Hon Jenny Salesa is MP for the Panmure-Ōtāhuhu electorate, in which she lives with her two daughters, husband and extended family. She is the Assistant Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives and Chair of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee.
Born and raised in Tonga, her family moved to Aotearoa New Zealand, seeking better educational opportunities, when she was 16 and they settled in Auckland. Jenny’s commitment to social justice and ensuring equal opportunities and fairness for all led her to politics.Read more
Jenny graduated from the University of Auckland with a BA/LLB in 1996. She has 25 years’ experience working as a public servant in the New Zealand health and education sectors, with NGOs and as a politician. She has also spent time living and working in America, where she implemented, and spread to other cities, an evidence-based health initiative developed in Michigan.
She was the MP for the Manukau East electorate from 2014 to 2020 and, following the 2020 boundary changes, was elected as the MP for Panmure-Ōtāhuhu. She was Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Tongan-born Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister.
Photo credit (left): SouthSeas Health