Image via WikipediaWinnie LabanLabour MP for Mana Luamanuvao Winnie Laban has today announced she is to leave Parliament to take up the role of Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika at Victoria University.
Labour Leader Phil Goff said it is with mixed emotions that he farewelled Winnie Laban from the Labour caucus.
"Winnie has made a significant contribution to Pasifika and this is a new opportunity for her as a Labour member to continue to work to raise Pasifika aspirations and achievements," Phil Goff said. "We are delighted she has been appointed to the position and she remains a strong supporter of the Labour Party."
Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said it has been an enormous privilege to serve as Labour MP for the people of Mana over the last three elections.
"I have worked out that it's time for me to step away from Parliament now. This career move is an exciting one and I am very privileged and honoured to be able to be the MP for Mana and I am very proud of my Party," Winnie Laban said.
"This enables me to continue my passion for Pacific people, young people and more importantly having a role in education outcomes that will lead to stronger economic development for the Pacific community.
"I have enormous affection for my electorate. I have loved every opportunity to be able serve the people of Mana and I am very confident that Labour will find an exciting candidate who will win that seat. It has always been a strong Labour seat and I am confident it will remain that way."
Phil Goff said Labour is sorry to see Winnie Laban go, and her departure will mean a by-election later this year.
"Labour will be looking to find a strong candidate and will campaign on both local issues and issues that matter to all Kiwis," Phil Goff said.
"At a time when prices increases are moving faster than wages and employment opportunities are scarce, Labour will focus on building a stronger economy that works for Kiwis. Labour will be throwing the weight of its organisation behind keeping Mana Labour.
"We wish Winnie well for her exciting new career and we look forward to the campaign in Mana."