HaArmel Ceproni admits that his father, who arrived from Samoa in 1964 unable to speak English, had a hard time accepting the news that his daughter would soon become New Zealand’s first Deputy Prime Minister Pacifica.
“He can come here and work on railroads and refrigeration. [abattoir] Marrying a shepherd’s daughter and having her become New Zealand’s deputy prime minister is very difficult to understand,” said Ceproni. “But as you can imagine, [he’s] I am very proud. ”
Sepuloni is the country’s Minister of Social Development and is of Samoan, Tongan and Paqueha (European) descent. She has been humbled by “breaking the glass ceiling,” and now she is tasked with winning back voters in her election campaign, she said. If successful, it will be the first time New Zealand has voted a Pacifica candidate for her one of the top leadership roles.
Speaking to reporters when her choice was announced on Sunday, Ceproni said the moment “was huge for our community in terms of representation.”
“We have received so many humbling messages that another glass ceiling is being broken,” she said. We continue to set an example as a country that it is absolutely possible for women to reach leadership positions.”
Ceproni’s journey to one of the most powerful positions in the country began in Waitara, a small farming village of about 6,000 people on New Zealand’s west coast. Her father worked at a local slaughterhouse and her mother worked in factories or as a kiwifruit picker and packer. Since 1996, she has lived in West Auckland, an ethnically diverse region with relatively high poverty rates and income inequality, where she taught young people to read and write and later worked for the Pacific Health Organization.
Aotearoa’s new prime minister, Chris Hipkins, and his deputy prime minister, proudly sit in two of the country’s longstanding working-class and low-income communities, introduce themselves as ‘boys from the Hutts’. bottom. Wellington Outskirts Collar Area – and “Working Class Girl”.
“It’s hard to imagine that a working-class girl from Waitara… can become New Zealand’s deputy prime minister.”
“This is a historic opportunity,” said Dr Colin Tsukuitonga, a Pacific health and well-being advocate and associate dean at the University of Auckland. He said it was the moment New Zealand “matured as a country, more embracing diversity and embracing that we are a Pacific nation”.
Seeing her reach the highest levels of government “is an important milestone for Carmel and her family given her background and indeed, very important for New Zealand’s Pacific community.” He said, “I think it’s a very important signal for young girls and women that you can achieve your goals regardless of setbacks.”
Mr. Seproni was also New Zealand’s first Tongan Member of Parliament when he was first elected in 2008, and has served as Minister for Social Development for the past five years. Labor governments are often unsettled by the weight of expectations, but Seproni’s tenure has been without major scandals. She has overseen a series of benefits payout increases and the rollout of wage subsidies to businesses during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Ceproni is a favorite in the Labor caucuses, but he’s not a flashy politician. When asked to describe the minister, his colleagues and contemporaries reach for words such as steady, humble, and diligent.
“She’s a calm, easy-going politician,” said Neil Jones, who worked with Ceproni when he was Jacinda Ardern’s chief of staff. She said, “She never heard her raise her voice.”
Her upbringing in rural New Zealand may help her speak to a farming community that has increasingly strained relations with the labor government. In her maiden speech before Congress, she recalled a childhood altercation with her grandparents. She described her grandparents as “devout Tories” and clashed with her father, who votes adamantly Labor.
“I remember interrupting one day and saying, ‘But Grandpa, Labor Party take care of the poor. His response to that was, “Eat some ruddy Weet Bicks.” ”
Tukuitonga, who has worked with Ceproni as an advocate for health and housing inequality in the Pacific, said she “has a gentle, steady influence. Not too flashy, down-to-earth and competent.”
Alongside Hipkins, known for his outspoken style, Commitment to sausage rollsthe pair represented a departure from some of the soaring rhetoric and star power Ardern brought to the party’s leadership.
“Ceproni and Hipkins don’t try to mimic Jacinda’s star power,” Jones said. “Ardern is a once-in-a-generation politician and he would be silly to attempt it.”
Ultimately, Labor believes this is in their favor, resonating with New Zealanders, especially low-middle income voters, feeling the pinch of rising rent and mortgage payments and an 11.3% rise in food prices. I would like to work in
“At the moment, the family is feeling the financial pain,” Jones said. “Leadership that is not flashy, gets the job done, is seen as competent and communicative, I think that’s probably what people are looking for.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/23/who-is-carmel-sepuloni-new-zealand-first-pasifika-pacific-deputy-pm-prime-minister Who is Carmel Ceproni?New Zealand’s first Deputy Prime Minister Pacifica | New Zealand