Carmel Sepuloni

Last updated


Carmel Sepuloni

MP
Carmel Sepuloni.jpg
24th Minister for Social Development
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Anne Tolley
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Kelston
Assumed office
21 September 2014
Preceded byElectorate established
Majority7,269
Personal details
Born
Carmel Jean Sepuloni

1977 (age 4142)
Waitara, New Zealand
Political party Labour
Spouse(s)
Daren Kamali (m. 2018)
Alma mater University of Auckland

Carmel Jean Sepuloni (born 1977 [1] ) is a New Zealand politician and a member of parliament for the Labour Party. She was first elected to Parliament following the 2008 general election as a list member, becoming New Zealand's first MP of Tongan descent. In the 2011 general election, Sepuloni won the seat of Waitakere on the official count with an eleven-vote majority over incumbent National MP Paula Bennett, who subsequently requested a judicial recount, which resulted in Sepuloni losing her seat in Parliament. She returned to Parliament in 2014 as the member for Kelston.

Politics of New Zealand Unitary parliamentary representative democracy

The politics of New Zealand function within a framework of a unitary parliamentary representative democracy. New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy in which a hereditary monarch—since 6 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II—is the sovereign and head of state.

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.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.

Contents

Early years

Sepuloni was born, raised and schooled in Waitara, Taranaki. She moved to Auckland in 1996 to attend the Auckland College of Education and University of Auckland where she attained a Diploma Teaching (Primary), and a Bachelor of Education respectively. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Her father was a Samoan-Tongan migrant freezing worker and 'staunch unionist' and her mother was a Pākehā from a conservative farming family. She has two sons. [2] She married writer and musician Daren Kamali in November 2018. [3] Before entering politics, Sepuloni was a teacher, with teaching experience in Samoa and with Auckland Youth in alternative education programmes; an equity manager; and a research project manager in Pacific health at the University of Auckland.

The Auckland College of Education, also known as the Auckland Training College and the Auckland Teachers Training College, was a teacher's college in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. It was established in 1881 and was based in the Auckland suburb of Epsom. In 2004, the College of Education was merged with the University of Auckland's School of Education to form the current Faculty of Education and Social Work.

University of Auckland University in New Zealand

The University of Auckland is the largest university in New Zealand, located in the country's largest city, Auckland. It is the highest-ranked university in the country, being ranked 85th worldwide in the 2018/19 QS World University Rankings. Established in 1883 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand, the university is made up of eight faculties; these are spread over six campuses. It has more than 40,000 students, and more than 30,000 "equivalent full-time" students.

Samoans ethnic group

Samoans or Samoan people, are a Polynesian ethnic group native to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in Polynesia, who speak the Samoan language. The group's home islands are politically and geographically divided between the Independent State of Samoa and American Samoa, an unincorporated territory of the United States of America. Though divided by government, the culture and language remain the same.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
YearsTermElectorateListParty
2008 2011 49th List 35 Labour
2014 2017 51st Kelston 29 Labour
2017 present 52nd Kelston8 Labour

First term, 20082011

Sepuloni came to parliament in the 2008 general election as a list MP for Labour. She was ranked 35 on the party's list and did not stand in any electorate. The promotion of Sepuloni and others was cited by The New Zealand Herald as an effort by the Labour Party to 'inject new faces' and increase the party's ethnic diversity. [4]

2008 New Zealand general election election

The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked an end to nine years of Labour Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth National Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.

<i>The New Zealand Herald</i> newspaper

The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment. It has the largest newspaper circulation of all newspapers in New Zealand, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although circulation of the daily Herald had declined to 115,213 copies on average by December 2017. Its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is also delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland, Waikato and King Country.

After the election she became Labour's spokesperson for civil defence, and associate spokesperson for tertiary education and social development. She had been involved in the party for only a year and a half before being elected. [5]

The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is the public service department of New Zealand responsible for providing leadership and support around national, local and regional emergencies. Originally established within the Department of Internal Affairs in 1959, it now operates as a business unit of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Tertiary education advanced level of education, usually for adults

Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or postsecondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education. The World Bank, for example, defines tertiary education as including universities as well as trade schools and colleges. Higher education is taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education, while vocational education beyond secondary education is known as further education in the United Kingdom, or continuing education in the United States.

