New Zealand appoints two Tongans to cabinet

Tongan MP Jenny Lātū Salesa who was born and raised in Tonga before moving to New Zealand about 30 years ago has won a place in history when she was appointed to Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet.

MP Carmel Sepuloni who is of Tongan decent was also given a ministerial post.

Sixteen Labour MPs will make up Ardern’s ministerial cabinet and the rest of the spots would be given to four still-to-be-named NZ First MPs.

Announcing her cabinet line-up today in a press conference Ardern said gender balance in Cabinet was something she was not happy about and she had vowed to address it.

She will announce which portfolios the Labour Ministers will hold next week with the exception of MP Grant Robertson.

Robertson, the Labour’s MP for Wellington Central and Labour’s Finance Spokesperson in the government of Bill English, will be Finance Minister.

“Ms Ardern repeated her statements from the campaign trail that she was interested in the Arts and Culture portfolio, and wanted to keep involved in childrens’ issues.”

The Labour and NZ First led-government will be 52nd in power and Ardern will become the 40th prime minister.

Ardern said the Labour Cabinet Ministerial positions were decided through election by the Labour team at 2pm this afternoon in accordance with the party’s written rules.

The Ministerial positions outside of Cabinet were decided by Ardern.

Other cabinet members will be:

Jacinda Ardern, David Clark, Clare Curran, Kelvin Davis, Chris Hipkins, Iain Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, Stuart Nash, Damien O’Connor, David Parker, Grant Robertson,  Phil Twyford and Megan Woods.

Five ministers who will sit outside Cabinet:

Kris Faafoi, Peeni Henare, Willie Jackson, Aupito William Sio and Meka Whaitiri.


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