Parata promoted to Cabinet
First term List MP Hekia Parata says she is ‘‘humbled’’ and ‘‘excited’’ following her promotion to Cabinet last week.
Ms Parata, who recently cut Labour’s majority in the Mana by-election, was named the new Ethnic Affairs and Women’s Affairs minister last Monday, following the resignation of Pansy Wong.
Prime Minister John Key elevated Ms Parata over other backbenchers, describing her as ‘‘extraordinarily talented’’. She was sworn in on December 8 and went to work immediately to learn about her new portfolios.
‘‘This is a real honour,’’ Ms Parata said. ‘‘I feel privileged and proud to be given the opportunity to serve as a minister in John Key’s Government, and undertake to do all I can to advance and improve the services that New Zealanders receive.’’
She also picks up associate minister roles for ACC, energy and resources, and for the com- munity and voluntary sector.
Ms Parata entered Parliament in 2008 on the List, after unsuccessfully contesting the Mana seat.
She sits on the Maori Affairs and the Emissions Trading Scheme Review select committees.
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett took the opportunity to congratulate her, pointing out her achievements locally, including establishing the Porirua Youth Awards.