In 2017, we visited two New Zealand Members of Parliament and spent 4-5 days with each of them in their electorates learning how they go about representing their constituents.
Clare Curran is the Labour MP for the electorate of Dunedin South. Curran was first elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives in the 2008 federal election after having worked in communications for both the government and unions.
The electorate of Dunedin South, located on the South Island of New Zealand, is a Labour stronghold, and consists of the southern portion of Dunedin, as well as a number of smaller towns.
Carmel Sepuloni is the Labour MP for Kelston. Sepuloni was first elected to the House of Representatives as a list MP (under NZ’s Mixed-Member-Proportional electoral system) in 2008, becoming NZ’s first MP of Tongan descent. She was then defeated on a recount in the electorate of Waitakere in 2011, but returned to parliament after winning the newly formed Kelston electorate in 2014. She came to politics after a career primarily in education.
Kelston is an electorate on New Zealand’s North Island. It is comprised of various suburban regions in Auckland. While the electorate is relatively new, it appears to be a relatively safe Labour seat.