Louisa (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Waikato) is a member of the New Zealand Labour Party and has been a Member of Parliament since 2008. She is currently the MP for Manurewa, chair of the Health Select Committee and a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.
Prior to entering Parliament, Louisa held a variety of roles across the public sector as a policy advisor and community advocate in the social policy and public policy areas. Louisa’s work is founded on a commitment to universal human rights together with promoting the rights of gender and sexual minorities, ending TB, guaranteeing universal access to family planning and strengthening women’s rights through increased political participation.
In 2013, same-sex couples gained the right to legally marry in New Zealand, a change in legislation driven by Louisa. In 2015, Louisa lobbied for gender identity to be added to New Zealand’s discrimination laws under the Human Rights Act. That same year, she and Green MP Jan Logie formed the Cross-Party Parliamentary Rainbow Caucus, a working group that acknowledges the issues of the rainbow community as separate from party politics and deserving of unified advocacy. Louisa remains a co-chair of this group.
In 2015, Louisa participated in the development of a United Nations kaupapa launching the Free & Equal Campaign in the Pacific. This joint initiative campaign seeks to challenge negative stereotypes gender and sexual minorities and promote measures to protect the human rights of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.
In 2018, she facilitated a partnership between the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and the Cross-Party Parliamentary Rainbow Caucus to ensure that the voices of this community were being heard at the highest levels of governance and advocacy. She continues to support individuals from around the world who request assistance with immigration to New Zealand on the basis of persecution and discrimination.
Louisa is the New Zealand lead of the Asia Pacific TB Caucus and is also Co-Chair of NZ Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians.Log in to view