Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

Since entering Parliament in 2008, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has risen quickly through the ranks as an MP.

Already the chair of the social services committee, the former financial analyst and Cambridge graduate has been tipped as a minister-in-waiting since the last election.

Lotu-Iiga was born in Apia in Samoa in 1970, moving to New Zealand with his family in 1973.

His upbringing was humble by his own account.

During his maiden speech to Parliament he said his father had walked from Ponsonby to Parnell to save the bus fare, while up to 16 people lived in his family’s three-bedroom house in Mangere.

However his education, which he described as “the key to unlocking so many of the opportunities that I have enjoyed in life” has been impressive.

After attending Auckland Grammar, Lotu-Iiga studied law and commerce at the University of Auckland, before being employed at top law firm Russell McVeagh.

Sam is a great example of the difference between income inequality and income mobility. Labour have explicitly abandoned equality of opportunity as being sufficient, and have committed to equality of outcome.

As well as being conferred the Samoan high chiefly title of Peseta, Lotu-Iiga has served in a variety of roles, from coach of the Auckland under-14 rugby team to being a board member of the Primary Health Organisations of New Zealand.

Sam is a former Auckland City Councillor and will be Associate Minister of Local Government, working with Paula Bennett.

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