Helen Clark, head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and former New Zealand Prime Minister issued a strong statement of support for the Day, and underlining recent gains in the legislative arena for LGBT communities.
Clark underscored that “Last month, my country, New Zealand, became the thirteenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and the first in the Asia-Pacific region. When the results were announced, lawmakers and onlookers to the historic vote in Parliament began singing a Maori love song in celebration.” The statement can be read in full here.
She was not the only high profile politician to highlight the Day’s falling exactly one month after the legalisation of same sex marriage in New Zealand, on April 17, 2013. Labour MP and champion of marriage equality in New Zealand, Louisa Wall, also used this coincidence, as a point for reflection on gains and challenges that remain for LGBT people in New Zealand and around the world.
Various other politicians in New Zealand also spoke out on the Day, and many wore pink as a sign of support.