Who is Carmel Sepuloni? New Zealand’s first Pasifika deputy prime minister
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The daughter of an abattoir worker and fruit picker, Sepuloni could have exactly the expertise the PM needs to tackle a brutal cost of living crisis
C armel Sepuloni admits her father, who arrived from Samoa in 1964 unable to speak English, had difficulty taking in the news that his daughter was shortly to become New Zealand’s first Pasifika deputy prime minister.
“To think that he could come here to work on the railways and the freezing works [abattoir] and marry a sheep farmer’s daughter and have a daughter who would become the deputy prime minister of New Zealand is very difficult to comprehend,” Sepuloni said. “But as you can imagine, [he’s] very proud.”
Sepuloni has been the country’s social development minister and is of Samoan, Tongan and Pākehā (European) descent. She says she is humbled to be “smashing glass ceilings” and is now tasked with winning back voters for an election campaign that, if successful, would represent the first time New Zealand had voted a Pasifika candidate into one of its top leadership roles.
Click here to read the full article published by The Guardian on 23 January 2023.