Hon Jenny Salesa - Minister's Update

Image of Hon Jenny Salesa - Minister for Ethnic Communities

Kia ora, malo e lelei, talofa lava, namaste, ni hao, mabuhay, anyoung haseyo and very warm greetings!

It is my honour to be able to provide you with my first message since becoming your Minister for Ethnic Communities – a portfolio I am immensely humbled to have been given by our Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, and one which I am excited about.

I am proud of the ethnic diversity of this nation. With more than 200 different ethnic communities living here, our diversity is a source of strength. Ethnic communities bring together valuable connections and cultures, rich histories and stories, and also strong diplomatic and economic relationships with and between our trading partners.

Our ethnic communities are rich with talent, energy, drive and skills. I recognise that many struggle to use their potential, to get the support they need, and to feel like they belong. I came to New Zealand as a teenager from Tonga and I understand how difficult it can be, living in a new country.

I want to ensure that New Zealand is a fair and welcoming country, where all people can make a good life for themselves. And I want people to have opportunities to succeed - which is not only good for those involved, but is of huge benefit to New Zealand.

As the incoming Minister, I am looking forward to championing policies and legislation to ensure that ethnic communities’ voices are heard and recognised. This Government is committed to ensuring ethnic communities have equal opportunity to participate confidently in society, to contribute to the economy and to live in safe communities, while maintaining their connection to their heritage, culture, and language.

There is still much to be done and I aim to drive positive programmes in the public sector to ensure that people are treated fairly regardless of their background. These initiatives will see that people are given opportunities in employment, in housing, and in education. I want people to feel welcome here, to feel safe here, to raise strong families here and to succeed here.

I intend to get out and meet with people from across the country. I look forward to listening to the many voices from ethnic communities that make their home in New Zealand.

Although we have a busy schedule here in Parliament, I want to bring those voices to the policies and legislation that govern our country.

I intend to work hard to see that people in all our ethnic communities feel safe, successful and a part of New Zealand.

Malo ‘aupito,
Hon Jenny Salesa
Minister for Ethnic Communities