Apology important for convicted gay men - Hague

Apology important for convicted gay men - Hague

A Green Party MP believes it's important New Zealand men convicted of being gay under an 18th century law receive an apology.

Gay rights campaigners in Germany have won a major victory, with their government promising to overturn historic criminal convictions.

But back home, Kevin Hague says while compensation is a consideration, the men want an apology first.

"That is a more important step for New Zealand gay men who were affected by this -- actually acknowledgement of the wrong, the apology and the quashing of the conviction, which for many people has caused such enormously adverse effects on their lives."

He says while there have been laws dating back centuries which could be seen as unreasonable or unjust, historic convictions for being gay still affect people today.

"The fact there are people living with convictions is really the rationale that spurs people to take action about this and get it done quickly, because the longer we delay, the fewer of those people there are."

He says while those laws may have been legitimate in terms of how they passed through Parliament and into law, because they denied people human rights they were "never morally legitimate".