Greg Fleming, National’s candidate for Maungakiekie was the former managing director of the right-wing Maxim Institute.

An unearthed press release has revealed National’s candidate for Maungakiekie, Greg Fleming, once likened civil unions to polygamy and incest.

The press release was issued in 2004 in the lead-up to Parliament’s passage of Civil Unions, which allowed same-sex couples the right to have their relationships legally recognised – nine years before the eventual legalisation of same-sex marriage.


As managing director of the right-wing Maxim Institute, Fleming wrote, “We must be clear that the sole purpose of this Bill is to provide for same-sex marriage in all but name. Government propaganda suggesting civil unions are an alternative for defacto couples is just a farce.”

“Why is the government allowing discrimination to continue by refusing to legally recognise other relationship forms such as the union of siblings or more than two people?” Fleming wrote.

Twenty years on and as a newly minted candidate for a once National Party-held seat, Fleming has reversed his position telling Newshub that, “I very much support civil unions”. 

“My comments two decades ago were trying to make a point about contractual law but weren’t helpful and I wouldn’t make them again,” he said.

“Our marriage laws are now well and truly settled and I support leaving them as they are.”