zealanders with Matangireia, the former Māori Affairs Committee Room, Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga, the Māori Affairs Committee Room, the Pacific Room, the Suffrage Room and the recently dedicated Asia Room.

All these rooms ‘tell the story of honest and full representation in the New Zealand Parliament,’ Ms Wilson said.

The Rainbow Room is Select Committee Room 11, Parliament House.

The Asia Room in Parliament House was established to recognise the contribution of Asian peoples to New Zealand and Parliament. It was officially dedicated by the Speaker, Hon Margaret Wilson, in August 2008.

The Pacific Room in Parliament House was established to recognise the contribution Pacific peoples make to New Zealand society and Parliament. It was officially dedicated by the Speaker, Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt, in February 2002.

Māori Affairs Committee Room — Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga dates from 1995. The room was blessed at a dawn ceremony before the official reopening of Parliament House by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 2 November 1995.

Matangireia — former Māori Affairs Committee Room. This special room was dedicated to the Māori Affairs Committee when Parliament House was completed in 1922. The opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Massey.

The Suffrage Room recognises the milestones for women from winning the right to vote in 1893 and becoming eligible for election to Parliament in 1919 to the election of the country’s first woman Speaker in 2005.