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Two Tongans make history in their appointment to New Zealand Cabinet


Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/10/2017


Jenny Salesa and Carmel Sepuloni have made history in New Zealand as the first Tongans to be appointed to the New Zealand Cabinet.


This follows prime minister designate, Jacinda Ardern, announcement of who Labour has elected to be ministers in the next government she’s forming with New Zealand First.


Carmel Sepuloni is known in New Zealand as Samoan but she is also of Tongan decent through her paternal grandfather.


She was elected into Parliament in the 2008 general election as a list MP for Labour and this year she was elected MP for Kelston.


Salesa was born and raised in Tonga before moving to New Zealand and she was elected into parliament in 2008 as MP for Manukau East and again won the election from Manukau East this year.


Both Sepuloni and Salesa arein the New Zealand Labor Party along with Tongan Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, who was elected as a list MP for Labour in the general election 2017.


Salesa and Sepuloni are 2 of only 7 women Labor MP’s appointed to Cabinet.


Jacinda Arden however says this is not good enough and she was vowing to bring more women up to the top level.


Salesa and Sepuloni’s ministerial portfolios have not been assigned but Arden will announce the final Cabinet positions on Wednesday this week.


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