Questions over Louisa Wall's Pacific role

By James Perry

Three weeks after resigning from Parliament, Lousia Wall's new role is under fire. 

Before Wall made her valedictory speech last month, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta appointed her to a newly created ambassadorship, promoting LGBTQI equality in the Pacific.

Now it has emerged that Pacific Island nations never asked for such an ambassador.

However, Mahuta says it would be unusual to consult "in terms of the justification of the role" before referring the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

"Let's be very clear. This is about New Zealand's experience and certainly Louisa has been a strong advocate for gender equality and the LGBTQI issues."

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi is accusing the government of interfering in the internal affairs of Pacific Island nations by creating the role for Wall.

"Haere ki te mahi i ou mahi engari ko nga mahi ra e ai ki nga hiahitanga a aua tangata moana. Kare au i te mohi. Kare au i kite i etahi tuhinga.
(Yea, go and do your work, but is that work even wanted by Pacific people, I'm not sure. I haven't seen any written material to suggest that.)

-Additional reporting by Ngāhuia Wade