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Hon Jenny Salesa

MP for Manukau East

Minister for Building and Construction and Ethnic Communities

Associate Minister of Education, Health, and Housing and Urban Development

Contact Hon Jenny Salesa

Jenny Latu Salesa was sworn in as the new Member of Parliament for the Manukau East electorate in New Zealand’s 51st Parliament on 20 October 2014.

Three years later, she was re-elected as the MP for Manukau East and under the new Labour-led government was made Minister for Building and Construction, Minister for Ethnic Communities, and Associate Minister of Education, Health, and Housing and Urban Development.

Jenny has a strong interest in ensuring positive health and educational outcomes and ensuring equal opportunities and better outcomes for all.

Housing is a central issue to the people of Manukau East and this has been her immediate focus at a local level. In addition she spent her first term as an MP concentrating on the issues of employment, education and skills.

Before entering Parliament, Jenny was Principal Advisor (Pacific) at the Tertiary Education Commission. She graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA/LLB in 1996 and has had 20 years’ experience working in policy and funding, having worked as a health specialist and as a senior official in the Health and Education sectors.

Jenny also spent time living and working in America implementing and spreading to other cities an evidence-based health initiative developed in Michigan.

Jenny spent her early years in Tonga – and is the first Tongan speaking MP to enter the New Zealand Parliament. For much of her childhood her father was the only pharmacist in the Kingdom. They moved to New Zealand when she was 16 because her parents wanted her and her younger brother to have better access to university education.

Jenny divides her time between Wellington and Auckland, where her husband, University of Auckland Associate Professor Toeolesulusulu Damon Salesa, and two children are based.

Contact Hon Jenny Salesa

Email: jenny.salesa@parliament.govt.nz

Manukau East Electorate Office

7 Fulton Crescent, Manukau East
PO Box 61 175, Otara 2159, Auckland
Phone: 09 274 9231


Latest from Hon Jenny Salesa

More investment in training needed to fix housing shortage

March 22, 2017

Construction firms are reporting it is harder to find skilled workers, showing the Government’s failure to invest in training is contributing to the housing crisis, says Labour’s Skills and Training spokesperson Jenny Salesa.


Nothing neat about National’s record on NEETs

February 02, 2017

The importance of Labour’s youth employment policies to New Zealand’s future has been highlighted by new figures showing over 90,000 young Kiwis are not in employment, education or training, says Labour’s skills and training spokesperson Jenny Salesa.

“According to the latest Household Labour Force figures, there are more young people not earning or learning than the population of a city the size of Palmerston North.


Blaming Maori and Pasifika education for lack of housing is a disgrace

June 10, 2016

Nick Smith sunk to a new low when he blamed Maori and Pasifika educational underachievement for plummeting rates of homeownership among their people, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Jenny Salesa says.

“The Housing Minister yesterday said lower rates of home ownership among Maori and Pasifika were ‘just a broader reflection of the fact that they tend to have lower education achievement, that they have lower incomes, and that translates itself into housing’.


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