Alfred Ngaro

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Alfred Ngaro

MP
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party list
Assumed office
30 November 2011 (2011-11-30)
Minister of Community and Voluntary Sector
In office
20 December 2016 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Jo Goodhew
Succeeded by Peeni Henare
Minister for Pacific Peoples
In office
20 December 2016 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Sam Lotu-Iiga
Succeeded by Aupito Su'a William Sio
Personal details
Born1965/1966 (age 52–53) [1]
New Zealand
Political party National Party
Website www.alfredngaro.co.nz

Alfred Ngaro (born 1965/1966) is a New Zealand politician and, since the 2011 election, a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the National Party and the first Cook Islander who was elected to Parliament in New Zealand.

2011 New Zealand general election election in New Zealand

The 2011 New Zealand general election on Saturday 26 November 2011 determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

Contents

Early life

Ngaro is of Cook Islands descent. [1] Ngaro's father Daniel Ngaro from Aitutaki [2] and Pukapuka was a union delegate, and the family has a long tradition of voting for the Labour Party. [1] His mother, Toko Kirianu, is from Mangaia. [2]

Cook Islands Island country in the South Pacific Ocean

The Cook Islands is a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. It comprises 15 islands whose total land area is 240 square kilometres (92.7 sq mi). The Cook Islands' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) covers 1,800,000 square kilometres (690,000 sq mi) of ocean.

Aitutaki island

Aitutaki, also traditionally known as Araʻura and Utataki, is one of the Cook Islands, north of Rarotonga. It has a population of approximately 2,000. Aitutaki is the second most visited island of the Cook Islands. The main village is Arutanga (Arutunga) on the west side.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Ngaro trained as an electrician and was self-employed in the trade for five years. [3] As per his grandmother's wish, [2] he then completed a theology degree at the Bible College of New Zealand (now Laidlaw College) and became a pastor at the Tamaki Community Church. [4] He later won a Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader Award for his work on the Tamaki Transformation Project. [5]

Laidlaw College is the largest theological college in New Zealand. The college offers tertiary courses in biblical, theological, historical and pastoral studies, as well as professional degrees in teaching and counselling. Laidlaw has around 1200 students and offers programmes at Diploma, Bachelors and Masters levels, as well as doctoral supervision. It is the highest ranked non-University research institute in New Zealand.

Ngaro served as the Auckland District Health Board's Pacific committee chairman and as the Tamaki College board of trustees chairman. [1] He is a member of various advisory committees for the Ministry of Social Development. [6]

Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) is a district health board that provides healthcare in the Auckland Region in New Zealand, mainly on the Auckland isthmus.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
YearsTermElectorateListParty
2011 2014 50th List 37 National
2014 2017 51st List34 National
2017 present 52nd List20 National

Ngaro was encouraged by his friend Sam Lotu-Iiga to become active in politics. [1] Ngaro was a candidate for Citizens & Ratepayers in the Maungakiekie-Tamaki ward at the 2010 elections for the Auckland Council. He however finished second to Richard Northey and was not elected. [7]

Sam Lotu-Iiga New Zealand politician

Peseta Samuelu Masunu "Sam" Lotu-Iiga is a former member of the New Zealand Parliament for the Maungakiekie electorate, having been elected in the 2008 election. Lotu-Iiga was one of two National Party Pacific Island MPs. Lotu-Iiga holds the Samoan high chiefly title of Peseta.

Auckland Council Unitary territorial authority in Auckland, New Zealand

The Auckland Council is the local government council for the Auckland Region in New Zealand. The governing body consists of a mayor and 20 councillors, elected from 13 wards. There are also 149 members of 21 local boards who make decisions on matters local to their communities. It is the largest council in Oceania, with a $3 billion annual budget, $29 billion of ratepayer equity, and 9,870 full-time staff as of 30 June 2016. The council began operating on 1 November 2010, combining the functions of the previous regional council and the region's seven city and district councils into one "super council" or "super city".

