Carmel Sepuloni is a mother, wife, daughter of a migrant, a Government Minister and the Labour MP for Kelston.
Born in Waitara, Carmel is of Samoan, Tongan and New Zealand European descent.
Carmel entered Parliament in 2008, having worked in the tertiary sector as a literacy educator, a student mentor adviser, an equity manager, and a Pacific health research project manager.
A brief break away from Parliament in 2011-2014 saw Carmel become Chief Executive of Vaka Tautua, a national ‘by Pacific, for Pacific’, health, disability and social services provider.
In the current Labour Government, Carmel serves as the Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pacific Region). She also serves as the 20th Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, the first Pacific and third female in the role.
She has previously held the portfolios of ACC, Disability Issues and Associate Pacific Peoples.
Across her portfolios, Carmel is committed to transforming the welfare system so that it’s fairer and treats people with dignity, and providing opportunities for people to get ahead in life – including better opportunities to get into meaningful and sustainable employment. She’s also committed to building a sustainable, diverse, inclusive and resilient arts and culture sector, and strengthening Aotearoa New Zealand’s ties with the Pacific region.