Georgina Beyer, the world’s first transgender MP has died, age 65, at a Wellington hospice surrounded by close friends.

Born in Wellington in 1957, Georgina Beyer rose to prominence as a performer at Alfies Nightclub on K Road in the eighties. 

In 1987 having returned to NZ after a stint of living in Australia, she was nominated for a GOFTA award for her acting prowess in the film Jewel’s Darl.


In 1995, Georgina Beyer was elected Mayor of Carterton making her the world’s first transgender mayor. Her success in a conservative rural community, highlighted that Beyer’s tenacity and political savvy and proved she could connect with middle New Zealand.

Ten years later, Beyer would smash further glass ceilings by being elected to New Zealand Parliament as MP for Wairarapa, representing Labour under Helen Clark’s leadership.

In her maiden speech, Beyer famously said: “I am the first transsexual in New Zealand to be standing in this House of Parliament. This is a first not only in New Zealand, ladies and gentlemen, but also in the world. This is a historic moment. We need to acknowledge that this country of ours leads the way in so many aspects. We have led the way for women to get the vote. We have led the way in the past, and I hope we will do so again in the future in social policy and certainly in human rights.”

Beyer would resign from parliament in 2007 and be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease six years later. In 2017, she successfully underwent a kidney transplant. 

In 2020, Georgina Beyer was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to LGBTQ+ rights.