21 Aug 2012

Labour told to make up with Pacific voters

9:06 am on 21 August 2012

Labour has been told it needs to mend fences with loyal, older Pacific voters over the same-sex marriage bill.

The warning came from young members of the audience at a public debate called by Pacific leaders in Auckland on Monday night.

Efeso Collins says his parents' generation is upset that Labour MP Louisa Wall is promoting the bill and feel sidelined by the party.

Mr Collins said the bill could accelerate the loss of Pacific votes from Labour that started with civil unions and prostitution law reform.

He said there are also danger signs for Labour among young Pacific voters who are moving to charismatic churches which oppose same-sex marriage.

Mr Collins said strengthening civil unions to deal with issues like gay adoption would have been more acceptable to Pacific communities than same-sex marriage.