3 Nov 2020

New Deputy Prime Minister Grant Roberston takes rainbow community role model position seriously

10:12 am on 3 November 2020

Newly-appointed Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says he takes his role as a role model for the rainbow community seriously.

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Grant Robertson. Photo: RNZ /Dom Thomas

The openly gay deputy leader of the country told Morning Report today: "I think what's most important is that I do the job well ... but I also think it's important for young people in the rainbow community to know that their sexuality is no barrier to them progressing".

Robertson is among the 12 LGBTQ MPs who make New Zealand's Parliament the "most rainbow in the world".

He is also among the Labour MPs who add to the Labour's diversity, which has skyrocketed as a result of the election.

Overall, Parliamentary diversity is up - there's a record high of women and people from a range of ethnicities.

Robertson said becoming deputy prime minister was an honour and a role he took seriously.

"It's really a backstop to the prime minister to fill in when she's not available and play a role also in co-ordinating the work we are doing. [The] prime minster has asked me specifically to do that and make sure we are delivering what we promised, that we are implementing the plan that we went to the election with. So it's a big job but one I am looking forward too.

Robertson said his plan for infrastructure was to "deliver in housing, deliver in the three waters programme, that we deliver in health, education and in transport.

"My job is to oversee all of that. There are individual ministers who will still do the work on each portfolio but my job is to make sure we do what we say we are going to do."

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