Labour's largest ever Pacific caucus prepares for term ahead

As Labour’s Pasifika MPs - both incumbents and new faces - prepare for the term ahead, one is urging the Pacific community to hold them to account. 

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Williams is one of a number of Pasifika women MPs in Parliament. Source: Tagata Pasifika

Christchurch East MP Poto Williams told TVNZ1’s Tagata Pasifika that with Labour’s large Pacific caucus, there was pressure to deliver. 

“Our communities should actually hold us to that expectation. It is important that they understand we are here to work for them, as we are to work for all of the people of Aotearoa New Zealand,” she said.

Williams is one of three Pasifika MPs that have been appointed as Cabinet Ministers. She joins Kris Faafoi and Carmel Sepuloni.

“That was one I had not been expecting,” Williams said about becoming the Police Minister. She was also appointed Minister of Building and Construction, and appointed Associate Minister for Children and Housing (public housing). 

She said she was thrilled to be joining Faafoi and Sepuloni. 

“Carmel is my inspiration, and I’ve always admired Carmel and I’m a huge supporter of the work that she does in the social development space,” Williams said.

“To sit alongside her is a huge privilege for me.

“And Kris Faafoi, he’s been steady in his work progress. It’s really cool to be alongside my Pacific brother and sister.”

One new Pacific face is Terisa Ngobi. She won the blue seat of Ōtaki - which was previously held by recently retired National MP Nathan Guy for 12 years - at this year’s election.

“I didn’t think we’d take the seat because it’d been held so long by Nathan Guy,” Ngobi said.

She said winning the seat was “really special” for her and her family. 

Ngobi is one of four new Pacific faces in Labour.