Much of Carmel’s work as a Member of Parliament has been focused on improving educational and health outcomes for marginalised and vulnerable groups. In particular, her efforts brought National’s Minister of Social Development to account for slashing training incentive allowances. From 2008 to 2011 Carmel held a range of portfolios, including spokesperson on disability issues and victims’ rights and Associate Spokesperson for Social Development and Tertiary Education.
Carmel has worked broadly across both the education and health sectors. She has been the Project Manager of a Pacific Non-regulated Health Workforce Development Research Project, Member of the Health and Disability Commissioner's Pacific Advisory Board, Equity Manager for the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland, a Primary school teacher in Samoa and a Literacy Educator for ‘at risk’ youth in Avondale. After losing the Waitakere seat at the 2011 election, Carmel went on to become the CEO of Vaka Tautua - the only National Pacific Health Provider. Carmel is also mother to two boys - aged 16 years and 16 months.
- Board Member, Thrive Teen Parent Support Trust
- Elected Member, Kelston Boys High School Board
- Parliamentary Representative at the 2011 Global Action Conference on Women's Representation, Turkey
- New Zealand representative, American Council of Young Political Leaders tour 2010, USA
- Co-chair, New Zealand Commonwealth Parliamentarian Women's Branch
- Assisted in establishing the Pacific Commonwealth Parliamentarian Women's Branch
- International Observer at the Egyptian Elections 2011/12 for the National Democratic Institute