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Record number of Pasifika MPs deserved, says Vui Mark Gosche

Labour’s history-making win at the polls last weekend not only gave it a majority to govern alone for the first time under MMP, it also introduced a record number of Pasifika MPs into the house. To put that achievement in perspective is former Labour MP and cabinet minister from the Helen Clark era, Vui Mark Gosche.

Vui says when he was in Parliament, he couldn’t have imagined there would be 10 Pasifika MPs in Labour and one in the Greens. He remembers working hard in 1990 to get former MP Taito Phillip Field up as a candidate in Ōtara.

“He had to wait until ’93 before he became elected; Arthur Anae and myself in ’96,” he says.

He says the number of Pasifika MPs in Parliament today is deserved.

“If I think about the contribution that Pasifika people have made to the New Zealand economy over the last 70 years or so, we have built the foundations of the economic prosperity that New Zealand has.

“We haven’t shared in that prosperity as we should have, but look at the lockdown period – who was working? Pasifika people in essential jobs. So we should be there in that number, and we should celebrate it, but we also should not think it’s some sort of favour being paid to us by the wider New Zealand community. We’re there as a right.”

Watch the full talanoa above.



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