TOKELAUAN WINS SEAT IN NEW ZEALAND PARLIAMENT

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Labour politician to give voice to Islander community

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 29, 2011) – The first Tokelauan to win an electorate seat in a New Zealand election says his appointment will give the New Zealand-born Pacific Islander community greater representation in politics.

Kris Faafoi won the north Wellington seat of Mana for the opposition Labour Party in the weekend’s election.

He says his presence, along with that of several other Pacific MPs in New Zealand’s parliament, will give Pacific Islanders a greater voice in the wider community.

Mr. Faafoi says representation in this community is important because the New Zealand-born Pacific Islander community is set to increase markedly over the next 30 years.

"I think it’s good to see we’re starting to see some of that voice come through. A lot of them will be New Zealand born, too, so that’s a different dynamic to what we’ve had in the past too," he said.

"We’ve had plenty of Pacific-born MPs in the past, but there is different dynamic and mindset to Kiwi-born Pacific (Islanders) that I think you’ll see filtering into Parliament over the next 20 to 30 years."

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