Dame Fran Wilde

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Dame Fran Wilde, DNZM QSO JP

An intense interest in social issues propelled Fran Wilde into politics. She became MP for Central Wellington in 1981 and was the Parliamentary Whip for the fourth Labour     Government (1984 – 1987). 

In 1985, Wilde courageously introduced the Homosexual Law Reform bill. This sparked 16 months of heated debate and she became the target of hate mail and death threats, as well as tirades from critics on the opposition benches. Despite this Wilde and others campaigned hard for the bill which passed into law in 1986.

Other issues Wilde campaigned for included recognition of rape within marriage, nuclear-free New Zealand and Adoption Law Reform. In 1992, Fran Wilde resigned from government to stand for the Wellington Mayoralty – she won and became the Capital City’s first female Mayor.

Watch Fran Wilde in this 1985 debate for Homosexual Law Reform.

Find out more about Fran Wilde:

Read more about Fran Wilde on NZ History and Wikipedia.

Check out Barry Soper's article on the NZ Herald – Barry Soper: Dame Fran Wilde, a true trailblazer.

To discover the contemporary news coverage of the campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, watch Thin Edge of the Wedge.

Image: Screengrab from Sunday: Homosexual Law Reform.

Catalogue Reference F80159

Year 1985


Presenter: Rodney Bryant
Speaker: Fran Wilde

Excerpt: 00:07:14

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