ONE News revealed today two regional party conferences have passed a remit to make the expensive surgery available and free.
The surgery can cost up to $120,000 and only four are funded every two years. Seventy three people are on the waiting list.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said the call is “absolutely nuts” and “shows just how disconnected from reality the Labour Party is.”
ONE News asked Labour Party MPs if they would support free gender-reassignment surgery, and most said they hadn’t given it much thought.
Napier MP Stuart Nash said he voted against the remit at his party conference.
“Never once in Napier has anyone ever said they’re not going to vote for Labour because we’re not funding gender-realignment surgery so for me it’s not an issue that’s important for the people of Napier,” he said.
Labour Party leader Andrew Little looked surprised when asked about it and said “it’s not an issue I’ve given a great deal of thought to”.
“I’m quite happy with my gender,” he said.
But he didn’t rule it out saying, “It’s a complex issue and I think it’s not an issue that I’d make a policy up on the hoof”.
A party insider told ONE News “this is a distraction”.
The insider said “if the party wants any chance of winning in 2017 it needs to concentrate on the economy and future of work”.
Sex change surgery policy ‘nutty’
Stuff co.nz 19 May 2015
A possible Labour Party policy for free gender reassignment surgery has been dismissed as “nutty” by the Government.
The Labour Party could end up voting on the policy for free gender reassignment surgery after the idea was passed at two regional party conferences.
Labour’s general secretary Tim Barnett said the proposal came from Young Labour, who want to ensure there’s access to hormone replacement therapy and gender reassignment surgery and that it’s publicly funded.
But the Government has dismissed the idea, with Health Minister Jonathan Coleman describing the idea as “nutty”.