Hon Carmel Sepuloni is of Samoan, Tongan and NZ European descent. She was born and raised in Waitara but has lived in Auckland since 1996. She is the MP for Kelston, and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in January 2023.
Outside of politics Carmel has worked broadly across the health and education sectors, working as a Literacy Educator with youth in West Auckland, teaching in Samoa, managing equity programmes at the University of Auckland, managing the non-regulated Pacific health research project and acting as CEO of New Zealand’s only national Pacific health provider, Vaka Tautua.
Carmel has always been committed to improving social, health and educational outcomes for all New Zealanders but has especially focused during her career on low socio-economic groups, Māori, Pacific, disabled people and sole parents. During her political career Carmel has expanded access to the training incentive allowance, made public the impact of cuts to ACC funding for survivors of sexual violence, campaigned for better legislation around social workers and fought for the right to privacy for social service users.
Carmel is looking forward to continuing her work on building a fairer New Zealand, where everyone is supported to realise their potential.