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Legacy to live on

A new street in Carterton will immortalise the legacy of former mayor and member of parliament Georgina Beyer.

Beyer, who died on Monday, was the world’s first transgender mayor and MP, and a tireless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights throughout her trailblazing political career.

She was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure in 2013 and received a donated kidney from Carterton man Grant Pittams in 2017.

At an extraordinary council meeting in Carterton yesterday, Pittams and close friends gave tributes to Beyer in the public forum before councillors signed off on naming a new street after her.

Pittams said Beyer would have been humbled and honoured by the street naming proposal.

“Georgina made a huge contribution here in this community, but also nationally and internationally,” he said, adding he is glad his kidney had given Beyer another five years.

Pittams and others urged the council to name the street ‘Georgina Beyer Way’, instead of the proposed ‘Beyer Way’ as stated in the council agenda.

Heather Henare, one of the executors of Beyer’s estate, said it was important that Beyer’s full name was used to draw a distinction between Beyer and her stepfather who had the same last name.

The street will be in a new 71-lot residential subdivision located at Kent Street and developed by Corsair Developments Limited.

Councillors unanimously agreed to name one of the streets Georgina Beyer Way.

Two other streets in the subdivision will be called Kakariki Crescent and Peaks Avenue.

Developers and prominent Carterton businesspeople Matt and Rosie Carter said it is their honour to name the street after Beyer.

Both had a long friendship with her and supported her as she embarked on her political career in Carterton more than two decades ago.

“She made us feel proud of our community and that we could do things that hadn’t been done before,” Rosie said.

“Matt and I would be honoured to have one of the streets named after Georgina.”

Matt said Beyer had a “strong, pragmatic, dogmatic attitude to things” and cared deeply for the community.

“The minute Georgina was mentioned [for the street name], it was just a no-brainer,” he said.

“I am so proud of what she did for the community, and I’m proud of what she did for friends and family.

“Georgina, wherever you are, thank you for everything you have done for this town.”

Beyer was farewelled on Tuesday with a small ceremony and “went out in style in a beautiful purple hot rod hearse” from Wairarapa, Henare said.

“It was the perfect ending to her wonderful life and legacy.” – NZLDR

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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