In her maiden speech, Sepuloni said "I've learned through my own experiences and the experiences of others around me, that our young in particular can quickly begin to self-stigmatise when the media and society stigmatise them. When the media only portrays a picture of a ghettoised, poverty-stricken group of trouble makers, then our youth can resign themselves to the fact that this is what they are. They may even take pride in this prescribed image, because it provides them with a level of attention and status which although negative, is attention and status nonetheless."

A maiden speech is the first speech given by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature or parliament.

In June 2010, her Employment Relations (Probationary Period Repeal) Amendment Bill was drawn from the member's ballot. A bill to repeal the changes to probationary employment contained in the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2008, [6] it was defeated at its first reading 64 votes to 57. [7]

Second term, 20112014

On 19 March 2010, Sepuloni was selected as the Labour's candidate for the Waitakere electorate in the 2011 general election, facing incumbent National MP and Cabinet minister Paula Bennett. On April 2011, she was ranked number 24 on the party's list for the election. On the election night preliminary count, she placed second in Waitakere, 349 votes behind Bennett, and with her list ranking was set not to be returned to parliament. When the official results were released on 10 December 2011, Sepuloni had received sufficient special votes to win Waitakere and defeat Bennett by 11 votes. [8] However, Bennett requested a judicial recount, and on 17 December 2011 subsequently regained her seat with a nine-vote majority, removing Sepuloni from Parliament. [9] [10] This was not before the Labour Party leadership election on 13 December, in which she participated as a member-elect of the Labour caucus. Not long after leaving Parliament Sepuloni travelled to Egypt to participate as a short term observer on the NDI International Election Mission. Prior to being reelected to parliament, Sepuloni was employed as the Chief Executive for a Pacific disability, mental health and older persons NGO called Vaka Tautua.[ citation needed ]

Third term, 20142017

During the 2014 general election, Carmel Sepuloni stood as Labour's candidate in the Kelston electorate in Auckland; winning by a majority of 15,091 votes. [11]

In 2015 she was stood down as Labour's social development spokesperson after her mother was charged with benefit fraud. [12]

Fourth term, 2017present

During the 2017 general election, Carmel Sepuloni stood again in her Kelston seat, returning to Parliament with a majority of 16,789 votes. Sepuloni was elected as a Cabinet Minister by the Labour Party caucus following Labour's formation of a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens. [13] Sepuloni was subsequently appointed as Minister of Social Development and Disability Issues as well as Associate Minister of Pacific Peoples and Arts, Culture, and Heritage. [14]

On 28 April 2018, Sepuloni issued a statement criticizing Work and Income for turning away a homeless woman who was trying to apply for a benefit after being discharged from hospital. [15] As Social Development Minister, Sepuloni likened the Coalition Government's approach to welfare reform to "trying to turn a jumbo jet in mid-air." [16]

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References

  1. "Current MPs - Carmel Sepuloni". New Zealand Parliament . Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  2. Gower, Patrick (15 January 2009). "New Voices: Grant Robertson, Aaron Gilmore, Carmel Sepuloni". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  3. Mitchell, Stephanie (18 November 2018). "Labour party MP gets married in Fiji and enlists another MP as bridesmaid". Stuff.co.nz . Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  4. Young, Audrey; Oliver, Paula (1 September 2008). "New generation to fly party flag at election". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 10 September 2009.
  5. Neville, Alice (9 November 2008). "The back bench baby MPs". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  6. "Employment Relations (Probationary Period Repeal) Amendment Bill". Parliament of New Zealand. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  7. "Member's Bill to remove 90 day probationary period voted down". New Zealand Labour Party. 5 August 2010. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  8. Carroll, Joanne; Backhouse, Matthew (11 December 2011). "Sepuloni wins by 11 votes". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  9. "Paula Bennett reclaims Waitakere". New Zealand Herald. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. "Paula Bennett regains Waitakere". Television New Zealand. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  11. "Official Count Results -- Kelston". Electoral Commission . Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  12. "Mother of Labour MP Carmel Sepuloni in court on benefit fraud charges". The New Zealand Herald . 26 February 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  13. "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  14. "Hon Carmel Sepuloni". New Zealand Parliament . Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  15. "'Unacceptable' Work & Income turned away homeless woman – Carmel Sepuloni". Newshub. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  16. Satherley, Dan (28 April 2018). "Welfare overhaul to get underway 'in next three years' - Carmel Sepuloni". Newshub . Retrieved 6 June 2018.
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Kelston
2014–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Anne Tolley
Minister for Social Development
2017–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Nicky Wagner
Minister for Disability Issues
2017–present