THE New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Carmel Sepuloni has arrived in the Kingdom as part of its last leg of Pacific Mission.
Carmel with Government officials
Cabinet Ministers and Government officials led by the Hon. Health Minister, Dr. Saia Piukala, the Hon. Trade Minister Dr. Viliami Latu the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Fekita ‘Utoikamanu and the New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga, His Excellency Matthew Howell, warmly welcomed the Pacific Mission delegation led by Hon. Carmel Sepulonia yesterday upon arrival at Fua’amotu International airport.
PC - Tonga Broadcasting Commission NZ Deputy PM Hon. Carmel Sepuloni
The New Zealand High Commission Office in Nuku’alofa reports the Tongan descent NZ MP is accompanied by the Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon. Barbara Edmonds, Minister for Climate Change Hon. James Shaw, and a delegation of 50 New Zealanders from government, non-government, and business backgrounds.
NZ DPM Carmel
PC - New Zealand High Commission Office
A reception was also held at the New Zealand High Commission’s residence in Nuku’alofa to welcome the visitors.
The Hon. Prime Minister, Hu’akavameiliku and some Members of Parliament were among invitees at the reception including Tonga’s civil society, Government officials, and representatives from the Tongan business sector.
Today, while in the Kingdom, she also joined the government’s tree planting ceremony for climate change at Ha’atafu beach.The Foreign Affairs Ministry Facebook page reports that she also announced New Zealand’s financial contribution to the SPC’s capability, tools and systems for accelerated delivery of its Climate Change Flagship Integrated Programme.
Photo Credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Hon. Sepuloni will also tour Parliament. This evening the Clerk of Parliament Gloria Pole’o and Deputy Clerk Dr. Sione Vikilani will conduct a tour of Parliament for the visiting NZ MP and delegation before they attend a dinner reception at Liku’alofa.
Carmel Sepuloni is a New Zealand Member of Parliament for the Labour Party. She became the country’s Deputy Prime Minister on 25 January 2023.
She was first elected to the New Zealand Parliament following the 2008 general election. The Tongan descent NZ MP lost her Waitakere seat in the 2011 election. Sepuloni returned as Kelston MP in 2014.
She was born and raised in Waitara, Taranaki and attended New Plymouth Girls’ High School.
In 1996, she moved to Auckland and attended the Auckland College of Education and University of Auckland and obtained a Diploma of Teaching (Primary) and a Bachelor of Education respectively.
Hon. Carmel Sepuloni’s father is a Samoan-Tongan migrant, who migrated to New Zealand and married a Pakeha from a conservative farming family.
She married a writer and a musician Daren Kamali in November 2018. They have two children. Prior to becoming a politician, Hon. Sepuloni worked as a teacher.