Hon Jenny Salesa was born and raised in Tonga. Her family moved to Aotearoa New Zealand when she was 16 and they settled in Auckland. Her commitment to social justice and ensuring equal opportunities and fairness for all led her to politics.
Jenny is the mother of two daughters, living with her husband and extended family in the Panmure-Ōtāhuhu electorate. She is the first Tongan-born Member of Parliament and Cabinet Minister in Aotearoa, New Zealand.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 sworn in as the MP for the Manukau East electorate in New Zealand’s 51st Parliament in October 2014. Three years later, she was re-elected as the MP for Manukau East and, under the Coalition Government, is serving as Minister for Building and Construction, Minister for Ethnic Communities, Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Education and of Health.
Photo credit (left): SouthSeas Health