Richard Northey New Zealand politician

Richard John Northey is a New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1984 to 1990, and again from 1993 to 1996. He served on the Auckland Council between 2010 and 2013, and is a member of the Labour Party.

Fifth National Government, 20112017

In early September 2011, he was announced as a list-only candidate for the New Zealand National Party at the 2011 election. [8] He was ranked at 37 on the party list [9] and was subsequently elected. [10] [11] He is the first Cook Islander to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament, sitting in the 50th Parliament. [12]

50th New Zealand Parliament

The 50th New Zealand Parliament was elected at the 2011 general election. It had 121 members, and was in place from December 2011 until September 2014, followed by the 2014 general election. The first sitting of the 50th Parliament was held on 20 December 2011, where members were sworn in and Lockwood Smith was elected Speaker of the House. This was followed by the speech from the throne on 21 December. John Key continued to lead the Fifth National Government. Following the resignation of Smith, David Carter was elected Speaker.

Ngaro voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand. [13]

In the 2014 general election Ngaro was the National Party candidate for Te Atatu, Ngaro lost to Labour's Phil Twyford by 2,813 votes. Ranked 34th on the National Party list, Ngaro returned to parliament as a National List MP.

On 20 December 2016, he was sworn in as a Minister in the Fifth National Government of New Zealand, after being promoted to Cabinet by Prime Minister Bill English. He served as the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Minister for Children, and Associate Minister for Social Housing. [14]

Coalition Government, 2017present

Following the 2017 general election, Ngaro became National's Spokesperson for Children, Community and Voluntary Sector, and Pacific Peoples. [14] In mid-May 2019, there were reports that Ngaro was considering forming his own Christian party, providing a potential coalition partner for National at the next general election. [15] [16] National Party leader Simon Bridges initially downplayed these reports but later stated that he was giving Ngaro the "space" to explore setting up a Christian values party. [17] [18] In late May 2019, Ngaro ruled out starting a new Christian party and confirmed that he would remain a member of the National Party. [19] [20]

Views

Political views

Alfred Ngaro is a self-described Zionist and is a member of the New Zealand-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group. [21] [22] [23]

Religious views

Alfred Ngaro is a Christian and a self-described Christian Zionist. [23] Ngaro claims to hold a theology degree and to have served as a pastor. [21] [22] In mid-May 2019, Ngaro attracted criticism from former National MP Jami-Lee Ross and the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand when he made a Facebook post likening abortion to the Holocaust. [24] [25] Ngaro later issued a statement regretting the strong language he had used in the post. [26] In response, National Party leader Simon Bridges defended Ngaro's right to voice his opinion while stating that it was not something he would say. [27]

Personal life

Alfred Ngaro is of Cook Islander descent. [1] Ngaro's grandmother's father was of Polish Jewish descent. [21] [22] [23] His wife Mokauina is of Samoan-Niuean descent. [1] [28] They have four children; three boys and one girl. [2] [28]

Controversy

In 2009, Alfred Ngaro allegedly punched former Tamaki College art teacher Christopher Scott Roy for not bowing his head during a prayer. Roy alleged that Ngaro, whose son was in the Tamaki First XV rugby team, approached Roy after the prayer. Roy alleged that he was then confronted by Ngaro and that he then punched Roy in the back of the head. [29] Tamaki College denied any assault occurred. In a judgment released mid November 2013, ERA member Tania Tetitaha did not make a finding about the alleged assault but found there were several issues with Roy's statements including: despite initially identifying the principal Soana Pamaka, Roy changed his evidence at the hearing, saying he didn't see her strike him at all. Roy then changed the location of his injuries and provided no corroborating evidence. When Roy took the matter to police, they declined to investigate. The ERA also found a lack of evidence of bullying behaviour. The police and Employment Relations Authority decided not to investigate the incident. [30]

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References

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