'A working-class girl from Waitara': Carmel Sepuloni, new Deputy PM

updated By Kelvin McDonald
Deputy-Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni at Sunday's press conference.  Photo / File

Chris Hipkins and Carmel Sepuloni have been confirmed as Prime Minister and Deputy-Prime Minister. 

Hipkins confirmed at Sunday afternoon's press conference that Sepuloni had been selected as his Deputy.

Sepuloni, who is Samoan and Tongan, is NZ's first Pasifika Deputy-Prime Minister. “I’m feeling very humbled,” she said.

"It is very hard to fathom that a working-class girl from Waitara who turned 'Westie' that that person could become the Deputy-Prime Minister of New Zealand." 

"I want to acknowledge the significance of this for our Pacific community. I am proudly Samoan, Tongan and New Zealand European and represent generations of New Zealanders with mixed heritage."

"It is a huge honour and privilege to be offered this role and I take this as seriously as I have taken any other role that I have undertaken across the course of my career.

"As Deputy-Prime Minister, I will continue to be focused on what I always have been focused on and that is serving our communities and whānau in Aotearoa."

On Saturday, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said Te Pāti Māori supported Sepuloni as a “strong representative for Pasifika whānau”.