Ibrahim Omer became an MP to represent communities who often struggle to have their voices heard. His experience spans fleeing his home country, being in a refugee camp, working as a minimum wage cleaner, graduating from university, and representing low paid workers as a union organiser.
He left his home country of Eritrea in 2003 spending years in UN-run refugee camps where he worked as an interpreter. He was then detained on suspicion of being a spy, it was only when the UN stepped in that he was rescued and offered the chance to come to New Zealand.
He moved to Wellington where he worked as a cleaner and dreamed of studying at university. That dream came true in 2014 when he started studying at Victoria University. He paid for his study by working full time at nights, cleaning the lecture theatres he would study in during the day.
Since becoming involved in politics at university, Ibrahim has taken every opportunity to work for a better tomorrow. He has chaired the board of Change Makers Resettlement Forum, been involved in governance for the Living Wage Movement, and knocked on hundreds of doors and made thousands of calls as a Labour volunteer.
During his time in parliament Ibrahim has advocated for migrant communities, refugees and low-paid workers across Aotearoa. He is the co-chair of the New Zealand Parliamentary friendship group for Middle East and Africa facilitating closer ties between New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East. He is also the co-chair for the Labour Ethnic Caucus alongside Vanushi Walters (MP for Upper Harbour).
He is now running as Labour’s candidate in Wellington Central, the city he has called home since his arrival in Aotearoa. He wants to give back to the city who made him who he is, with a particular focus on the cost of living, transport, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.