News 30 Oct 2017
The Hon. Aupito Tofae Su'a William Sio recently made his oath as the new Minister for Pacific Peoples.
Minister Sio, who is proudly bilingual, spoke in Samoan during the ceremony at Government House.
“It’s important to communicate my oath in Samoan for my extended family to understand,” Minister Sio says.
Soon after he was sworn in, the new Minister made his first visit to the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to meet with staff and learn about the Ministry’s priorities and the work they do.
“It’s been a long wait but we now have a new government, and this new change comes with a huge responsibility.”
He has urged the Ministry to work with him and enjoy the journey.
“We need to lift our game and I want our Pacific communities to have confidence in our work.
“We have to hit the ground running as we both have a dual responsibility in serving our families and communities.”
The eldest of nine brothers and sisters, Minister Sio’s parents migrated to New Zealand when he was a child.
“My parents were both hard workers, church-goers and one of many Pacific families that refer to Otara as home.
“We had very little and my parents worked incredibly hard to provide us with a better life.”
The Minister’s father Aupito Pupu Sio has been a taxi driver in South Auckland since the closure of factories in the 1980s, while his mother Sene was always his biggest supporter before her soul was laid to rest, he adds.
Minister Sio says his parents taught him hard work equates to success.
He adds he is ready to work hard at fulfilling his new duties as the Minister for Pacific Peoples serving the interests of Pacific communities in NZ.
The Minister also holds associate roles in Courts and Justice, which are huge portfolios.
Prior to being a politician, Minister Sio served as a Manukau City Councillor from 2001, and in 2007, when he was appointed as Deputy Mayor of Manukau.
He has also served as a public servant and a trade unionist in both NZ and in the Pacific region, and since 2008 he has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Mangere.
Minister Sio is a strong advocate for the rights of working-class Kiwis and he adores South Auckland and its people.
He is very proud of his Samoan heritage, which is evident by way of the number of chiefly titles he holds.
His most recent chiefly title Aupito was bestowed in the village of Letaupe in the district of Lotofaga on the island of Upolu last year.
Visit http://mpp.govt.nz for more information.