"Most powerful NZ lesbian" and partner unite

By GayNZ.com Daily News staff - 25th October 2009

The powerful and influential Chief of Staff to then-Prime Minister Helen Clark and the most powerful lesbian in the country at the time yesterday joined with her partner in a civil union ceremony in Wellington.

Heather Simpson, a trained economist and publicly formidable presence who was nicknamed 'H2' during Clark's prime ministership, was 'united' with Sue Veart in front of 45 close friends and family.

Clark, who is now the highest-ranked woman in the United Nations, selected Simpson to accompany her to the United Nations headquarters in New York as a staffer, a right extended to senior appointees under UN rules. It is understood the civil union may make it easier for Veart to join Simpson in New York.

Clark's professional closeness to Simpson over a twenty year period was one factor feeding politically-motivated rumours and innuendo that Clark herself was a lesbian during her NZ political career.