Michael was first elected to Parliament at the 2016 Mt Roskill by-election. In opposition he was Labour’s spokesperson for Transport, Revenue, and Consumer Affairs, and after the election he had roles as Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities and Chair of the Finance & Expenditure Select Committee, before coming into the Chief Labour Whip role in mid-2019.
Following the 2020 General Election, Michael became a sworn Member of the Executive and was appointed by the Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern as the Minister of Transport and Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety. He was also Deputy Leader of the House. In June 2022 following a reshuffle of Cabinet portfolios he has taken up the role as the Minister of Immigration. In January 2023, the Rt Hon Chris Hipkins awarded Michael additional ministerial responsibilities as Minister for Auckland and Associate Minister of Finance.
Michael also continues a strong association with New Zealand’s vibrant and growing Ethnic Communities owing to his previous role and the highly diverse nature of the Mt Roskill electorate he represents.
Prior to his parliamentary role Michael was an Auckland Council member in his community and has held roles providing advice to Habitat for Humanity and as a senior negotiator for the Finance Sector union Finsec.
Michael is driven by the core belief that all people deserve the opportunity to flourish and reach their potential regardless of background, and that this is most likely to occur when we build strong, fair, and supportive communities. He believes that an economy and public institutions that are focused on people’s wellbeing will lead to a society that is both more prosperous and just.
Along with his wife Julie and their three young sons, Michael lives in Roskill South where he loves to tramp along the Waikowhai Coast, tends to a very neglected vegetable garden, and dreams of an alternative career as a roving international test cricket commentator.