“Heartening” to see Pacific Ministers named in new cabinet

Pasifika Medical Association (PMA) CEO, Debbie Sorensen, says it is heartening to see a strong Pacific presence in cabinet with the announcement of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s ministerial line-up yesterday.

Hon. Carmel Sepuloni retained her role as Minister for Social Development and Employment as well as becoming Minister for ACC, Arts Culture and Heritage and Disability Issues. Christchurch East MP, Hon. Poto Williams, became a new cabinet minister by picking up the Police and Building and Construction portfolios as well as becoming Associate Minister for Children and Housing. Hon. Kris Faafoi kept his Broadcasting and Media portfolio as well as becoming minister for Justice and Immigration.  Outside cabinet, Hon. Aupito William Sio retained his position as Minister for Pacific Peoples and Minister for Courts and is an Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Education (Pacific Peoples), Justice and Health (Pacific Peoples).

“We are delighted to hear the announcement of the new Labour cabinet and the country’s new government. It’s particularly heartening to see so many Pacific cabinet ministers.”

Sorensen is pleased that Hon. Aupito William Sio retained the Minister for Pacific Peoples role and other associate positions.

“For Minister Sio to hold this portfolio is an acknowledgement of his leadership both in the Pacific caucus and the community.

He has also picked up a number of associate ministerial roles, like Health and Education, which are very relevant to the work that the Pasifika Medical Association and Pasifika Futures do every day.”

She also extended her congratulations to the other Pacific MPs who were named in the cabinet.

“It was of no surprise that Minister Sepuloni retained the Social Development and Employment portfolio because the work she has done in the previous term was exceptional. She has made a commitment to making a difference for Pasifika people who are on the margins of society. 

Minister Faafoi’s appointment as the Minister of Justice, Immigration and Broadcasting and Media is a testament to his strong work ethic and his ability to deal with complex issues.

It is also very pleasing to see that we have a new minister, Hon. Poto Williams, who is the Minister of Police and the Minister of Building and Construction. She has worked very hard as the MP for Christchurch East. She understands all the issues around building and construction, given that she lives in Christchurch and has lived through the earthquakes and all the associated issues. It’s also great to see a young Cook Island woman appointed into cabinet and we wish her well.”

Sorensen sends out a special congratulations to Hon. Peeni Henare, who has retained his position as the Minister for Whānau Ora.

“Finally, I’d like to acknowledge Minister Henare, as Pasifika Futures is a Whānau Ora commissioning agency. We are delighted to work for him again”


Date: Tuesday 03 November 2020