Kris Faafoi

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Kris Faafoi

Kris Faafoi 2.jpg
25th Minister of Civil Defence
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Nathan Guy
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded by Jacqui Dean
17th Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
Assumed office
7 September 2018
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded by Clare Curran
Minister of Customs
Assumed office
20 September 2018
Prime MinisterJacinda Ardern
Preceded by Meka Whaitiri
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Mana
Assumed office
Preceded byLuamanuvao Winnie Laban
Majority10,980 in 2017
Personal details
Born1976 (age 4142)
NationalityFlag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Political party Labour
Spouse(s)Gina Faafoi-Rogers (former)
Domestic partnerMae Puller

Kristopher John "Kris" Faafoi (born 1976), a New Zealand politician, holds membership of the New Zealand Labour Party. He became the representative of the Mana electorate in the New Zealand Parliament in 2010.

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.

Mana (New Zealand electorate) New Zealand electorate

Mana is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate north of Wellington. It is held by Kris Faafoi of the Labour Party since 2010.

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 a 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.


Early life

Faafoi's parents are from the Tokelau atoll of Fakaofo. He grew up in Christchurch. [1]

Tokelau New Zealand territory in the Pacific Ocean

Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand in the southern Pacific Ocean. It consists of three tropical coral atolls, with a combined land area of 10 km2 (4 sq mi). The capital rotates yearly between the three atolls. Tokelau lies north of the Samoan Islands, east of Tuvalu, south of the Phoenix Islands, southwest of the more distant Line Islands, and northwest of the Cook Islands. Swains Island is geographically part of Tokelau, but is subject to an ongoing territorial dispute and is currently administered by the United States as part of American Samoa.

Fakaofo archipelago

Fakaofo, formerly known as Bowditch Island, is a South Pacific Ocean atoll located in the Tokelau Group. The actual land area is only about 3 km², consisting of islets on a coral reef surrounding a central lagoon of some 45 km². According to the 2006 census 483 people officially live on Fakaofo. Of those present 70% belong to the Congregational Church and 22% to the Catholic Church.

Christchurch Metropolitan area in South Island, New Zealand

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks.

His father was sent to New Zealand to study at secondary school, and later became a primary school teacher. His mother came to New Zealand as part of a repatriation scheme, and later worked in a factory. [1]

He has said he didn't have a typical Tokelau upbringing and is not a fluent speaker of the Tokelaun language. [1]

Professional career

Faafoi trained as a journalist. He worked for the BBC and as a political commentator. [1] [2] [3]

Prior to the Mana by-election, he was the chief press secretary for Labour leader Phil Goff, and the Rongotai Pacific branch chair of the Labour Party. [4]

Phil Goff New Zealand politician

Philip Bruce Goff is the Mayor of Auckland, in office since 2016; previously he was a Member of the New Zealand Parliament from 1981 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 2016. He served as Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition between 11 November 2008 and 13 December 2011.

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
2010 2011 49th Mana Labour
2011 2014 50th Mana41 Labour
2014 2017 51st Mananone Labour
2017 present 52nd Mana20 Labour

Fifth National Government (20102017)

After the resignation of Mana MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban on 10 August 2010, [5] Faafoi was chosen to represent the Labour Party in the resulting by-election, which was set for 20 November. [6] [7] Four people contesting the selection, with Faafoi defeating business manager Michael Evans, barrister Peter Foster and communications adviser Josie Pagani. [3] During the campaign, he was criticised for a campaign brochure stating, "I had a great start because my family settled in Mana," implying that he grew up in the electorate despite being raised in Christchurch. [8]

Faafoi won the by-election with 10,980 votes (46.4%), becoming the first MP of Tokelauan descent. [8] Hekia Parata from the National Party was placed second and received 9,574 (41.6%), giving Faafoi a margin of 1,080 votes (4.82%). [9] This was a significant decrease of Laban's majority of 6,155 (17.7%) at the 2008 general election. [10] Faafoi more than doubled the margin in the 2011, [11] and had a 7,953 votes margin in the 2014. [12]

Sixth Labour Government (2017present)

Kris Faafoi was elected as a Minister of Civil Defence, Commerce and Consumer Affairs and Associate Minister of Immigration, outside Cabinet by the Labour Party caucus following Labour's formation of a coalition government with New Zealand First and the Greens. [13] [14]

On 30 August 2017, Faafoi announced that the Government was investing NZ$5.2 million into supporting "rapid response teams" to support communities in emergencies. The boost in funding was the result of a critical Ministerial Technical Advisory Group's (TAG) review of the Government's unsatisfactory responses to the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake and the 2017 Port Hills fires. [15] [16]

When Minister of Customs Meka Whaitiri “stood aside” in August 2018 over a "staffing matter" pending an investigation that same day, Faafoi assumed the Customs portfolio. [17] [18]

On 7 September 2018 Faafoi was appointed Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media upon the resignation of Clare Curran. [19]

In 2018 his main political priority was "dealing with loan sharks". [1]

Personal life

Kris lives in Porirua with his partner Mae and three sons. [2] Faafoi was married to Gina Faafoi-Rogers. Their son George was born 2008. [8] [20]

His elder brother Jason is a TV presenter and musician. [21] [22] They made a documentary together about their family visiting Tokelau, which was released in 2004. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Husband, Dale (2018-10-07). "Kris Faafoi — a minister on the rise". E-Tangata. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  2. 1 2 "Hon Kris Faafoi". Labour Party. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  3. 1 2 New Zealand Press Association (18 September 2010). "Labour picks former journalist for Mana seat". Television New Zealand . Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  4. "Candidate is Kris Faafoi". Newstalk ZB. 18 September 2010. Archived from the original on 17 June 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  5. Watkins, Tracy (10 August 2010). "By-election as Labour's Winnie Laban leaves Parliament". Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  6. Phil Goff (10 August 2010). "Luamanuvao Winnie Laban to stand down" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  7. Andrea Vance (4 October 2010). "Mana byelection set for Nov 20". . Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  8. 1 2 3 "Labour's Kris Faafoi wins Mana by-election". New Zealand Herald. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  9. "By-Election Results -- Mana". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  10. "Official Count Results – Mana". Elections New Zealand. 22 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  11. "Official Count Results -- Mana". Electoral Commission. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  12. "Official Count Results -- Mana". Electoral Commission. 4 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  13. "Who's in? Who's out?". Radio NZ. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  14. "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  15. Long, Jessica (30 August 2018). "Civil Defence Minister Kris Faafoi announces $5.2 million for rapid response teams for disasters". . Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  16. "Government to invest $5.2 million in new 'fly-in teams' for civil defence emergencies". 1 News. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  17. "Customs Minister Meka Whaitiri stands down from all ministerial portfolios over alleged assault on staff member". 1 News. 30 August 2018. Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  18. Hurley, Emma; Lynch, Jenna (30 August 2018). "PM Jacinda Ardern accepts Govt Minister Meka Whaitiri's offer to stand aside". Newshub . Retrieved 30 August 2018.
  20. Small, Vernon (22 November 2010). "Mana's man Faafoi straight into 2011 campaign". Stuff. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
  21. NZ aOn Screen - Long Lost Sons (2004)
  22. Jason Fa'afoi on IMDb
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
Member of Parliament for Mana
Political offices
Preceded by
Nathan Guy
Minister of Civil Defence
Preceded by
Jacqui Dean
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Preceded by
Clare Curran
Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
Preceded by
Meka Whaitiri
Minister of Customs
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chris Hipkins
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Ruth Dyson