National | Chris Hipkins

Hipkins remembers Georgina Beyer as 'so brave'

Reflecting on the death this week of former Carterton mayor and MP Georgina Beyer, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he had huge admiration for the trailblazing politician.

"I remember during some of the debates over civil unions where there were protests on the forecourt, she just went out, confronted them and spoke with them," he told Te Ao Māori News.

“I just thought she was so brave. She was never afraid to front up an argument or passionately put forward her views and she made an enormous contribution to the diversity of New Zealand politics and made it a lot easier for those who followed after her.”

The prime minister also discussed the floods and cyclone cleanup.

Asked if Awatoto, a small town south of Napier, was still isolated or had been in contact with (following complaints by its residents), he said he couldn’t confirm that “but I know that our teams are working really hard to make sure they’re getting transport links restored to all of those smaller isolated communities".

And he sidestepped commenting about a whānau in Swanson, West Auckland, where family members are unable to live in their yellow-stickered house due to flood damage and have not been able to access the mayoral relief fund – and yet are expected to pay rates.

Asked if the government would intervene with city councils over the issue, he said it was just a “council matter” but said civil defence payments through the social development ministry were still available for some financial support, as well as temporary accommodation.

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